Ljudet som pusselbit: Multimodal auralitet i Martin Widmarks och Helena Willis Schlagersabotören (2012)
Title: The Sound as a Clue. Multimodal Aurality in Martin Widmark’s and Helena Willis’ Schlagersabotören
Abstract: Research on multimodal narration in illustrated children´s books and picturebooks have mainly focused on the relations between the text, the illustrations and the book itself as a medium. Relatively few studies discuss the importance of sound in this context. In this article, however, I examine what Irina Rajewsky refers to as a medial configuration presented by an illustrated book for children and an accompanying CD including the narrator’s voice, songs and music. Drawing on the concept of aurality and Lars Elleström’s model for intermedial analysis, I analyze how text, illustration, and sound mediate a detective story for children: Martin Widmark’s and Helena Willis’ Schlagersabotören (2012). The concluding discussion combines perspectives from both genre theory and intermediality studies: In which way can auditory text and non-verbal sound present the young reader with some of the clues needed in a detective story? Two major functions of sound as a medium can be identified. Firstly, non-verbal sound helps the reader distinguish between the different diegetic levels in the story, thereby focusing the locked room so typical of the detective story. Secondly, auditory text and vocal pitch help the reader perceive some of the anger and frustration among the suspects in that room. Sound, together with text and illustration, presents the reader with a mystery, but also with the cognitive tools to solve it.
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