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New narrative pleasures? A cognitive-phenomenological study of the experience of reading digital narrative fictions

This doctoral study explores the impact of technical and material features of the reading device – the computer and the print book – on our sense of being emotionally, cognitively, and phenomenologically immersed in a narrative fiction.

The pleasure of reading digital narrative fiction resides in our sense of being immersed in a fictional universe populated by life-like characters, and where situations and events unfold in a plot allowing us to reenact the vicissitudes of the story in our minds as we read. What happens to this sense of immersion when the narrative consists of animated, interactive, multimodal texts, is displayed on a computer screen, and when we click on hyperlinks and scroll with a computer mouse, instead of leafing through the pages of a print book while reading unyielding text on paper?

This doctoral study explores the impact of technical and material features of the reading device – the computer and the print book – on our sense of being emotionally, cognitively, and phenomenologically immersed in a narrative fiction. Far from being transparent displays of narratives, the medium and technology in question may play a significant role for our reading experience.

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