Rethinking Narrativity A Return to Aristotle and Some Consequences Nick Davis When does a flow of information become a narrative? Intuitively, the answer is obvious, albeit circular: it becomes a narrative when it tells a story, and we know a story when we meet one, a satisfactory story being-- let us say--a presentation of some more-or-less connected or connectable sequence of events, involving human or human-like agents, that occur in the story's own posited world, usually but not always different from the one in which communication of the story happens. A flow of information that satisfies all or most of such "story" criteria may be considered to pass a tipping point beyond which we classify it as narrative. This answer and others developed along similar lines are assuredly not foolish, for the simple reason that we do indeed know how to produce and receive stories; hence the appeal to folk knowledge concerning "story" produces solid reassurance. Intuitive security about the nature of "story" yields in turn one of modern narratology's familiar implements, the story-discourse distinction, often critiqued but still widely deployed in varying degrees of refinement1: if "story" is some presentation of connected or connectable events, then "discourse"
StoryWorlds: A Journal of Narrative Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 16, 2012