Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology

Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology

Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology

Storyworlds across Media: Toward a Media-Conscious Narratology

Excerpt

Popular culture has accustomed us to narratives that refuse to leave the stage, returning repeatedly for another round of applause and for another pot of gold. For examples, think of the many installments of the novel-based franchises of The Lord of the Rings and A Song of Ice and Fire, the movie-based franchises of Star Wars and Indiana Jones, the comicsbased franchises of Batman and Spiderman, or the video game–based franchises of Tomb Raider and Warcraft. Each of the sequels, prequels, adaptations, transpositions, or modifications that make up the body of these franchises spins a story that provides instant immersion, because the recipient is spared the cognitive effort of building a world and its inhabitants from a largely blank state. The world is already in place when the recipient takes his or her first steps in it, once again.

Following the established custom of the sequel, this book builds upon another book one of us edited in 2004, Narrative across Media. We decided to call the present book Storyworlds across Media instead of Narrative across Media II, though, in order to reflect the new directions that the study of the multiple medial incarnations of narrative has taken in the meantime. The replacement of “narrative” with “storyworld” acknowledges the emergences of the concept of “world” not only in narratology but also on the broader cultural scene. Nowadays we have not only multimodal representations of storyworlds that combine various types of signs and virtual online worlds that wait to be filled with stories by their player citizens but also serial storyworlds that span multiple installments and transmedial storyworlds that are deployed simultaneously across multiple media platforms, resulting in a media landscape in which creators and fans alike constantly expand, revise, and even parody them. Another difference between the present volume and the original Narrative across Media is the scope of the term “across.” In Narrative across Media, it referred to the comparison of the expressive power of . . .

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