Chemodurova Z.M. The Art of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Multimodal Perspective


Zinaida M. Chemodurova

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Professor, Head of the Department of English and Cultural Studies, Herzen State Pedagogical University of Russia

Reki Moyki Emb., 48, 191186 Saint Petersburg, Russia

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Abstract. Using Dan Brown's Wild Symphony, Craig Silvey's The Amber Amulet, and Jon McGregor's In Winter the Sky as its case studies, this article attempts to explore a number of mechanisms and strategies contributing to the multimodal fiction construction and posing challenges for modern readers of all ages. The article proposes to examine multimodal resonance as a cognitive mechanism enhancing the emotional impact of multimodal stories on recipients and triggering the receptive mechanism of narrative empathy. Various semiotic resources, both free resources, such as photos, maps, and illustrations, and bound ones, including font types and typographical experiments, are analyzed from the standpoint of their role in fictional world creation. The article makes an original contribution to the Multimodal Stylistics Studies by hypothesizing the relevance of identifying two distinctive mechanisms of foregrounding: visual foregrounding as a range of formal ways to construct a multimodal text that focuses the reader's attention with the help of free semiotic resources, and graphic foregrounding, which has bound semiotic resources at its heart. The findings of the research prove that it is the combination of elements of stylistic, cognitive and linguo-semiotic analyses that might provide a new and effective methodology for interpreting a multimodal literary text. The overall outcome testifies to the importance of further research into varied mechanisms of foregrounding as a complex phenomenon essential for our better understanding of the embodied character of reading.

Key words: multimodal fiction, multimodal resonance, semiotic resources, foregrounding, narrative empathy, ludic modality.

Citation. Chemodurova Z.M. The Art of Storytelling in the Digital Age: A Multimodal Perspective. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2022, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 110-120. DOI:

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