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Narrating the archive and archiving narrative: the electronic book and the logic of the index

Narrating the archive and archiving narrative: the electronic book and the logic of the index

Davies, Rosamund (2008) Narrating the archive and archiving narrative: the electronic book and the logic of the index. International Journal of the Book, 5 (3). pp. 45-56. ISSN 1447-9516 (Print), 1447-9567 (Online)

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Abstract

The creation of my hypermedia work Index of Love, which narrates a love story as an archive of moments, images and objects recollected, also articulated for me the potential of the book as electronic text. The book has always existed as both narrative and archive. Tables of contents and indexes allow the book to function simultaneously as linear narrative and non-linear, searchable database. The book therefore has more in common with the so-called 'new media' of the 21st century than it does with the dominant 20th century media of film, video and audiotape, whose logic and mode of distribution are resolutely linear. My thesis is that the non-linear logic of new media brings to the fore an aspect of the book - the index - whose potential for the production of narrative is only just beginning to be explored. When a reader/user accesses an electronic work, such as a website, via its menu, they simultaneously experience it as narrative and archive. The narrative journey taken is created through the menu choices made. Within the electronic book, therefore, the index (or menu) has the potential to function as more than just an analytical or navigational tool. It has the potential to become a creative, structuring device. This opens up new possibilities for the book, particularly as, in its paper based form, the book indexes factual work, but not fiction. In the electronic book, however, the index offers as rich a potential for fictional narratives as it does for factual volumes. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: archive, database, electronic texts, index, narrative, information services, e-books, web publishing, educational technology,
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4450 Databases
Pre-2014 Departments: School of Humanities & Social Sciences
School of Humanities & Social Sciences > Department of Communications & Creative Arts
Related URLs:
Last Modified: 15 Oct 2016 05:26
Selected for GREAT 2016: None
Selected for GREAT 2017: None
Selected for GREAT 2018: None
Selected for GREAT 2019: None
URI: http://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/1448

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