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This is typical of diseases like Alzheimer's disease : the patient gets worse and worse, and there is no hope of returning to normal life. The third major type, the quest narrative , positions the illness experience as an opportunity to transform oneself into a better person through overcoming adversity and re-learning what is most important in life; the physical outcome of the illness is less important than the spiritual and psychological transformation. This is typical of the triumphant view of cancer survivorship in the breast cancer culture. Personality traits, more specifically the Big Five personality traits , appear to be associated with the type of language or patterns of word use found in an individual's self-narrative.

The linguistic correlates of each Big Five trait are as follows:. Human beings often claim to understand events when they manage to formulate a coherent story or narrative explaining how they believe the event was generated. Narratives thus lie at foundations of our cognitive procedures and also provide an explanatory framework for the social sciences, particularly when it is difficult to assemble enough cases to permit statistical analysis.

Narrative is often used in case study research in the social sciences. Here it has been found that the dense, contextual, and interpenetrating nature of social forces uncovered by detailed narratives is often more interesting and useful for both social theory and social policy than other forms of social inquiry. Sociologists Jaber F. Gubrium and James A. Holstein have contributed to the formation of a constructionist approach to narrative in sociology.

From their book The Self We Live By: Narrative Identity in a Postmodern World , to more recent texts such as Analyzing Narrative Reality and Varieties of Narrative Analysis , they have developed an analytic framework for researching stories and storytelling that is centered on the interplay of institutional discourses big stories on the one hand, and everyday accounts little stories on the other. The goal is the sociological understanding of formal and lived texts of experience, featuring the production, practices, and communication of accounts.

In order to avoid "hardened stories," or "narratives that become context-free, portable and ready to be used anywhere and anytime for illustrative purposes" and are being used as conceptual metaphors as defined by linguist George Lakoff , an approach called narrative inquiry was proposed, resting on the epistemological assumption that human beings make sense of random or complex multicausal experience by the imposition of story structures.

It is easier for the human mind to remember and make decisions on the basis of stories with meaning, than to remember strings of data. This is one reason why narratives are so powerful and why many of the classics in the humanities and social sciences are written in the narrative format. But humans read meaning into data and compose stories, even where this is unwarranted. In narrative inquiry, the way to avoid the narrative fallacy is no different from the way to avoid other error in scholarly research, that is, by applying the usual methodical checks for validity and reliability in how data are collected, analyzed, and presented.

In mathematical sociology, the theory of comparative narratives was devised in order to describe and compare the structures expressed as "and" in a directed graph where multiple causal links incident into a node are conjoined of action-driven sequential events. The structure directed graph is generated by letting the nodes stand for the states and the directed edges represent how the states are changed by specified actions. The action skeleton can then be abstracted, comprising a further digraph where the actions are depicted as nodes and edges take the form "action a co-determined in context of other actions action b ".

Narratives can be both abstracted and generalised by imposing an algebra upon their structures and thence defining homomorphism between the algebras.

The insertion of action-driven causal links in a narrative can be achieved using the method of Bayesian narratives. Developed by Peter Abell , the theory of Bayesian Narratives conceives a narrative as a directed graph comprising multiple causal links social interactions of the general form: "action a causes action b in a specified context".

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In the absence of sufficient comparative cases to enable statistical treatment of the causal links, items of evidence in support and against a particular causal link are assembled and used to compute the Bayesian likelihood ratio of the link. Linearity is one of several narrative qualities that can be found in a musical composition. One theory is that of Theodore Adorno, who has suggested that "music recites itself, is its own context, narrates without narrative".

The final word is yet to be said, regarding narratives in music, as there is still much to be determined. Unlike most forms of narratives that are inherently language based whether that be narratives presented in literature or orally , film narratives face additional challenges in creating a cohesive narrative.

Whereas the general assumption in literary theory is that a narrator must be present in order to develop a narrative, as Schmid proposes; [36] the act of an author writing his or her words in text is what communicates to the audience in this case readers the narrative of the text, and the author represents an act of narrative communication between the textual narrator and the narratee.

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This is in line with Fludernik's perspective on what's called cognitive narratology—which states that a literary text has the ability to manifest itself into an imagined, representational illusion that the reader will create for themselves, and can vary greatly from reader to reader. Film narrative does not have the luxury of having a textual narrator that guides its audience towards a formative narrative; nor does it have the ability to allow its audience to visually manifest the contents of its narrative in a unique fashion like literature does.

These cinematic devices, among others, contribute to the unique blend of visual and auditory storytelling that culminates to what Jose Landa refers to as a "visual narrative instance". The nature or existence of a formative narrative in many of the world's myths , folktales , and legends has been a topic of debate for many modern scholars; but the most common consensus among academics is that throughout most cultures, traditional mythologies and folklore tales are constructed and retold with a specific narrative purpose that serves to offer a society an understandable explanation of natural phenomenon—oftentimes absent of a verifiable author.

These explanatory tales manifest themselves in various forms and serve different societal functions, including; life lessons individuals to learn from for example, the Ancient Greek tale of Icarus refusing to listen to his elders and flying too close to the sun , explain forces of nature or other natural phenomenon for example, the flood myth that spans cultures all over the world , [39] and lastly to provide an understanding of our own human nature, as exemplified by the myth of Cupid and Psyche.

Considering how mythologies have historically been transmitted and passed down through oral retellings, there is no qualitative or reliable method to precisely trace exactly where and when a tale originated; and since myths are rooted in a remote past, and are viewed as a factual account of happenings within the culture it originated from, the worldview present in many oral mythologies is from a cosmological perspective—one that is told from a voice that has no physical embodiment, and is passed down and modified from generation to generation.

