Moving through the narrative : spatial form theory and the space of electronic literature

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

The Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media

Publication Date





Swinburne University of Technology


The way that a narrative unravels has traditionally been understood to occur over time: the time that it takes to read words on a page and to process meaning, and the time frame of events as depicted in the narrative. As we increasingly encounter electronic literature, which are narratives that operate on the computer and through computer systems, it becomes necessary to examine how the facilities of new media offer different methods of communication and therefore different methods of storytelling. We must account for qualities unique to new media: the screen, for example, is a space in which the status of text is subordinated by the image.[1] In fact, the screen can hold a variety of representational modes that may be utilized in electronic literature, causing a reader to move among narrative spaces. This possibility raises the question: what does it mean to navigate through these spaces in storytelling? To answer this, my paper offers an understanding of how space operates in the electronic narrative and how it may be mediated through the electronic narrative in a self-reflexive, metanarrational manner.



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Recommended Citation

Fan, L.-T. (2012). Moving through the narrative: Spatial form theory and the space of electronic literature. The Refractory: A Journal of Entertainment Media, 21. Retrieved from http://refractory.unimelb.edu.au/2012/12/29/fan/