Stories do not actually exist in the (fictional or factual) world but are constituted, structured and endowed with meaning through the process of mediation, i.e. they are represented and transmitted through systems of verbal, visual or audio-visual signs. The terms usually proposed to describe aspects of mediation, especially perspective, point of view, and focalization, have yet to bring clarity to this field, which is of central importance, not only for narratology but also for literary and media studies. One crucial problem about mediation concerns the dimensions of its modeling effect, particularly the precise status and constellation of the mediating agents, i.e. author, narrator or presenter and characters. The question is how are the structure and the meaning of the story conditioned by these different positions in relation to the mediated happenings perceived from outside and/or inside the storyworld? In this volume, fourteen articles by international scholars from seven different countries address these problems anew from various angles, reviewing the sub-categorization of mediation and re-specifying its dimensions both in literary texts and other media such as drama and theater, film, and computer games.
Peter Hühn, Wolf Schmid and Jörg Schönert, University ofHamburg, Germany.