New technologies influence writing, triggering a redefinition of the relationship between writer-text-reader-critic and giving birth to a new contemporary fictional model, characterized by fragment organization, character crisis, dramatization of the epic and the lyric text, narrative crisis, a mixture of various aspects of language, exploration of diverse enunciative spaces.
The digital era has become the playground of interactive, interdisciplinary artistic and literary structures, such as hypertextual structures of the WEB and literary fiction. Hypertextuality plays a double role in literature: it is both a technical format and an artistic object, making the literary fictional worlds more dramatic, by injecting into them a spark of performativity.
This study aims at identifying and formulating some hypothesis about a new form of theatricality within the epic writing, as an influence of the hypertext language and its more or less direct impact on the structure of literary discourse.
The concept of theatricality perceived not in its essential condition of theatre minus text, meaning a gathering of signs and codes that coexist on the stage, is an important trait of the nowadays multimedia culture, breaking the boundaries of its definition area.
THEATRICALITY OF HYPERTEXT
Generally, the theatricality of the new technologies emerges from the possibility of deconstruction and reconstruction of the object of interest, from the dynamics and the tension created between the parts and the wholeness of the object of interest. Moreover, this type of theatricality may be perceived, in Josette Feral’s vision, as a performative act which creates the virtual space of the other. This becomes possible during the process of an ongoing movement (mental and sometimes, physical) among different aspects of the written text: between meanings/content and format or between the immersive or the interactive effect of the written text. As we may see here, the concept focuses more on the internal, molecular dynamics of the text; so we can even talk about a microtheatricality brought up by the hypertext language and its influence to the traditional text.
PIONEERS OF HYPERTEXT IN ROMANIAN LITERATURE
A theoretical approach to Romanian contemporary writing is completed by a practical approach of the subject: the presentation of two Romanian contemporary theatre performances based on non dramatic texts: the epic novel Travestite by Mircea Cartarescu and Mathew’s Calling by Florina Ilis. Both of the novels have been dramatized and staged in theatre performances that relied strongly on the use of new technologies due to certain particularities of their style of writing, such as: specific traits of the hypertext language at the thematic level (the art of writing as practice of fractal theory and universe as symbol of hypertext); at the narrative level (as fragments of written text slide rapidly creating a string of sequences connected by similar words, actions, numbers, emotions) ; at the syntactic level (due to the disseminated sentence and phrase and its nonlinear, fragmented, stream-of-consciousness-like construction).
I consider Mircea Cartarescu and Florina Ilis’s techniques of writing as means to explore and investigate the Self and its relations to inner and external realities, as ways to redefine, push and merge these realities. They explore the web hypertext as an esthetic format in order to express identity crises that take the form of symphonic/disharmonic voices and fragmented, broken sequences of life stories that, eventually, form patterns of connections, reflecting, mirroring each other and linking as pages from the net.
In order to be able to reflect this complexity (as dramaturge of the two theatre performances), I’ve tried to connect their visual and hyper textual writing to the theatricality of sound, focusing mostly on the utterance of words. Therefore, my proposed scripts turned to be a hybrid of genre and writing styles, consisting of epic/lyrical and dramatic fragments, creating a special relationship between dramatic action and words, that concurred, coexisted and doubled themselves during the performance, merging into a dramatic evolution and rhythm.
THEATRICALITY OF THE SOUND/EPIC LITERATURE IS DRAMATIC
Words seem to be a matter of life and death in Cartarescu and Ilis’s literature. They are written to be spoken, to be alive and capable of affecting directly and physically the people that listen to them. I would call their works word performances where the meta intention of the narratives is to express the presence of love or creative crisis through a verbal presence equally powerful.
With these two authors, it’s no longer a question of the topics of the discussion, but ofwhat one feels when he listens to the word spoken on stage. Feeling and atmosphere are created by the sound dimension of the language (words appear as objects exhibited according to musical principals, alliterations, exploited to their best through repetition, alteration), by the rhythmic dimension of the language (rapid flow of short sentences, alternation of affirmative, interrogative, negative sentences, elliptic sentences; all of them trying to express the rapid flow of the mental flux).
