To study narrative is to study everything. That may seem like a bold statement (and this book is full of them), but narrative is a huge subject. It lies at the core of (almost?) all literary texts, be they fiction or poetry. It surrounds us in our daily lives, and is not just confined to literature. Narratives lie right at the heart of media discourse, for example, and so shape the way that we understand the world beyond our immediate experience. Media texts present versions of the world through the ‘packaging’ of events and characters into stories. These narratives may then be extended and developed, as in film dramas or documentary programmes which often purport to tell if not the whole ‘story’ then at least its most interesting or scandalous aspects. Narratives can also be continuous or serial, and, indeed, very long and complex indeed, such as the best TV dramas (think of the great HBO TV series such as The Sopranos, TheWire or A Game of Thrones) or even soap operas. They may also be mininarratives, or narrative ‘snapshots’, limited or single-narrative events which leave the viewer to complete the narrative, a technique which is used in many magazine or television advertisements. News stories in particular are shaped and mediated by the wider ‘meta-narratives’ into which they are situated (think ‘national decline’, ‘economic catastrophe’, ‘social breakdown’, ‘environmental collapse’); thus it is, in many ways, the medium which shapes the message.
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Building Blocks II: Narrative and Structure (Story Narratology)
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number