- WYNLv 51 十年前最愛解答
A narrative is a semiotic representation of a series of events connected in a temporal and causal way. Films, plays, comic strips, novels, newsreels, chronicles and treatises of geological history are all narratives in this widest sense. Narratives can therefore be constructed using a wide variety of semiotic media: written or spoken language, images, gestures and acting.
Since here we shall concentrate on the literary genres of the novel and the short story, we will use the word in a more restricted sense, meaning a linguistic narrative text, or the representation of a series of events by means of language. The fact that in literature the events are mostly fictional has only indirect consequences at the level of analysis we shall undertake here, and in studying the structure of a narrative text we can disregard the difference between fiction and nonfiction for the moment. We should remember, moreover, that this difference is not an absolute one. Fictional and nonfictional narrative situations can be clearly defined and distinguished in theory and for most practical purposes as different discourse activities taking place in well-defined contexts (e. g. we expect a novel to be fictional, but a news programme is supposed to give us actual facts). But in specific cases the borderline between one situation and another may be blurred, and several sets of conventions may be at work at once (e. g. in a literary biography). And beyond this communicative level in which a "fictional pact" (or other types of illocutionary pact) are established between the participants, there remains the problems of representation. On one hand, fiction is not entirely fictional in the sense that its materials are taken from reality. On the other, reality is not all that solid, since any representation involves a measure of fictinalisation. Any representation involves a point of view, a selection, a perspective on the represented object, criteria of relevance, an implicit theory of reality. Narrative structures may be at their most elaborate in artistic texts, but narrativization is one of the commonest ways of imposing an order and a perspective on experience. Even those historians or journalists which try to represent the bare facts must do so using narrative patterns. Together with other linguistic resources such as tropology, narrative acts a shuttle between formal, ideal perception and representation, and the concreteness of experience which must be given a shape. It always involves in some measure the intrusion of poetry and rhetoric upon any naive notion of purely transparent, immediate representation. In literature and other narrative arts we can study the fantasies of representation engaging the real in different ways. After a close study of narrative, we will no longer be able to speak of the real without taking into consideration at the same time the way it is narrated to us, the way we narrate it.