Both writers experiment with the physicality of the words (they write them to be spoken out, to be performed) in order to affect the reader in a profound sensory way. The written text itself becomes the world. Therefore, the rules that organize these fictional worlds resign into the text itself, in its spatial disposition of fragments that reflect the traits of the hypertext format: non-linearity. The hypertext format (which supports the expression of the complicated mental fluxes) helps to create the powerful impact of the unique soundscape that characterizes these authors’ fictional worlds.
It’s interesting to see how these particular words and discourses can be performed live on the stage, how many characters and identities can give them life, if they are powerful enough to let them be theatrical by themselves or support them with a network of images and physical actions.
Then, it’s interesting to see how different ways of saying the words, of expressing the inner rhythm of the written text can translate the urgent state of the creative or the love crisis, and, ultimately, affect the listener.
Quotation: The hyperbrain, which is the space, is nothing else but the hypersex, which is the time, and the hyperspace, which is the mind, is nothing else but the hypertime, which is the love, and the hyper mind which is everything is nothing else but the hyperlove, which is nothing. I gathered them all within this huge unique code, within this codex, within this book.
Major theme in literature
Cartarescu’s prose is considered to be a form of virtual textualism by Ion Manolescu in Videologia as it expresses in its writing the fractal theory. The fractal characterized by self similarity represents a modality of redefining the relationship between a chosen item and the universe itself, by identifying a pattern that repeats itself at different scales, levels, finding, therefore, symmetries in asymmetric objects, new correspondences and a new universal order.
In Blinding series (Orbitor, three novels), the neuronal geometry reflects itself in the street map of Bucharest, in the sky map and in the typography of the written page.
Quotation: Herman new that the entire world is just like a paper flower, written all over. Due to its wrinkles, distant areas became neighbors and united themselves in absurd symbols, neurotic myths and ceremonies. Fractals, equations, wrinkles.
The fractal narrative model inflicts upon the fictional universe a structure made of different layers of reality where everything can be tied up to everything: written book to human body to outer universe, creating an absolute hypertext. The narrator voice (1st person narrative) passes through these layers of reality opening real and metaphorical doors as seen in this example, a journey through space/time/body during a two-page fragment.
Note: Every object, item, body seems to have an entrance and an exit point similar to portals in science fiction literature.
The male character passes through a town, enters a restaurant, passes through four identical rooms, enters a house, enters an elevator, enters a corridor (at this time he is confused either he finds himself inside or outside his body), enters another room, goes down the stairs, enters another room where he sees a little girl, regresses to his childish body, enters the girl’s body.
The major theme in Cartarescu’s literature is the symbol of the world as hypertext, where sound, movement and image happen simultaneously.
Quotation: Texts within texts, texts writing texts, creating Textistence. My manuscript is the world and no galaxy and no eye-lash exist if they hadn’t been written here first.
The novel in itself is constructed as a network where macrocosmical and microcosmical, real, oniric and fictional layers mirror back at each other, while they are travelled and transgressed continuously by the narrative voice. The writer finds himself at the imaginary centre of the hypertext, creating new fictional layers, giving birth to a dynamics of transgression where, eventually, identity of objects, bodies, texts dissolves into the thin air.
Quotation: What is my book like? Is it a rose with hundreds of petals? A pearl with thousands of nacreous layers?
Major theme in literature
Male characters, computer programmers and IT specialists tend to live in a virtual world, a narcotic world of digital images where they redefine love, marriage, salvation, transcendence, according to the rules of these virtual worlds. At the end, they have to deal with the consequences of identity and reality loss.
Quotation: There are real worlds between us; real distances that separate us forever, we only have the hyper real left as a meeting place. 
At the narrative level, Florina Ilis’s novels are structures of fragments that succeed rapidly based on logic of electronic linking. The narrator voice (1st person narrator) controls the fluid sliding of the narrative chunks, that connect through a certain word/theme/action/object/thought/number/emotional state, and that repeats itself in different contexts.
