From Paratext to Polyprocess : The “Quirky” Mashup Novel

Applying broad notions of adaptation, this chapter seeks to bring “recombinant adaptation” – mashups and remixes on digital platforms – in dialogue with Gérard Genette’s idea of the paratext as a text’s “relations with the public.” It takes four steps towards investigating how literary publishing houses such as Quirk Books respond to recombinant adaptation. Firstly, it delineates the paratexts of mashup novels as performative zones of transaction. Secondly, it examines the question of how paratexts regulate the quasi-religious textuality of fandom participation. Thirdly, it looks at the role of paratextual canonization within this textuality. And finally, it argues that printed products within the field attempt to perform a nostalgic authorization and re-materialization of literature, highlighting the haptic and material qualities of the book. Adapting the term “polytext,” the chapter calls these multifarious paratextual transactions the “polyprocess.”


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