Making Sense of Graphic Elements in Fictional Narrative
2013 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
A decade ago Ansgar Nünning proposed that we distinguish between metafiction and metanarrative and offered an elaborate typology of metanarrative and its functions (“On Metanarrative: Towards a Definition, a Typology and Outline of the Functions of Metanarrative Commentary” 2004). This paper asks if Nünning’s propositions can be helpful in making sense of graphic (pictorial) elements, which are so widespread in the contemporary novel that it is tempting to see them as one of the central features of “post-postmodern” literature. Are graphic elements such as photographs, images, fonts or unusual page design ornamental or functional? Can they be seen as equivalents to metacommentary? Can we distinguish between their diagetic, extradiagetic and/or paratextual aspects? Can the functions that Nünning proposes for the metanarrative comments of the narrator enable us better to articulate the different ways in which, say, photographs are employed in fictional narratives? Although historically not a new phenomenon and despite their ubiquitous presence today, graphic elements in fictional print narratives (excepting the graphic novel) have attracted relatively little critical attention. However, this situation is changing with publications such as Jessica Pressman’s “The Aesthetics of Bookishness in Twenty-First Century Literature” (2009) and Alison Gibbons’s Multimodality, Cognition, and Experimental Literature (2012). This paper shares with these studies some of the primary material that it deals with but differs from them in its much firmer narratological orientation.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Humanities Specific Literatures
Research subject English
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-278183OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-278183DiVA: diva2:906209
International Conference on Narrative, Manchester, UK