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Journal ArticleDOI

Sounding Postmodernity: Narrative Voices in the Radio Adaptation of Alasdair Gray's Lanark

01 Jan 2017-Partial Answers (The Johns Hopkins University Press)-Vol. 15, Iss: 1, pp 167-188

AbstractAlasdair Gray’s novel Lanark: A Life in Four Books (1981) eludes generic categorization by crossing the boundaries between dystopian fiction, fantasy novel, life writing, and fiction marked by magic realism. In postmodern fashion, it plays with spatiotemporal frameworks and narrative order, shifts narrative voices, and perspectives and uses a multiplicity of presentational modes including dialogue and scholarly text commentary with encyclopedic annotations. In its “Epilogue,” the novel features metalepsis when it introduces the author, who talks to his protagonist about his work. The question arises how the novel’s radio play adaptation, first broadcast by the BBC on 1 November 2014, translates this playfulness into its own semiotic system. This paper particularly focuses on the narratological category of “voice” and explores what happens when narrators’ and characters’ voices are actualized in radio drama, how the radio play uses voice-over narration, voice qualities and the doubling of parts to create a recognizable as well as surprising aural storyworld. It also analyzes how sound techniques and music are employed to create narrative structures. Because of their medial instantaneousness and evanescence, radio plays arguably have to rely on disambiguation to make themselves accessible to a listening audience. However, as this paper shows, they also have a range of radiophonic techniques at their disposal to create narrativity on their own terms.

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Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: In line with the strong emphasis on visuality in the wake of the “visual turn” in literary and cultural studies, graphic novel adaptations of literary texts have recently been the objects of scholarly study and narratological theory building. Much less attention, if any, has been accorded to radio play adaptations of novels like Paul Auster’s New York Trilogy . An analysis of radio play adaptations acquires a special significance in the case of this highly enigmatic work, which makes a seriously playful use of postmodern narrative strategies. It is perhaps above all this feature which made the adaptation of the novel’s first instalment, City of Glass , into a graphic novel by Paul Karasik and David Mazucchelli so successful. While the graphic novel visualizes characteristic features of its mother text, this paper explores the different modes of narrative sound in three German radio play adaptations of Auster’s novel. Alfred Behrens’ Stadt aus Glas , Katharina Bihler’s Schlagschatten , and Norbert Schaeffer’s Hinter verschlossenen Turen employ narrative devices like voices in both German and English, the evocation of city soundscapes, the narrative uses of music as well as issues of the simultaneity and/or difference of story and discourse time. The narrative auralization of Auster’s novels in the radio plays under discussion can be shown to foreground non-visual aspects of the pre-texts and to add further dimensions for interpretation that underline the usefulness of audionarratological analysis for adaptation studies.

6 citations


Cites background from "Sounding Postmodernity: Narrative V..."

  • ...5 On the relation between music and narration, see Mildorf and Kinzel 2017 and Mohr 2015. rather meditative piano passages that underscore the melancholy content of the story, e.g., when the meeting of Blue with his former fiancée is recounted....

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Journal ArticleDOI
14 Dec 2016
Abstract: This article analyses the German radio play adaptation of Philip Roth's novel Indignation (Emporung, 2010) from an audionarratological perspective and shows how both the book and the radio play offer potential for multisensory experiences on the part of readers and radio audiences. The article furthermore explores how the two media differ in their semiotic and sensory affordances and possibilities. It is argued that aural signs and signals predetermine certain aspects of the storyworld in the radio play: for example, characters' and the narrator's voices, soundscapes, but also ambient sound and music. Due to its focus on the aural channel, radio drama calls on audiences' imagination in distinct ways, while also complicating narratological concepts. The ‘transcriptivity’ from written to spoken text that is inherent in the transposition of novel into radio play accounts for the fact that the radio play also adds new multisensory and interpretive dimensions to its pre-text. It therefore has to be considered ...

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
17 Dec 2019
Abstract: This article analyses silence at the interface between print and audio media by reading and listening to Heinrich Boll's short story ‘Murke's Collected Silences’ (‘Doktor Murkes gesammeltes Schweig...

2 citations

Journal ArticleDOI
Abstract: This project explores how narrative formats facilitate transportation and related phenomena. Over two hundred subjects encountered fictional stories in different iterations: printed text or audiobo...

References
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Journal ArticleDOI
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Journal ArticleDOI
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1,812 citations

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Abstract: Since its first publication in English in 1985, Mieke Bal's Narratology has become the international classic and comprehensive introduction to the theory of narrative texts. Narratology is a systematic account of narrative techniques, methods, their transmission, and reception, in which Bal distills years of study of the ways in which we understand both literary and non-literary works. In this third edition, Bal updates the book to include more analysis of film narratives while also sharpening and tightening her language to make it the most readable and student-friendly edition to date. Bal also introduces new sections that treat and clarify several modernist texts that pose narratological challenges. With changes prompted by ten years of feedback from scholars and teachers, Narratology remains the most important contribution to the study of the way narratives work, are formed, and are received.

1,264 citations

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Abstract: Introduction: Handbook Rationale, Scope and Structure Part 1 Theoretical And Methodological Tools For Multimodal Analysis 1.An Introduction to multimodalit 2. Different approaches to multimodality 3.What are multimodal data and transcription? 4.What is mode? 5.Parametric systems: the case of voice quality Theo van Leeuwen 6. Modal density and modal configurations: multimodal actions 7. Transformation, transduction and the transmodal moment Part 1 readings Par 2 Key themes for multimodality 8. Historical Changes in the Semiotic Landscape From Calculation to Computation 9. Technology and Sites of Display 10. Multimodality and Mobile Culture 11. Multimodality, Identity, and Time 12. Multimodality and reading: the construction of meaning through image-text interaction 13. Power, social justice and multimodal pedagogies Part 3 Multimodality across different theoretical perspectives 14. Multimodality and language: A retrospective and prospective view 15. Multimodality and theories of the visual 16. Multimodality and New Literacy Studies 17. Using Multimodal Corpora for Empirical Research 18. Critical Discourse Analysis and multimodality 19. Semiotic paradigms and multimodality 20. Reception of multimodality: Applying eye-tracking methodology in multimodal research 21. Representations in practices: A socio-cultural approach to multimodality in reasoning 22. Indefinite precision: artefacts and interaction in design 23. Anthropology and Multimodality: The Conjugation of the Senses Part 4 Multimoda Case Studies 24. Practical function and meaning: a case study of Ikea tables 2 The use of gesture in operations 26. Gesture and Movement in Tourist Spaces 2 The kineikonic mode: towards a multimodal aproach to moving image media 28. Multimodal Analytics: Software and Visualization Techniques for Analyzing and Interpreting Multimodal Data 29. Colour: code, mode, modality -- the case of.

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384 citations