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Narrative Causalities

Narrative Causalities COMPARATIVE LITERATURE /350 Leftmost functions are mandatory, while indented functions are optional. The mandatory functions outline a version of a basic narrative script that has been variously described as conflict-resolution, lack-lack liquidated, loss and restoration of equilibrium, and problem-solution. To this basic script, Kafalenos adds an optional sequence borrowed from Propp’s model and typical of fairy tales: the testing of the hero and acquisition, upon success, of a means of empowerment. The presence or absence of the optional functions creates structural variety among fully realized stories. Another factor of variety is the possibility of combining several occurrences of the basic pattern through concatenation, embedding, and parallelism. Nobody has ever designed a model that describes, on a satisfactory level of abstraction, both the minimal conditions of narrativity and all the possible forms that narrative can take —one that permits meaningful comparisons without falling into excessive generalizations. Like all of its predecessors, Kafalenos’s proposal leaves some bases uncovered. Explicit representations of causal links between events are strangely absent from a model that purports to explain “narrative causalities.” I also do not see how the model could show the relation between the actions of the protagonist and those of the antagonist http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Comparative Literature Duke University Press

Narrative Causalities

Comparative Literature , Volume 59 (4) – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2007 by University of Oregon
ISSN
0010-4124
eISSN
1945-8517
DOI
10.1215/-59-4-349
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

COMPARATIVE LITERATURE /350 Leftmost functions are mandatory, while indented functions are optional. The mandatory functions outline a version of a basic narrative script that has been variously described as conflict-resolution, lack-lack liquidated, loss and restoration of equilibrium, and problem-solution. To this basic script, Kafalenos adds an optional sequence borrowed from Propp’s model and typical of fairy tales: the testing of the hero and acquisition, upon success, of a means of empowerment. The presence or absence of the optional functions creates structural variety among fully realized stories. Another factor of variety is the possibility of combining several occurrences of the basic pattern through concatenation, embedding, and parallelism. Nobody has ever designed a model that describes, on a satisfactory level of abstraction, both the minimal conditions of narrativity and all the possible forms that narrative can take —one that permits meaningful comparisons without falling into excessive generalizations. Like all of its predecessors, Kafalenos’s proposal leaves some bases uncovered. Explicit representations of causal links between events are strangely absent from a model that purports to explain “narrative causalities.” I also do not see how the model could show the relation between the actions of the protagonist and those of the antagonist

Journal

Comparative LiteratureDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2007

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