Reading the Readers’ Texts: Fanfiction and Classic Novels

Abstract: The article focuses on the multiple approaches to literary masterpieces in digital culture, especially in the cases when the process and circumstances of their reading provokes writing, giving rise to genre variations of contemporary fanfiction works and the resulting readers’ responses. The Russian novel The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, by now recognized as a classic text of the 20th century, is used as an illustration of these tendencies. The digital environment gives a new life to Bulgakov’s novel, mainly through localization, visualization, and gamification. Online communication stimulates the search for and sharing of cultural information about the text and its author, expands the opportunities for storage and archiving, and connects those who want to base their reading and writing on the classic work.

Keywords: classic novels, digital reading, digital writing, fanfiction, Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita

Reneta Bozhankova, PhD is a Professor at Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski.” She is the author the monographs The Postmodern Russian Text (2001), Horizons of Digital Literature (2013), Digital Humanities and the Study of Literature (2018), and of more than 90 articles on literature and culture in the 20th and 21st centuries. Reneta Bozhankova has participated in national and European educational and research projects, she has specialized in the Oxford Internet Institute, the University of Oxford, UK, the University of Saarland, Germany, and the University of Kansas, USA. Her research focuses on digital literature, cyberculture, e-learning, new methods and interdisciplinary approaches in the Humanities.


Reneta Bozhankova – Reading the Readers’ Texts: Fanfiction and Classic Novels (pdf)

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