‘Fictions of the Internet’: : From Intermediality to Transmedia Storytelling in 21st-Century Novels

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http://urn.fi/URN:ISBN:978-951-51-4117-0
Julkaisun nimi: ‘Fictions of the Internet’: : From Intermediality to Transmedia Storytelling in 21st-Century Novels
Tekijä: Weigel, Anna Lena
Muu tekijä: Helsingin yliopisto, humanistinen tiedekunta, nykykielten laitos
Opinnäytteen taso: Väitöskirja (monografia)
Tiivistelmä: The starting point of this study is the thesis that the Internet has not only altered the way we live, communicate, and think, but that it (along with other new media) has also breathed new life into the contemporary book market. We are in the midst of a paradigm shift in writing and reading novels, which has been triggered by medialization and digitalization processes. More and more 21st-century writers invoke new media in their literary texts and explore the limits of the novel as a medium by using intermedial and transmedial storytelling techniques. Because the media landscape and the book market are changing rapidly, new literary experiments are cropping up nearly every day. One primary goal of this study was to give a broad and extensive overview of the manifold tendencies in contemporary writings that are influenced by the Internet and new media on a thematic, structural, and transmedial level. This study therefore contributes to the ongoing debates on intermediality studies, transmedia storytelling, and genre theory, filling the gap in the area of intermedial and transmedial relations between 21st-century novels and new media. To contextualize this interdisciplinary study with regard to contemporary scholarship, I have combined text-centered with transgeneric, transmedial, and cultural-oriented approaches from literary, cultural, and media studies, and have focused on three main concepts—namely, ‘intermediality’, ‘transmedia storytelling’, and ‘genre/generic change’. In the theoretical section, I develop intermedial, transmedial, and genre-based frameworks and propose analytical catego¬ries which not only help to systematize the manifold new tendencies in contemporary writings, but also serve as useful tools for the analysis of ‘fictions of the Internet’. In this study, I use the label ‘fictions of the Internet’ in three ways: first, to describe cultural, medial, and ideological fictions and myths surrounding the Internet that masquerade as truth while actually being false; second, to refer to literary fictions that thematize and critically reflect on such fictions of the Internet age; and finally, I use the term as a generic label to subsume all the innovative 21st-century novels that deal with the Internet and new media on a thematic, structural, and trans¬medial level. By looking at seven in-depth case studies and considering 150 primary works that fall under the category of ‘fictions of the Internet’, it becomes clear that intermedial and transmedial storytelling techniques are not isolated phenomena—rather, they form an integral part of contemporary fiction. Based on the findings in the analysis chapters, ‘fictions of the Internet’ have creatively responded to the changing media landscape with regard to their content, form, materiality, technological support, and interactive and participatory features. The generic field of ‘fictions of the Internet’ is still in the process of development and could potentially change with new technological advances and with each new literary experiment. Although the designation of new genres is a difficult endeavor, I suggest new generic terms for literary innovations that are related to the Internet and new media: ‘psychological Internet thriller’, ‘Facebook novel’, ‘Internet satire’, ‘multimedia Internet novel’, ‘Internet-enhanced detective, thriller, and mystery novel’. Admittedly, all these labels are preliminary, but there are encouraging signs that they might have the potential to achieve acceptance in literary scholarship and develop into full-fledged genres in the years to come.-.
URI: URN:ISBN:978-951-51-4117-0
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/232698
Päiväys: 2018-06-28
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