Upgrading ekphrasis: representations of digital space and virtual worlds in contemporary literature
|Institution:||Dublin City University|
|Department:||School of Applied Language and Intercultural Studies|
|Keywords:||Literature; Comparative Literature|
|Full text PDF:||http://doras.dcu.ie/20416/|
This thesis addresses the concept of ekphrasis from a new perspective: in the context of digital graphics. The focus of this thesis lies in textual representations of computer-generated immersive and interactive graphical environments, or ‘virtual worlds’. This thesis puts forward an ekphrasis that is spurred by an emotional experience of a visual artwork that has a significant spatial aspect. It is suggested that the viewer/user of such an artwork does not simply gaze from outside, but is incorporated into the digital artwork as an active participant through the immersive and interactive elements. Such a multisensory experience of an artwork has several effects on the dynamic between the viewer/user and the artwork, and, subsequently, also on the process of transmitting that experience to the readers via textual ekphrasis. In its discussion, this thesis focuses on three key texts: William Gibson’s Neuromancer (1984), Neal Stephenson’s Snow Crash (1992) and Charles Stross’s Halting State (2008). Finally, this thesis puts forward a proposal for the operation of 'virtual' ekphrasis through five interrelated principles: metaphor, separation, interface, participation and sharing.