“Pignagnoli addresses an important facet of contemporary narratology—the changing role of paratextual information for the communicative model of narrative—providing rich and compelling examples of the evolving condition of author/reader communication during the current digital age.” —Daniel Punday, author of Playing at Narratology: Digital Media as Narrative Theory
Post-Postmodernist Fiction and the Rise of Digital Epitexts explores new dynamics created by the intersection of digital media and contemporary fiction, arguing that these synergies are part of the cultural context in which the post-postmodernist novel emerges. Virginia Pignagnoli introduces a rhetorical theory of paratexts meant to reshape traditional views of paratextuality, providing categories, functions, and properties able to accommodate new digital practices, such as those of digital epitexts (authors’ social media posts and novels’ websites, for example), that widen the space for authorial creation and narrative exchange beyond the print novel. Focusing on the effects digital epitexts have on audiences, Pignagnoli presents an analysis of contemporary novels—by Michael Chabon, Jennifer Egan, Catherine Lacey, Meg Wolitzer, and Dave Eggers—that display a post-postmodern sensitivity in dialogue with some of the ways digital epitexts are currently employed. Ultimately, in showing how twenty-first-century novels and digital epitexts are co-constitutive, Pignagnoli offers a vision of a new post-postmodernism interested in sincerity, relationality, and intersubjectivity.
Virginia Pignagnoli is a Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of English and German Philology at the University of Zaragoza.
Chapter 1 A Rhetorical Theory of Paratexts
Chapter 2 Earnestness
Chapter 3 Materiality
Chapter 4 Intersubjectivity
Chapter 5 Instances of Co-Construction