Journal of Romance Studies

The readers’ experience in experimental narratives

Journal of Romance Studies (2016), 16, (1), 1–6.

Abstract

On 26 and 27 February 2015 the Institute of Modern Languages Research (IMLR) hosted a major international conference, Experimental Narratives: From the Novel to Digital Storytelling, co-organized by Godela Weiss-Sussex, Jordana Blejmar, Sam Merrill and myself. Sponsored by the MHRA, the conference explored the theme of ‘narrative experimentalism’ across languages, from the experimental literature of the 1960s to the most recent experiments of digital fiction. Case studies included avant-garde and postmodern experiments with the novel form, graphic novels, electronic hypertext fiction, game literature, participatory narratives, fan fiction and transmedia storytelling. Whilst confirming the international diversity of narrative experiments developed in printed literature and digital environments in the last six decades, the event also clearly identified a gap in Modern Languages research: to date, there is a significant lack of comparative studies investigating experimental narrative practices across literature and the digital outside the Anglo-American context. This is partly due to the relatively scarce production of such experimental fiction in Europe in comparison with other countries, but it has also to do with such experiments being perceived as marginal phenomena in relation to the still strong printed literary tradition.

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Author details

Patti, Emanuela