I was reflecting on the meaning of the word ‘text’ when I came upon this interview with audio book narrator (and actor) Bronson Pinchot. What struck me most when I was researching the word ‘text’, was how it has evolved beyond just written passages to mean something far more all-encompassing and vague, along the lines of the phrase ‘body of work’. With this in mind, I found Bronson Pinchot’s commentary on the layers of literature particularly interesting. The gist of his argument is that the author of the book he narrated, What It Is Like to Go to War by Karl Marlantes, is a synthesis of the author’s youthful experiences of war as well as the author’s mature reflections on the meaning of that period in his life. This reminded me very much of the posts I had recently read about text’s relationship with texture, and how certain types of text (written, audio or audiovisual) can add a certain flavour or texture to our understanding of the narratives therein.
Last winter I did a research project on teaching through audiovisual mediums such as television, and one of the primary arguments I found with regards to film and TV was that these are texts which we read or process differently from written media, on a more immediate and visceral, rather than cerebral level. It is intriguing that as technology expands, we may find ourselves differently impacted by information by the nature of its form (which echoes McLuhan’s idea that “the medium is the message”).
Igartua, J.-J. (2010). Identification with characters and narrative persuasion through fictional feature films.Communications, 35(4), 347-373. doi: 10.1515/COMM.2010.019
Pasquier, D. (1996). Teen series reception: Television, adolescence and culture of feelings. Childhood, 3(3), 351-373. doi: 10.1177/0907568296003003004