‘Lizzie’s story felt like home’: Narrative intimacy in The Lizzie Bennet Diaries fandom | Intellect Skip to content
1981
Volume 9, Issue 3
  • ISSN: 2046-6692
  • E-ISSN: 2046-6706

Abstract

In 2012, () began to reimagine Austen’s beloved novel, , for the twenty-first century by conveying the narrative through multiple digital media platforms. centred on a series of YouTube video diaries ostensibly uploaded by Lizzie Bennet, a 20-something graduate student. The narrative eventually expanded to include four complementary YouTube channels, thirteen interconnected Twitter feeds, Tumblr posts, Facebook profiles and numerous social media interactions and ‘conversations’ between the narrative’s characters and its fans. One of the key features of was how the narrative actively invited fans and readers to participate and interact with the characters through its multiple media platforms, providing fans with the sense that their contributions to the narrative mattered and creating what Sarah K. Day has termed ‘narrative intimacy’. According to Day, texts with narrative intimacy ‘reflect, model, and reimagine intimate interpersonal relationships through the disclosure of information and the experience of the story as a space that the narrator invites the reader to share’. This article explores how used the interactive and participatory functions of YouTube, Twitter and Tumblr to create a deeply immersive narrative experience for fans and how that immersion helped contribute to the development of ’s narrative intimacy through the use of Lizzie and Lydia as vulnerable narrators. Drawing on results from the author’s mixed-methods survey of fans, this article highlights the lasting affective attachment fans have to the narrative and how their experience reinforced their connection to Austen’s original novel.

Funding
This study was supported by the:
  • Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship from the Irish Research Council (Award GOIPG/2016/148)
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2021-09-01
2024-04-14
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  • Article Type: Article
Keyword(s): fan studies; fandoms; immersion; Jane Austen; narrative; social media
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