Converging media and modes : digital textuality and the dissolution of media borders in Steven Hall’s The raw shark texts

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Book chapter

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Convergence Culture Reconsidered: Media - Participation - Environments

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Universitätsverlag Göttingen


This paper discusses recent transformations of literature relative to the influence of digital media on culture and communication. Digital media and communication methods, I argue, encourage us to think of textuality in ways that converge media, treating them as dynamic, cross-referential, and interactive. I seek to examine the emergence of a digital textuality and to trace its impact on literary texts in three interrelated areas: first, new comprehensions of ‘reading’ and ‘the text;’ second, shifts to our conceptions of ‘the literary’ in the face of digital poetics and aesthetics; and third, ensuing tensions between posthuman and human agency concerning language, communication, and storytelling.

As a case study, this paper analyzes Steven Hall’s The Raw Shark Texts (2007) for its formal experimentation and its mediations of medium, mode, and language. I examine how this text utilizes multimodality as a narrational device in order to imitate and explore the presence and implications of digital textuality. Insofar as this novel uses multimodality to mediate digital media, it demonstrates the literary value of converging media and modes of communication and also speaks to ensuing changes to how we define the literary and the future of literature in a digital age.

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Copyright © Universitätsdrucke Göttingen 2015. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

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ISBN of the source publication: 9783863952174

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Recommended Citation

Fan, L.-T. (2015). Converging media and modes: Digital textuality and the dissolution of media borders in Steven Hall’s The raw shark texts. In C. Georgi & B. J. Glaser (Eds.), Convergence Culture Reconsidered: Media - Participation - Environments (pp.209-220). Germany: Universitätsverlag Göttingen.