Narratology enters the blogosphere

I would like to change gears a little bit here and delve into a conversation on Narratology, a relative new field dealing with narrative and its transmedial aspects. A leading author on the topic, Marie-Laure Ryan, defines a new definition of narratology for the contemporary transmedial world of today in her book Avatars of Story. I would like to start by quoting her definition of story and narrative:

 

“Story, like narrative discourse, is a representation, but unlike discourse it is not a representation encoded in material signs. Story is a mental image, a cognitive construct that concerns certain types of entities and relations between these entities. Narrative may be a combination of story and discourse, but it is its ability to evoke stories to the mind that distinguishes narrative discourse from other text types.” (p5, Avatars of Story)

 

Using this definition we can expand the concept of narrative to include more abstract media such as music, where the story is not specifically established but rather our absorption of the melodies are interpreted through narrative means. Ryan acknowledges this through identifying the terms we use to describe musical narrative such as exposition, complication, and resolution. What I find extremely intriguing about her approach to narrative is that she sees it more as a scalar rather than a binary feature. Basically she is of the mind that rather than being or not being a narrative, something (that being a musical score to a novel to a film) falls under a level of narrativity, basically it has a level of storiness that makes it more or less a narrative. What is useful about this definition, and this relates to a recent comment made on my Art or art post by Kaz, is that it removes the debate on whether something is or isn’t a narrative and places the emphasis on how different narratives relate.

            This will become extremely important when we start to look at how the internet functions as a medium of artistic expression. The internet will allow for the audience to become participants in a much more constructive and collaborative way. I bring this up because I think that the exploration of narratology, the storiness of a work of are despite the medium, will have a big impact in looking at how blogs will function as their own style of literature. It is the thesis of my thesis that blogs should be treated as a new genre of writing, something to be compared with poetry or pros. I believe that the largest element that differs the blog from other forms of literature is the blog’s ability to allow for collaborative creation. Unfortunately one only speaks in potentials at this stage and my research has yet to show me established artistic blogs, comparable to say the New York Times Best Seller List, but I doubt that that is entirely true so I ask my readership for help at this point. Show me the hidden treasures of the blogosphere.

 

Huysmans

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2 Responses to Narratology enters the blogosphere

  1. JoseAngel says:

    It seems we’ve been thinking about similar topics lately:
    http://garciala.blogia.com/2007/112602-narratology-blog-s-.php
    (I don’t know whether you read Spanish, but this was supposed to be the beginning of a list of blogs about narratology. Perhaps I should include yours? Not that there’s any purely narratological blog around that I’ve seen yet.
    Are you actually writing a thesis on blogs as creative writing? That sounds interesting. I’m trying to write a piece on blogs as narrative. Distinctive narrative, not necessarily great or artistic. Anyway, a good narrative needn’t be a good piece of fiction, at least not on the face of it. That is, to my mind the art of a great blog will not look in the least like the artistry of a printed best seller.

  2. huysmans says:

    I am and i don’t read Spanish but I would love to see your results when you finish with your search, perhaps you could create an English version for those of us who only know English and French. But I do greatly appreciate the support and comments. Keep them coming.

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