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Proto-Transmedial Narrative Structures: Lewis Carroll’s A Tangled Tale

Asunción López-Varela Azcárate


This paper explores A Tangled Tale, a collection of mathematical puzzles that Charles Ludwick Dodgson serialized in The Monthly Packet between 1880 and 1885. The hybrid narrative patterns that present mathematical questions by means of fictional storytelling are a unique form of scientific knowledge dissemination that anticipates the breakdown of narrative linearity and the emergence of multiform formats present in transmedia. An inquiry into the Rule of Three and infinite regress tie the knots of a tale that highlights crucial insights on the algorithmic foregrounding of the strategies of transmedia design. Such strategies can be seen as the intersection of narrative as well as mathematical expertise that turn the media galaxy into a cosmic affair.


complexity paradigms, hybrid narratology, Lewis Carroll, natural and artificial languages, semiotics, Tangled Tale, transmedia

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7358/ijtl-2019-002-lope

International Journal of Transmedia Literacy (IJTL)
Registered by Tribunale di Milano (22/10/2014 n. 328)
Online ISSN 2465-2261 - Print ISSN 2465-227X

Editor in Chief: Matteo Ciastellardi
Managing Editor: Giovanna Di Rosario
Managing Committee: Matteo Andreozzi, Stefano Calzati, Ugo Eccli, Cristina Miranda de Almeida.

Board Committee: Alan Albarran (University of North Texas, United States), Rogério Barbosa Da Silva (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Brazil), Giovanni Baule (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Laura Borràs Castanyer (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain), Derrick de Kerckhove (Politecnico di Milano, Italy), Henry Jenkins (University of Southern California, United States), Marsha Kinder (University of Southern California, United States), Raine Koskimaa (University of Jyväskylä, Finland), George Landow (Brown University, United States), Paul Levinson (Fordham University, United States), Asún López-Varela (Universidad Complutense, Spain), Lev Manovich (City University of New York, United States), Nick Montfort (Massachusetts Institute of Technology, United States), Marcos Novak (UCLA - University of California, Los Angeles, United States), Massimo Parodi (Università degli Studi di Milano, Italy), Bruce W. Powe (York University, Canada), Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University, United Kingdom), Marie-Laure Ryan (Indipendent Scholar), Alexandra Saemmer (Université Paris 8, France), Carlos Scolari (Universitat Pompeu Fabra, Spain), Susana Tosca (IT University of Copenhagen, Denmark), Alessandro Zinna (Université Toulouse II, France)

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