see also Extratextuals

from source[1] - "In the second part of the interview, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor Jonathan Gray talks about his new book, Show Sold Separately: Promos, Spoilers, and Other Media Paratexts. Don't know what a Paratext is -- you will soon, as Gray explains how everything from "Oscar Buzz" to action figures help to shape the meanings and emotional experiences we have in relation to the films and television shows we watch. ..... .....

(response by Jonathan Gray) I draw the word from a book of that title by Gerard Genette, a French literary theorist. He was interested in all those things that surround a book that aren't quite the "thing" (or "the text") itself. Things like the cover, prefaces, typeface, and afterwords, but also reviews. His subtitle to that book - "Thresholds of Interpretation" - is the intriguing part, since it suggests that meaning might be constructed and might begin at these textual outposts, not just at the site of "the thing itself..... ..... Your readers may be more familiar with "hype," "synergy," "promos," "peripherals," "extratextuals," and so forth. But hype and synergy frame paratexts too definitively as wholly industrial entities. Certainly, paratexts are absolutely integral in terms of marketing, and in terms of grabbing an audience to watch the thing in the first place. But we've often stalled in our discussion of them by not moving beyond the banal observation that hype creates profits. What I wanted to look at is how they create meaning, how our idea of what a television show "is" and how we relate to it is often prefigured by its opening credit sequence, its posters, its ads, reviews, etc. .... .... And though I like "extratextuals" (the title of my blog![2]), "extra" means "outside of," whereas "para" suggests a more complicated relationship to the film or show, outside of, alongside, and intrinsically part of all at the same time. "


  1. "On Anti-Fans and Paratexts: An Interview with Jonathan Gray (Part Two)" by Henry Jenkins March 8, 2010

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