A transmedia design approach to literary cartography: The case of O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionpeer-review

47 Downloads (Pure)


The field of literary cartography already established the pertinence of experiencing real plac-es integrating a narrative to fully understand the spatial references an author uses to struc-ture a text. At the same time, we need to consider that in the spatial atmosphere of a dra-matic scene, any scene referencing physical elements of a real space builds also an emotional narrative fabric that deeply connects that space and the action in the text. The spatial identi-ty of a place then shapes the narrative structure not as background scenario but as an active element in the action. An effort to map those spaces, and the literary experience they convey in the text, involves necessarily the use of a multidisciplinary approach. Therefore, one needs to understand a map as part of the narrative and not as a mere illustration of the setting where the action occurs. The use of critical cartography notions is paramount to understand, and be able to design the complex relations between map and text, and how the act of mapping can better explore the geographic, spatial structure of a story. On the other hand, the complexity of narrative spatio-temporal dimensions, framed by the author’s vision and intention, needs to be preserved while augmented. This can become a fluid and difficult task when using different kinds of media to produce a map, namely digital and physical, for each one has its specific interaction rules and user experience appropriation. Grounding our exploration on the work of Robert T. Tally, Sally Bushell, Barbara Piatti et al., and Patrick Colm Holm, the intention of this research is to understand how a transmedia experience designed to work both physically and digitally can augment the reader’s experi-ence and comprehension of a specific literary work, using the cartographic space that is al-ready described in the action of the text. For the purpose of this experiment the novel O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis, by José Saramago, will be used to design the narrative of a cartographic literary experience in a transmedia format.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDESIGNA 2018 — Internacional Conference on Design Research
Subtitle of host publicationTerritório/Territory
EditorsFrancisco Paiva, Catarina Moura
Place of PublicationCovilhã
Number of pages10
ISBN (Electronic)978-989-654-495-9
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Publication series

NameCollection: Ars


  • Literary Cartography
  • Narrative Design
  • Dramatic Space
  • José Saramago


Dive into the research topics of 'A transmedia design approach to literary cartography: The case of O Ano da Morte de Ricardo Reis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this