(Re-)Creating Order Narrativity and Implied World Views in Pictures Michael Ranta Despite some recent interest in questions of pictorial narrativity (Kafalenos 1996; Ranta 2011; Steiner 2004; Wolf 2005), scholars of story need to do more to highlight the relevance of pictorial narratives for debates about the nature of narrative. Conversely, within traditional art history the narrative potential of the visual arts has sometimes been taken for granted, without any attempt to elucidate the deeper cognitive, semiotic, and philosophical issues involved. In this article I seek to bridge work in narratology and the theory of art in order to open new avenues for investigating the storytelling potential of pictures. Like other kinds of stories, pictorial narratives fulfill one of narrative's key functions, namely, contributing to the human endeavor to reduce the unpredictability of change--change within the sphere of human existence in particular. In this sense, pictorial narratives help people order their experiences, thereby mitigating the transitoriness and existential vulnerability associated with being-in-the-world. Yet as theorists such as Jerome Bruner (1991) have emphasized, narratives' "tellability," their noteworthiness as stories, entails deviations from what recipients take to be a canonical order of events. In this article I review possible criteria for
StoryWorlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: May 19, 2013
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