Quotation: I love you,I love you, I know what she means, so easy to say love, Why not?, I talk to Angel on the computer about love, she is female, but how can I be sure, and single, I’ve been talking to her for the past seven months and this is the first time she says I love you, and I, when did a woman last tell me she loved me? And I? You are beauti, I tell her she is beatiful, like what, like an angel, thank you, matei, Matei, my name, my real name, the real name?
Florina Ilis’ writing flirts in a more direct manner with the digital world and the concept of nonlinearity. One can identify a multitude of thinking streams, fragmented reasoning, apparent incoherence of thought (from an external point of view; actually, the thinking happens so fast that it becomes impossible to render it in an integral writing manner), the absence of the dot, and the dominance of the comas,as a concrete expression of on-going continuity. Therefore, the characters become effects of language and of thinking streams.
Quotation: And I walk in the rain, I am as happy as a child, let it rain on me, I have dressed up today, I had an official meeting with a firm to sign a partnership, I love u, and I haven’t held a woman in my arms since, I think I will go to the director’s party, where will he ever find such a sucker, I am happy with situation, Serban, I don’t have anything better to do with my life, Yes, I will go to the party, what day is today? And the rain, and the lights in the windows to tell me that real men live in these houses, with real families, real kids, eating real food, I would be happy if it weren’t for this reality around me, I would be happy if it were just me and the rain, I would get naked, they will not see me anyway, am I a nutcase that dreams he is Matei or am I really matei who dreams himself to be a nut, my real name is Matei and I work at, what will it happen if I entered this house, Corina’s husband was a friend of mine, his name is Vlad, we went to the same highschool,
Reading is, generally, characterized as an immersive action into a fictional world.
(Richard Gerrig in Experiencing Narrative Worlds )
These kinds of novels that highly prioritize the format to the content, the physicality of the words to their meaning, which experiment with open structures and hybridizations of genre, turn their focus from the ideal of reader’s immersion to the ideal of active interactivity with the text. Their hypertextual-like writing allows them to augment the practice of inter text (the practice of integrating foreign texts through citation, parody), of open narrative structures and plural subjects. The text becomes a network of potential texts that could be actualized through interaction with the reader.
Mathew’s Call is full ofopen sentences, sudden and unexpected alternations of narrative voices and pronouns to the point where it becomes really difficult to understand who is talking, in other words, to clarify the situation of communication. This happens as the writing experience wants to be as powerfully present as the stream-of-thought experience.
Quotation: And Angel says that we can marry on the Internet, she asked me to marry her, to say yes in front of a computer, anyway, nothing really matters, corina left me and I say goodbye now, before loving you, everything started that night when corina asked you to forgive her, I made love to vlad, matei, and you did not want to hear it, and everything seemed fine again until she married vlad, I married very young, Ane told you and never knew another man than my husband, do you undestand? Matei understood that if he had told her how madly he was in love with her, she would be a wreck, she is afraid that I can be the alternative to,
Both of these projects had interdisciplinary scripts that developed around and through multiple voices, which expressed themselves through various “streams of consciousness”. Time realms and spaces collapsed, converged and diverged, reflecting the rush, the deep rhythm of the inner world of these voices that shifted through bodies lacking gender and status.
The plot line of Travestite is quite spectacular and it progresses through nuclei of dreams and descriptive memories. Victor, a 34 successful writer is confronted with an unexplained psychological crisis. Unable to write anymore, haunted by the memory of his dead kid sister and images from a high school summer camp, tormented by nightmares and hallucinations, he decides to isolate himself at a mountain cabin, where he submits himself to the process of remembering his childhood and teenage years, in order to discover the cause and the explanation for his neurotics.
At the end of this dangerous trip in his subconscious (as he is resolved either to cure himself or destroy himself in the process) he finds out that his dead sister did not exist (he was a hermaphrodite). His search for the truth has turned into a search for his lost identity (questions on androgyny, multiple identities, social and spiritual evolution are being posed) and his memories become the content of his new book.
The narrative is broken and multiple lines of interpretation are considered. Aspects as deconstruction of past-present time-line, of cause and effect relationship or as fractal structure of the narrative are also considered during the performance. We used just one live actor on stage interacting and talking to video projected characters on the screen.
