Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Beyond the Page: Digital Threads of Print Fiction
by Llosa, Alvaro, Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2011, 314; 3474420
Abstract (Summary)

“Más allá del papel: El hilo digital de la ficción impresa,” (“Beyond the Page: Digital Threads of Print Fiction”) focuses on how rhetorical devices prevalent in the discourse of new digital media (such as non-linearity, multimodality, and interactivity), are treated in early modern Spanish culture and literature. I posit that most print fiction during that period implicitly contains a number of essential digital traits. I show that a specific digital culture is embedded in every printed text, and that these digital traits can be recovered and analyzed in order first to understand this multidimensionality as an integral part of a given text, and second, to help us relocate that text within our own digital culture. In that sense, I analyze the book and its content as a structured space or database which follows on the principles of the classical tradition of the art of memory, where images, concepts and words create an interconnected discourse through a virtual space of performance. Since the digital world has been similarly conceived as a virtual place of multimodal performance, we could transpose in that way diverse texts from print to screen. In short, my research shows the digital nature of fictional works in order to relocate the printed text in a digital medium.

The dissertation starts with a discussion of the multimedia, transmedia and interactive nature of the textual reality contained in Don Quixote, and it leads to further and more detailed analyses of other significant texts. Three subsequent chapters examine, among other innovations, the non-linearity implicit in El conde Lucanor as a collection of tales conceived as a Llullian combinatory system; the multimodal and transmedia character of Golden Age poetry based on the visual culture of Emblems; and the social interactivity implicit in Cadalso's Cartas marruecas. As a way to link this analysis to modern and contemporary textualities, a fifth chapter discusses the role and implications of postmodern reading in Benito Pérez Galdós’s La novela en el tranvía The final chapter takes up the previously discussed threads to theorize the role and tasks for the future expert in publishing digitally early modern print fiction.

This study further incorporates various disciplines, from Literature to Social Sciences, History of Books and Reading, Critical Theory, History of Ideas, Media Studies and Rhetoric. It is also a scholarly effort to engage academics, readers and editors in rethinking the linkages between traditional and new media, with the goal of bridging the digital divide that affects the traditional role of scholarly editors of the classics in their communication with a new generation of readers.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Martin, Adrienne L.
Commitee: Egan, Linda, Garcia Galiano, Angel, Martinez-Carazo, Cristina
School: University of California, Davis
Department: Spanish
School Location: United States -- California
Source: DAI-A 73/01, Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Modern literature, Romance literature, Multimedia Communications, Web Studies
Keywords: Cadalso, Jose, Cervantes Saavedra, Miguel de, Digital humanities, Hypertext, Manuel, Juan, Perez Galdos, Benito, Print fiction, Publishing, Reading, Rhetoric, Spain, Technology of the book
Publication Number: 3474420
ISBN: 9781124907628
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