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Multimedia book apps in a contemporary culture: commerce and innovation, continuity and rupture

Celia Turrión arbeider som doktorgradsstipendiat ved Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona. Artikkelen i Barnelitterært Forskningstidsskrift bygger på doktorgradsprosjektet Digital children’s literature: production, uses, readers, reception and teaching practices.


Book apps are positioned halfway between the children’s literature sector, in which producers look for works to adapt, and new formats belonging to the electronic medium. This unstable location calls for an interdisciplinary approach in order to analyse different aspects of these products. The effectiveness of literary theories, particularly poststructuralist perspectives, for studying digital literature has been highly questioned over the past decades by Games Studies scholars such as Aarseth.

However, the special nature of book apps, which is different from any other kind of electronic literature, requires a reassessment of these ideas. This article explores postmodernist tracks into three book apps, two of them adapted from two postmodern picturebooks, and the other published both as an app and a printed book at the same time. Possible changes of the metafictional variations due to the medium shift are studied, as well as the role of interactivity in the fictional design of the apps. Results show that both literary theories and media-related theories are necessary for a complete analysis of book apps.

About Celia Turron

After gaining a BA in English Philology from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid, she specialized in publishing. She studied for a master’s degree in Children’s Literature and for the Teaching and Learning Language and Literature Research Master, both from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, where she wrote her master’s thesis on contemporary picture books.

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