Travestite is a novel that lacks action, constructed as a sum of dreams and memories written in a metaphorical language. The dramatic can be found within the written word, in the dynamics and tension of the word itself and the powerful images it creates. Words melt themselves into hyper sensory worlds.
Spoken text and video images collide, coexist and double themselves in order to recreate Victor’s presence in the word, a puzzle-like presence where the real, the dreamy-like state, the visceral, the memory, the fantastic element mingle synthetically. To better express his imaginary, complex universe, we haveused video-projections during the entire play, constantly creating a tension between the lyrical, metaphorical spoken word and the projected images that doubled or contradicted them.
Issues such as: who is the character behind the voice one hears, displacement of body, action and voice, altered voice and altered image of oneself, were constantly dealt with and expressed at the script level. Insertion of media such as recorded sounds and video moments were also used to complicate the hypertext structure.
Using video projections we, therefore, induced the simultaneous and plural nature of the hypertext-like writing, we amplified one’s hearing and we gave to the spoken word the force of the superposition of elements, of quotation, of repetition.
This experiment was redone at a more complex level in 2008 in Cluj, in Mathew’s Calling (my dramatization) where the live actor on stage, surrounded by four video projection screens interacted and talked with video projected actors during the whole performance. The particularity of the language used here was the fact that the characters on the screen did not speak, the live actor having to give both their and his lines. The rhythm of the performance was, thus, created especially by the sonority of the words and the ups and downs of the actor’s utterance.
The novel Chemarea lui Matei written by Florina Ilis and published in 2002 is very close to the theatre phenomenon of the NEW WRITING (representative writers: Heiner Muller, Martin Crimp, Sarah Kane, Mark Ravenhill, Valere Novarina, Lagarce, Vinavair, Lacoste, Kortes) where the epic and the lyric genre merge into a dramatic monologue.
The words do not just trigger the action, but they become the action itself and they tend to replace the physical body of the actor. The words express the entire fictional world, they express the characters’ feelings and thoughts, and they describe their physical actions and reactions to the outer world.
Contemporary Romanian theatre texts focus mostly on written words, voice and sound. Sounds, spoken words become the alternative to a used, overrated image system and also the main method to astonish the referential system of the public.
In Chemarea lui Matei, the main character is the spoken text; the rhythm of speech is more important than the rhythm of action and the rhythm seems to be the one that gives meaning and identity to the character. Therefore, the character himself becomes a sum of rhythms and sound structures. Words do not submit to the story or to the character, they are free and independent. If there are pauses and silences in the utterance of words, they are not caused by psychological reasons; their function is purely musical, they are counterparts to sounds and elements of the musical score of the text. The speech of the character mimics the speed and the complexity of the mental flux, which, in itself is nonlinear and hypertextual. As a literary technique, hypertext allows the writer to express multiple mental fluxes and voices.
Multiple narrative voices and different pronouns in the same sentence suggest, therefore, the intention to express an experience in its objective and subjective wholeness. The characters say what he does, what he thinks about what he does and says what he would prefer to say about what he says and does. The word flow may seem chaotic, but if carefully analyzed, it unveils its mathematical construction.
Quotation: Matei opens the door, I sit on the floor, next to her head, you would want to wake her up, but Matei likes to look at her,
Both theatre plays are created around the concept of writing.
Victor is a writer who tries to cure his neurotic crises, triggered by his failure of becoming the absolute writer, whose book could replace the universe, through a staged, forced recollection of his memories as a child. The memories, the dreams, the stream-of-consciousness is written down and, therefore, he writes the book that he’s always yearned to write.
Mathew, on the other hand, keeps an audio journal where he thoroughly, obsessively describes his love crisis; eventually, he sends this record that more or less equals his life, to the woman he loves as farewell. The voice that the public listens to on the stage is, actually, the recording, that now, has become independent, an autonomous program of words that can go on indefinitely. Music and video projections, abstract movements of the actor standing on a glassy, transparent, bluish cube amplify the coldness, the abstract nature of the words, suggesting artificiality and virtual, digital realm.
