As zoo design shifted late in the nineteenth century from a taxonomic model to more ambitious “natural” and “authentic” exhibits, the zoo began to draw more heavily on literary strategies of display and audience interaction. The introduction of “narrativized display,” in which the zoo visitor is guided through an ideologically aware and carefully controlled experience featuring devices such as backstories and dramatic climaxes, allowed for the fostering of an emotional, not just logical, connection to the animal. Ultimately, the “authentic” zoo emerges as a new and influential form of fiction-derived spatial communication.


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