15 November 2012

-In their intro to New Narratives: Stories and Storytelling in the Digital Age, Ruth Page and Bronwen Thomas claim that , “By the 1990s a wealth of criticism was available that made radical claims for a narrative revolution in the light of hyptertext, gaming, MUDs, and MOOs (Douglas 1992; Aarseth 1997; Landow 1997; Murray 1997; Hayles 2001). This criticism engaged with a range of narrative concepts, including questions about plot, event structures, and temporality, as well as questions about how stories are produced and experienced, debated in relation to matters such as interactivity, immersion, and agency” (1). I don’t know Douglas, haven’t found Aarseth useful, haven’t read Landow or Murray (although Murray is high on my list), and am a big fan of Hayles. But I’m not sure that this is a “wealth” of criticism. It’s a little bit. And some of it isn’t very good. Of course, there are other important texts, and there were in the 1990s (even if Hayles isn’t in the 1990s, and only Douglas’s diss is from the 90s–her book is from 2000). My only point is that there has been a lot of criticism, but it doesn’t necessarily add up to wealth. I think that part of what drives me to write the diss that I will write is the lack of criticism of the kind that I want to read. Have requested Douglas’s book, The End of Books–or Books without End? Reading Interactive Narratives, although from the title I’m not too hopeful.
-Necessity of blogging the diss? “The development of new narrative forms continues to expand as fast as technological innovation, and faster than can be documented by scholars and reviewers” (New Narratives 3).
-“Here we argue for a distinctive move forward into a fresh phase of digital narratology–one that revisits the relationship between narrative theory and digital technology but that explicitly grounds that relationship in a range of contextually oriented perspectives” (3).
-“Through close readings of particular texts and detailed attention to the contextualized practices, digital narratology now seeks to identify what really is distinctive or innovative about ‘new storytelling modes” (3).

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