Cover

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Series Page, Title, Copyright, Dedication

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Contents

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pp. vii-viii

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Acknowledgments

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pp. ix-x

It is a sign of our times that this book is more indebted to e-mail exchanges and online discussions than to live interaction, though the latter, fortunately, has not been fully remediated by digital technology. My thanks go to the following interactors in the scholarship game: ...

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Introduction

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pp. xi-xxiv

The recent explosion of “media,” “new media,” and “comparative media” studies at universities all over the world is premised on the belief that the introduction of a new technology that affects the creation, preservation, and transmission of a certain type of information represents a revolutionary change with potential implications for multiple aspects of life: ...

I. Narrative in Old Media

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1. Narrative, Media, and Modes

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pp. 3-30

Academic disciplines, unlike people, usually don’t have birthdays, but if one could be given to narratology, it would fall on the publication date of issue 8 of the French journal Communications in 1966. The issue contained articles by Claude Bremond, Gérard Genette, A. J. Greimas, Tzvetan Todorov, and Roland Barthes. ...

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2. Drawing and Transgressing Fictional Boundaries

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pp. 31-58

Fiction lies at the intersection of two fundamental modes of thinking. One is narrative, the set of cognitive operations that organizes and explains human agency and experience. Fiction does not necessarily fulfill all the conditions of narrativity that I have spelled out in chapter 1, but it must create a world by means of singular existential propositions, and it must offer, to the very least, an embryonic story.1 ...

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3. Narrative in Fake and Real Reality TV

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pp. 59-77

If the producers of the so-called reality TV shows have any say in defining reality, Jean Baudrillard and Michel Foucault are not merely towering figures of postmodern thought; they are the true prophets of this young millennium. ...

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4. Narrative in Real Time

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pp. 78-94

Life is lived looking forward, but it is told looking backward. Whether invented or experienced, events are normally emplotted retrospectively. Knowledge of the outcome shapes the narrator’s selection and evaluation of the preceding states and events; the crisis to be highlighted determines the exposition and the complication; ...

II. Narrative in New Media

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5. Toward an Interactive Narratology

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pp. 97-125

In Cybertext, a book whose contribution to digital textuality truly deserves to be called ground-breaking, Espen Aarseth attempts to analyze two types of digital texts, hypertext fiction and text-based adventure games (also known as interactive fiction) according to the parameters of what he calls the “communication model of classical narrative” (1997, 93): ...

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6. Interactive Fiction and Storyspace Hypertext

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pp. 126-147

We all know that computers are programmable machines. This means, technically, that they execute commands, one after the other, in a tempo controlled by the pulses of an internal clock. This also means, in the domain of artistic expression, that the behavior of digital objects is regulated by the invisible code of a program. ...

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7. Web-Based Narrative, Multimedia, and Interactive Drama

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pp. 148-180

In the early to mid-1990s, computer systems underwent two developments that deeply affected digital textuality: the ability to encode and transmit visual and aural data efficiently; and the ability to connect personal computers into a world-spanning network. ...

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8. Computer Games as Narrative

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pp. 181-203

In this chapter, I propose to revisit a question that has split, but also animated and energized, the young academic discipline of video game studies: is the concept of narrative applicable to computer games, or does the status of an artifact as game preclude its status as narrative? ...

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9. Metaleptic Machines

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pp. 204-230

Metalepsis, a rhetorical and narrative figure described as early as the seventeenth century,1 has become one of the favorite conceptual toys of postmodern culture and contemporary critical discourse. In this chapter I propose to explore its special affinities with computers, as well as its multiple manifestations in digital culture. ...

Notes

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pp. 231-248

Bibliography

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pp. 249-264

Index

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pp. 265-276