Simone Rebora

Simone Rebora
WG Member – WG1, WG2, WG3
Position Paper

In light of my recent studies in cognitive science (e.g., embodied simulation, extended mind), transmedia storytelling and contemporary fantasy literature, my contribution could focus on the intrinsic characteristics of this literary genre. In relation to the most recent and popular phenomena (e.g., Rowling’s and Martin’s best-seller serial novels), fantasy literature has shown one of the strongest pulls towards transmediality (with multiple adaptations on screen, but also role-playing games, videogames, fanfiction, et al.). While novels such as Harry Potter and A Song of Ice and Fire achieve some of the highest levels of immersion/transportation, generating a fandom which not rarely describe its relationship with fantasy literature in terms of addiction, they also invoke an overcoming of the literary medium, which appeals to further sensory expansions for the building of their “secondary worlds” (Tolkien). My study has focused so far on the narratological aspects and on productive responses by readers (e.g., fanfiction, wiki guides, and commentaries on reading communities), but it could evolve in the direction of emotional and experiential aspects of literary reading. The aim could be evaluating if and in what terms readers of fantasy literature better adapt to the change of reading devices (due to the stronger cognitive immersion), or are more prone to leaving the literary medium when the achievement of transmediality becomes easier (e.g., switching from paper to electronic devices).

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