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Touch and tactility in multimodal print novels
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Languages, Department of English.
2015 (English)Conference paper, Abstract (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Although books in themselves are eminently tactile objects, their haptic quality has seldom attracted critical attention in literary studies. Seldom, too, does the sense of touch enter the discussions of multimodal novels: it is mostly the “higher” sense of sight that continues to be privileged, the “lower” sense of touch given only an occasional nod, as in Alison Gibbons’ survey of multimodal literature and experimentation included in The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature (2012). Proposing that haptics is emerging as one of the fundamental features of the print novel in the twenty-first century, this paper addresses the following questions: What exactly is communicated through touch? How does the tactile mode contribute to meaning? How does touch refocus the text’s meaning? What type of knowledge can be derived from the tactile experience staged for the reader by (some) multimodal novels? What tactile codes are imprinted in contemporary multimodal fiction? While in most novels tactility is primarily generated through vision, this paper pays particular attention to those instances in which visual appeals to touch are accompanied by actual tactile gratification. Referencing a number of contemporary “tactile fictions,” the paper’s ambition is to broaden the linguistic terms available for articulation of the function of haptics in literature.

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Humanities Specific Literatures
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URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-278186OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-278186DiVA: diva2:906214
International Conference on Narrative, Chicago
Available from: 2016-02-24 Created: 2016-02-24 Last updated: 2016-04-21

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Fjellestad, Danuta
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