Paratext or imagetext?:interpreting the fictional map

Bushell, Sally (2016) Paratext or imagetext?:interpreting the fictional map. Word and Image, 32 (2). pp. 181-194. ISSN 0266-6286

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This article is concerned with the relationship between a fictional map and a fictional text and the way in which we understand and interpret that relationship. It seeks to explore visual/verbal relations (between map and text) through meaningful elements relating to the juxtaposition of these two forms within the covers of a book. Its primary interest is in determining the nature of the dynamic between map and text, arguing for a more integrated model of interpretation. The first part of the article, therefore, draws upon Gèrard Genette’s account of the paratext in order to consider to what extent the fictional map functions in a paratextual role. The central section of the article explores the spatial and material relationship between map and text by applying Genette’s four key paratextual aspects – location, temporality, communication and function – to analysis of the fictional map, with particular attention to two examples from Ransome and Tolkien. The final section reflects on the strengths and limits of this approach and incorporates the alternative offered by W. J. T. Mitchell’s formulation of the “imagetext”.

Item Type:
Journal Article
Journal or Publication Title:
Word and Image
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This is an Accepted Manuscript of an article published by Taylor & Francis Group in Word and Image on 22/06/2016, available online:
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Deposited On:
21 Oct 2015 05:00
Last Modified:
22 Nov 2022 02:19