Teaching Multimodal Novels
Abstract Since the 1990s there has been a conspicuous tendency in novel writing to integrate a wide range of non-linguistic symbolic forms and other non-fictional and non-novelistic modes into the narrative discourse of the novel. These forms encompass visual images of all sorts, but also reproductions or imitations of non-narrative texts and genres and all kinds of non-verbal forms of symbolization. This essay describes the features of multimodal novelistic narration and demonstrates how the literature classroom can take advantage of these new ways of storytelling in the otherwise traditional genre of the novel. This contribution argues that the multimodal novel represents more recent cultural changes in medial and communicative environments. Thus, it is closer to young peoples’ social and cultural practices and can motivate them to engage in reading novels at early stages of language learning.
1 Multimodality and the Novel