Browse results

Restricted Access

Poets of Hope and Despair

The Russian Symbolists in War and Revolution, 1914-1918

Series:

Ben Hellman

In Poets of Hope and Despair: The Russian Symbolists in War and Revolution (1914-1918), Ben Hellman examines the artistic responses and the philosophical and political attitudes of eight major Russian poets to the First World War and the revolutions of 1917. The historical cataclysms gave rise to apocalyptic premonitions and a thirst for a total spiritual metamorphosis. A major topic of discussion was the role of Russia in this process. Other issues raised were modern Germany, the future of a divided Poland, the occupation of Belgium, and the dilemma of the Russian Jews. In the wake of the military setbacks, hopes were mixed with feelings of fear and despair, all expressed in fictional as well as in nonfictional form.
Restricted Access

On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture

Perspectives from Eastern and Western Europe

Series:

Edited by Irena Barbara Kalla, Patrycja Poniatowska and Dorota Michułka

On the Fringes of Literature and Digital Media Culture offers a polyphonic account of mutual interpenetrations of literature and new media. Shifting its focus from the personal to the communal and back again, the volume addresses such individual experiences as immersion and emotional reading, offers insights into collective processes of commercialisation and consumption of new media products and explores the experience and mechanisms of interactivity, convergence culture and participatory culture. Crucially, the volume also shows convincingly that, though without doubt global, digital culture and new media have their varied, specifically local facets and manifestations shaped by national contingencies. The interplay of the common subtext and local colour is discussed by the contributors from Eastern Europe and the Western world.

Contributors are: Justyna Fruzińska, Dirk de Geest, Maciej Jakubowiak, Michael Joyce, Kinga Kasperek, Barbara Kaszowska-Wandor, Aleksandra Małecka, Piotr Marecki, Łukasz Mirocha, Aleksandra Mochocka, Emilya Ohar, Mariusz Pisarski, Anna Ślósarz, Dawn Stobbart, Jean Webb, Indrė Žakevičienė, Agata Zarzycka.
Restricted Access

Series:

Aleksandra Mochocka

Abstract

The chapter discusses The Witcher Adventure Game, a part of the Witcher 3: Wild Hunt marketing campaign, in the context of Andrzej Sapkowski’s fiction and cd Project Red video games. Specific features defining the Witcher universe are inscribed in Sapkowski’s texts. The video games successfully transmediate these constitutive elements. The board game exists in a triangular relationship with the literary texts and the digital game, and utilises the concept of the witcher as a profession along with other elements, such as humour, anachronisms and intertextual allusions. However, a crucial feature is missing in twag, making it significantly different from the video games, as the choices made by the players fail to carry any morally significant consequences.

Restricted Access

Series:

Mariusz Pisarski

Abstract

In the age of ubiquitous computing, virtualization of space, and the notion of the human body as an ultimate interface, reaching out for a printed book and starting a traditional act of reading becomes almost a gesture of resistance. Between a solitary pleasure of reading a book in an armchair and a super-fast stream of visual forms we see on a plethora of screens that surround us, there is an in-between zone populated by narrative forms that either strive for their own identity or deliberately try to erase it in order to remain a hybrid of cultural expressions. These tendencies are exemplified in the works of Michael Joyce and Zuzana Husárová. Although of different generations and aesthetics, they both share a strong common trait of revealing archetypes of literary communication in a hybrid, post-medial landscape. Drawing on Michael Joyce’s experiment with augmented reality applications and on Zuzana Husárová’s poetic installations, where verbal elements are engaged in a feedback loop with body movement in space, I will look for an antidote against marginalization of literature by other media formats. Perhaps, it may be found in the liminal areas of literary niches and in the world of children literature.

