Authored by: Jessica Aldred

The Routledge Companion to Imaginary Worlds

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  September  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138638914
eBook ISBN: 9781315637525
Adobe ISBN:


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The concept of the author figure seems to provide a kind of organizing principle to the study of imaginary worlds. However, in recent years in particular the question of authorship—and whose voice or voices are privileged in the construction of increasingly dispersed, transmedial imaginary worlds—has become ever more contested. As Mark J.P. Wolf points out:

Despite attacks on them and proclamations of their death, the notions of authorship and the author have endured and show no signs of falling out of use. What has changed, however, is the idea of the author as a lone figure producing a work in isolation, for whom influences and potential consequences play no role in the shaping of a work. The notion of authorship has expanded out to include a variety of roles and acknowledged contributions that make a work what it is, while still maintaining the need for attribution … Imaginary worlds are not only transmedial and transnarrative, but transauthorial as well.

(Wolf, 2012: 268–269, emphasis mine)

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