Narrative as Virtual Reality by Marie-Laure Ryan
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Narrative as Virtual Reality
By Marie-Laure Ryan

Narrative as Virtual Reality

Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media

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Format: Paperback

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Narrative as Virtual Reality by Marie-Laure Ryan

Book Awards

  • Winner of Modern Language Association Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for Comparative Literary Studies 2004.

Book Description

Is there a significant difference in attitude between immersion in a game and immersion in a movie or novel? What are the new possibilities for representation offered by the emerging technology of virtual reality? As Marie-Laure Ryan demonstrates in Narrative as Virtual Reality, the questions raised by new, interactive technologies have their precursors and echoes in pre-electronic literary and artistic traditions. Formerly a culture of immersive ideals-getting lost in a good book, for example-we are becoming, Ryan claims, a culture more concerned with interactivity. Approaching the idea of virtual reality as a metaphor for total art, Narrative as Virtual Reality applies the concepts of immersion and interactivity to develop a phenomenology of reading. Ryan's analysis encompasses both traditional literary narratives and the new textual genres made possible by the electronic revolution of the past few years, such as hypertext, interactive movies and drama, digital installation art, and computer role-playing games. Interspersed among the book's chapters are several "interludes" that focus exclusively on either key literary texts that foreshadow what we now call "virtual reality," including those of Baudelaire, Huysmans, Ignatius de Loyola, Calvino, and science-fiction author Neal Stephenson, or recent efforts to produce interactive art forms, like the hypertext "novel" Twelve Blue, by Michael Joyce, and I'm Your Man, an interactive movie. As Ryan considers the fate of traditional narrative patterns in digital culture, she revisits one of the central issues in modern literary theory-the opposition between a presumably passive reading that is taken over by the world a text represents and an active, deconstructive reading that imaginatively participates in the text's creation.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780801877537
ISBN-10: 0801877539
Format: Paperback
(229mm x 152mm x 23mm)
Pages: 420
Imprint: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publisher: Johns Hopkins University Press
Publish Date: 1-Sep-2003
Country of Publication: United States

Other Editions...

Books By Author Marie-Laure Ryan

Narrative as Virtual Reality by Marie-Laure Ryan Narrative as Virtual Reality, Paperback (December 2015)

Following the cognitive approaches that have rehabilitated immersion as the product of fundamental processes of world-construction and mental simulation, she details the many forms that interactivity has taken-or hopes to take-in digital texts, from determining the presentation of signs to affecting the level of story.

Storyworlds across Media by Marie-Laure Ryan Storyworlds across Media, Paperback (July 2014)

Explores how media, old and new, give birth to various types of storyworlds and provide different ways of experiencing them, inviting readers to join an ongoing theoretical conversation focused on the question: how can narratology achieve media-consciousness?

Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory by Marie-Laure Ryan Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, Paperback (September 2007)

Providing coverage of structuralist models and of the frameworks developed for the study of literary narratives, this reference also seeks to give an overview of paradigms for analyzing stories across a variety of media and genres - from film, television, opera, and digital environments, to gossip, sports broadcasts, and comics and graphic novels.

Avatars of Story by Marie-Laure Ryan Avatars of Story, Hardback (July 2006)

Tracing the transformation of storytelling in the digital age, this work examines electronic narrative forms. It reveals how digital media convey meaning and create stories. It stresses the difficulty of reconciling narrativity with interactivity and anticipates the time when media will provide fresh ways to experience stories.

» View all books by Marie-Laure Ryan


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Author Biography - Marie-Laure Ryan

Marie-Laure Ryan is an independent scholar and former software consultant. A Guggenheim Fellowship recipient, she is the author of Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory and the editor of Cyberspace Textuality: Computer Technology and Literary Theory and the forthcoming Narrative Across Media: The Languages of Storytelling.

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Recent books by Marie-Laure Ryan close
Narrative as Virtual Reality by Marie-Laure Ryan
Storyworlds across Media by Marie-Laure Ryan
Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory by Marie-Laure Ryan
Avatars of Story by Marie-Laure Ryan
Avatars of Story by Marie-Laure Ryan
Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory by Marie-Laure Ryan
Narrative Across Media by Marie-Laure Ryan
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