This article explores the applicability of a multimodal framework to the analysis of literature. The framework adopted is that proposed by Kress and Van Leeuwen (2001) and Van Leeuwen (2005). In seeking to develop a detailed and consistent methodology that will allow us to deal with multimodal texts in an informed manner, Kress and Van Leeuwen's approach extends the basic ideas of Halliday's Systemic Functional Linguistics and his view of language as a social semiotics to encompass the analysis of texts which are more than purely verbal. The article focuses in particular on concepts such as modality, cohesion, information value and information linking as well as on the impact of production and distribution as meaning-making factors in literary texts. The text selected for analysis is Jonathan Safran Foer's novel Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005), which - with its use of different typographies, graphics, colour, layout, photographic images etc. - emphatically invites an analytical approach designed to understand meaning-making as an interplay of different semiotic modes.
New Perspectives on Narrative and Multimodality, 2010, p. 115-126
multimodal stylistics, Jonathan Safran Foer, modality, cohesion, information value, information linking