Both characters turn to words, to written then spoken words to expiate their crises, they identify themselves and their crises to the sounds of their complicated, fragmented and fluid at the same time, network of thoughts. Written words change to spoken words and vice versa, giving to sound the major dramatic function of the play, the power to create and destruct the fictional world, the force to take theatricality to another dimension.
Theatricality in the post dramatic era is defined as a tension between visible and invisible, between what is seen and what is to be imagined.
The concept of invisibility may be translated in Cartarescu’s literature by the concept of the word-image. The physical traits of the word create powerful visual images, words themselves identify with images in his attempt to express the wholeness of the world.
On the other hand, in Ilis’s literature, the invisible dimension of the fictional word is triggered by the use of the oral, rhythmical, almost musical word.
Cartarescu and Ilis’s literature priorities the words that yearn to express everything, and even ifwe don’t always know who speaks, we can feel the presence of a voice that commits itself totally and personally to the act of speaking.
Behind the flow of words we sense the presence of an omnipotent being that cruelly exhibits itself to the world; a fluid, yet fragmented identify, always on the move, trying to define its boundaries, a hyper lucid self that constantly observes and analyses itself and the world around it.
Therefore, even though these projects included video, sound, acting, it seemed that the creative process always resided in the authors’ writing and in the words and the phrases that we had wanted to be heard, seen, performed, and sounded out in a certain way.
By assimilating a hypertextual discourse, language and words have become more performative, their acting out bringing a renewed form of theatricality to a theatre performance: the theatricality of the sound.
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CÄƒrtÄƒrescu, Mircea, Visul, Ed. Cartea româneascÄƒ, BucureÅŸti, 1989.
Ilis, Florina, Chemarea lui Matei, Ed. Echinox, Cluj, 2002.
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Ryan, Marie-Laure, Narrative as Virtual Reality. Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media, The Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 2001.
 Text on a computer that will lead the user to other, related information on demand. Hypertext represents a relatively recent innovation to user interfaces, which overcomes some of the limitations of written text. Rather than remaining static like traditional text, hypertext makes possible a dynamic organization of information through links and connections (called hyperlinks). Hypertext writing has developed its own style of fiction, coinciding with the growth and proliferation of hypertext development software and the emergence of electronic networks. Two software programs specifically designed for literary hypertext, Storyspace and Intermedia became available in the 1990s. An advantage of writing a narrative using hypertext technology is that the meaning of the story can be conveyed through a sense of spatiality and perspective that is arguably unique to digitally-networked environments. An author’s creative use of nodes, the self-contained units of meaning in a hypertextual narrative, can play with the reader’s orientation and add meaning to the text. Critics of hypertext claim that it inhibits the old, linear, reader experience by creating several different tracks to read on, and that this in turn contributes to a postmodernist fragmentation of world
 Davis Postlewait, (eds), Theatricality, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2002, p. 1.
 Feral, J., Theatricality: The Specificity of Theatrical Language, Substance, 2002, p. 8.
 Florina Ilis born in 1968 in Cluj, Romania, had her debut as a writer in 2000 with a poetry book: Haiku and Japanese Calligraphy. Novels: The Descent from the Cross, (2001) Mathew’s Call (2002) and Children’s Crusade (2005) received excellent reviews from the Romanian critics. Right now, Children’s Crusade is being translated in Spanish, Hungarian, Hebrew and French.
 Mircea CÄƒrtÄƒrscu, Orbitor.Corpul, Ed. Humanitas, BucureÅŸti, 2002, p.356.
 Florina Ilis, Chemarea lui Matei, Ed. Echinox, Cluj, 2002, p.8.
 An interdisciplinary script includes, besides the text, visual language, extensive suggestions of image, video, sounds, space, and storyboard.
 Hypertext information structure reflects the semantic structure of human memory. Links between information support associative browsing corresponding to structure of human knowledge and they represent basic principle of the functioning of the human mind.
According to Lehman’s postdramatic theory, every text (epical/lrical) can be acted out and staged, at it holds within itself a specific, unique theatricality at the level of words, of the syntacs, of the narrative style. In his opinion, 1st person narrative novels are the closest to dramatic monological structures.