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Gossip Between Social Media and Fiction

Representations of gossip thrive in contemporary American literature and TV series, and they are often tied to the impact the Internet and social media have had on the way we communicate. Far from being a new phenomenon, fictional depictions of gossip are found in the very first forms of literature.... Full description

Main Author: Tommasi, Giorgia
Contained in: Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie Occidentale (01.09.2015)
Journal Title: Annali di Ca’ Foscari. Serie Occidentale
Fulltext access: Fulltext access (direct link - free access) 10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-49-15-14
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Links: Additional Link (dx.doi.org)
Additional Link (doaj.org)
Additional Link (edizionicafoscari.unive.it)
Fulltext access (doaj.org)
ISSN: 2499-2232
DOI: 10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-49-15-14
Language: German
English
Spanish
French
Italian
Dutch
Portuguese
Russian
Physical Description: Online-Ressource
ID (e.g. DOI, URN): 10.14277/2499-1562/AnnOc-49-15-14
PPN (Catalogue-ID): DOAJ032653182
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520 |a Representations of gossip thrive in contemporary American literature and TV series, and they are often tied to the impact the Internet and social media have had on the way we communicate. Far from being a new phenomenon, fictional depictions of gossip are found in the very first forms of literature. In general however, literary narratives have assumed a highbrow attitude toward gossip, linking it to minor, morally flawed characters. Also, being portrayed as idle talk, gossip has often been used in opposition to more refined forms of speech. Yet, gossip is a form of narration that responds to the basic need of all fictions, that is, to tell stories about other people. In the era of social media, gossip has acquired prominence in shaping communication, and one can notice a form of exchange between social media gossiping and fictional representation: while on the net gossip shows literary aspirations, in fictions such as Jonathan Franzen’s ​Freedom​ gossip stands out as a structural device capable to serve both plot formation and character construction. The analysis of the first chapter of ​Freedom​ shows the workings of gossip with the result of destabilizing the one-­dimensionality of the protagonists, giving voice to multiple perspectives on the real and setting up questions that the plot is supposed to solve. 
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