Restricted Access

Series:

Łukasz Mirocha

Abstract

This chapter discusses current possibilities of creating transmedia narratives based on various digital media. It thoroughly examines Netwars – out of control, a transmedia narrative project composed of a documentary film, an interactive web documentary/portal, a mobile application, e-books, audio books, and a tv series. The project is centered around technology-based socio-cultural phenomena: user privacy, cybercrime, and hacking. Drawing on the theories formulated by Lev Manovich, Henry Jenkins, and Marie-Laure Ryan, the chapter focuses particularly on providing an account of the project’s interactive components and analyzing their medium-specific technological properties, storytelling techniques, and user-engaging models.

Restricted Access

Series:

Anna Ślósarz

Abstract

Product placement provides authors with reliable income and other benefits. At the same time, goods advertised in books gain prestige. Taking into account the age-long tradition and practice of private and public patronage and sponsorship of arts, the article examines the subgenre of product-placement novel. The product-placement novel, developed by such venerated writers as Balzac, Verne, Zola, and Dos Passos, is now continued by Mayle, Larsson, Weldon, Funder, Boyd and others, even though some authors may not (have) regard(ed) their works as commercial books. Some writers use their novels for self-promotion, while others compose them to promote a product, or to explicitly describe people, places, or historical times. Product placement in ephemeral digital novels is not subject to media laws and regulations, but it limits the potential of literature by narrowing the range of presented emotions to the positive ones. Hence, novels and advertising become homotopic.

Restricted Access

Series:

Dawn Stobbart

Abstract

Videogames as narratives exist on the margins of literary acceptance, and although digital texts are a growing genre, the term usually refers to a written text in a digital environment. From the perspective of a literary academic and a gamer, the conjunction of narrative and play in videogames is an exciting development in the interdisciplinary field of videogames. Environmental storytelling lays the groundwork for an evolution in narrative. Primarily using the landscape, videogames help to construct and to understand a narrative. As the narrative content of videogames has become more sophisticated, so too has the scope to consider videogames as part of the evolution of narrative expanded, changing the way narrative is delivered and interpreted by a player. As part of this, revisiting the theoretical analytical tools of traditional narratives provides a useful point from which to begin the academic study of this evolution. This paper will address narrative in the role-playing game Fallout 3, drawing on the theoretical work of Gérard Genette. It will then consider whether a narratological reading of this videogame is sufficient for analysis, or whether further – videogame-specific – analysis is needed to understand the role of narrative in a videogame.

Restricted Access

Series:

Justyna Fruzińska

Abstract

The chapter joins the discussion of narratology vs. ludology, examining narration in the first-person shooter Call of Juarez: Gunslinger. The story and the way it is told offer a complex structure, with an unreliable narrator questioned by other characters and changing versions of his memories, which allows the player to experience them several times in various possible configurations. It is an interesting device which shows not only the traps of storytelling, but also the pitfalls of memory itself. The game also enables its player to experience an unreliable narrator in a more advanced form than it would be possible in other media. Thus, the game moves from “literary margins” towards a center of its own, offering the player an experience characteristic of its own formal nature.

Restricted Access

Series:

Edited by Irena Barbara Kalla, Patrycja Poniatowska and Dorota Michułka

Restricted Access

Series:

Aleksandra Małecka and Piotr Marecki

Abstract

The 1994 Encyclopaedia of Mathematics entry on automatic translation informs us that “automatic translation of literature and fiction is both unrealistic and unnecessary.” This seems to be a frequent view, accompanied by a certain anxiety among translation professionals as to the threat of automatic translation “stealing their jobs” within their lifetimes. Such is the context for our study of literary experiments carried out with Google Translate, of which the translation of King Ubu published by the Korporacja Ha!art is an example. Since King Ubu by Alfred Jarry, a play written as a joke by a schoolboy over a century ago, can be seen as one of the pioneering works of absurdist literature, this conceptual publication is doubly absurd, with a machine translation technique applied to an absurdist play. The chapter includes an overview of the creative applications of automatic translation, and provides an analysis of the implications of the experiment. The conceptual character of the translation is explained through an analysis of the Polish contexts of Jarry’s work. Our thesis is that the described experiment (printed publication of the automatically translated play) has a deep, conceptual meaning only when performed in the Polish language.