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Cycle In the Cycle, the reader returns to a previously-visited node and eventually departs along a new path. Cycles create recurrence [12] and so express the presence of structure. Kolb's Socrates In The Labyrinth [45] discusses the role of the Cycle in argumentation, showing how hypertext cycles emerge naturally from traditional argumentative forms. Cyclical repetition also modulates the experience of the hypertext [44], emphasizing key points while relegating others to the background. Writers may break a cycle automatically by using conditional links, or may use breadcrumbs [7] to guide the user to depart along a new trajectory. Relying on breadcrumbs to break cycles is common on the Web.

Joyce's Cycle In Joyce's Cycle, the reader rejoins a previously-visited part of the hypertext and continues along a previously-traversed trajectory through one or more spaces before the cycle is broken. Revisiting a previously-visited scene, moreover, may itself provide a fresh experience because the new context can change the meaning of a passage even though the words remain the same. The opening lines of afternoon, a story [38], when first seen, establish a chilly climate, poetic and overwrought:

By five the sun sets and the afternoon melt freezes again across the blacktop into crystal octopi and palms of ice-- rivers and continents beset by fear, and we walk out to the car, the snow moaning beneath our boots...

Later, we may again encounter the same scene. No longer does it serve as an establishing frame; later, we may recognize that the winter scene the narrator describes might be the wreck of his ex-wife's car, that the continents of fear, the moaning snow, may be the wrack left after the car (and the bodies) have been removed. Hypertext, Joyce writes elsewhere, demands rereading [39]. Measured and planned repetition can reinforce the writer's message: end-of-chapter summaries and ballad refrains, for example, are a common feature of the pedagogical literature of print and oral culture. Cycles thus lend themselves not only to a variety of postmodern effects [61], but also to familiar writerly motifs:

Of recursus, there is hallucination, deja vu, compulsion, riff, ripple, canon, isobar, daydream, and theme and variation...Of timeshift there is the death of Mrs. Ramsay and the near disintegration of the house...Leopold Bloom on a walk, and a man who wants to say he may have seen his son die. Of the renewal there is every story not listed previously. [39]

In Douglas's Cycle [23], the appearance of an unbroken cycle signals closure, the end of a section or the exhaustion of the hypertext.

A Web Ring is a grand cycle, a cycle that links entire hypertexts in a tour of a subject. Hypertexts in a Web ring agree, in essence, to share readers. Though largely unheralded in the research literature, Web rings, C.R.E.W. and related compacts have proved central to the hypertext economy. Hypertexts concerning specialized interests -- obscure actors, or World War I memoirs -- may promise little direct professional or commercial importance, and alone they cannot easily find an audience. Cooperation among related sites, however, creates self-organizing zones of autonomous but interrelated activities on a common theme or toward a common goal. The cyclical structure of Web rings tends to promote equality of access: each participant gains one inbound link, at the cost of offering one outbound link. Alternative structures (such as central directories and search engines) can also offer access, but the cyclical structure of the ring keeps each participant equal and resists the tendency to concentrate attention at the directories themselves.

CountourA contour [12][40] is formed where cycles impinge on each other, allowing free movement within and between the paths defined by each cycle. Movement among the cycles of a contour is easy, and infrequent links allow more restricted movement from one contour to another.

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