Myth is often used in an overarching sense to describe a multitude of folklore genres , but there is a significance in distinguishing the various forms of folklore in order to properly determine what narratives constitute as mythological, as esteemed anthropologist Sir James Frazer suggests.

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Frazer contends that there are three primary categories of mythology now more broadly considered categories of folklore : Myths , legends , and folktales, and that by definition, each genre pulls its narrative from a different ontological source, and therefore have different implications within a civilization. Frazer states:. In the absence of a known author or original narrator, myth narratives are oftentimes referred to as prose narratives.

Prose narratives tend to be relatively linear regarding the time period they occur in, and are traditionally marked by its natural flow of speech as opposed to the rhythmic structure found in various forms of literature such as poetry and Haikus. The structure of prose narratives allows it to be easily understood by many—as the narrative generally starts at the beginning of the story, and ends when the protagonist has resolved the conflict.

These kinds of narratives are generally accepted as true within society, and are told from a place of great reverence and sacredness. Myths are believed to occur in a remote past—one that is before the creation or establishment of the civilization they derive from, and are intended to provide an account for things such as our origins, natural phenomenon, as well as our own human nature.


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The three functions were organized by cultural significance—with the first function being the most grand and sacred. The first function being sovereignty —and was divided into two additional categories: magical and juridicial. This is a 'disquieting' aspect, terrifying from certain perspectives. The other aspect is more reassuring, more oriented to the human world. It is the 'juridical' part of the sovereign function. This implies that gods of the first function are responsible for the overall structure and order of the universe, and those gods who possess juridicial sovereignty are more closely connected to the realm of humans and are responsible for the concept of justice and order.

Odin is the author of the cosmos, and possessor of infinite esoteric knowledge—going so far as to sacrifice his eye for the accumulation of more knowledge. While Tyr—seen as the "just god"—is more concerned with upholding justice, as illustrated by the epic myth of Tyr losing his hand in exchange for the monster Fenrir to cease his terrorization of the gods.

What this tells us is that through these myths, concepts of universal wisdom and justice were able to be communicated to the Nordic people in the form of a mythological narrative. These myths functioned to convey the themes of heroism, strength, and bravery and were most often represented in both the human world and the mythological world by valiant warriors.

While the gods of the second function were still revered in society, they did not possess the same infinite knowledge found in the first category. A Norse god that would fall under the second function would be Thor —god of thunder. Thor possessed great strength, and was often first into battle, as ordered by his father Odin. This second function reflects Indo-European cultures' high regard for the warrior class, and explains the belief in an afterlife that rewards a valiant death on the battlefield; for the Norse mythology, this is represented by Valhalla.

These gods often presided over the realms of healing, prosperity, fertility, wealth, luxury, and youth—any kind of function that was easily related to by the common peasant farmer in a society. Just as a farmer would live and sustain themselves off their land, the gods of the third function were responsible for the prosperity of their crops, and were also in charge of other forms of everyday life that would never be observed by the status of kings and warriors, such as mischievousness and promiscuity.

An example found in Norse mythology could be seen through the god Freyr —a god who was closely connected to acts of debauchery and overindulging. A narrative can take on the shape of a story, which gives listeners an entertaining and collaborative avenue for acquiring knowledge. Many cultures use storytelling as a way to record histories, myths, and values. These stories can be seen as living entities of narrative among cultural communities, as they carry the shared experience and history of the culture within them. Stories are often used within indigenous cultures in order to share knowledge to the younger generation.

This promotes holistic thinking among native children, which works towards merging an individual and world identity. Such an identity upholds native epistemology and gives children a sense of belonging as their cultural identity develops through the sharing and passing on of stories. For example, a number of indigenous stories are used to illustrate a value or lesson. In the Western Apache tribe, stories can be used to warn of the misfortune that befalls people when they do not follow acceptable behavior. One story speaks to the offense of a mother's meddling in her married son's life.

In the story, the Western Apache tribe is under attack from a neighboring tribe, the Pimas. The Apache mother hears a scream. Thinking it is her son's wife screaming, she tries to intervene by yelling at him. This alerts the Pima tribe to her location, and she is promptly killed due to intervening in her son's life. Indigenous American cultures use storytelling to teach children the values and lessons of life.

Although storytelling provides entertainment, its primary purpose is to educate. American Indian elders also state that storytelling invites the listeners, especially children, to draw their own conclusions and perspectives while self-reflecting upon their lives. American Indian community members emphasize to children that the method of obtaining knowledge can be found in stories passed down through each generation. Moreover, community members also let the children interpret and build a different perspective of each story.

In historiography , according to Lawrence Stone , narrative has traditionally been the main rhetorical device used by historians. In , at a time when the new Social History was demanding a social-science model of analysis, Stone detected a move back toward the narrative. Stone defined narrative as organized chronologically; focused on a single coherent story; descriptive rather than analytical; concerned with people not abstract circumstances; and dealing with the particular and specific rather than the collective and statistical.

He reported that, "More and more of the ' new historians ' are now trying to discover what was going on inside people's heads in the past, and what it was like to live in the past, questions which inevitably lead back to the use of narrative. Some philosophers identify narratives with a type of explanation. Mark Bevir argues, for example, that narratives explain actions by appealing to the beliefs and desires of actors and by locating webs of beliefs in the context of historical traditions.

Narrative is an alternative form of explanation to that associated with natural science. Historians committed to a social science approach, however, have criticized the narrowness of narrative and its preference for anecdote over analysis, and clever examples rather than statistical regularities. Storytelling rights may be broadly defined as the ethics of sharing narratives including—but not limited to—firsthand, secondhand and imagined stories. Storytelling rights also implicates questions of consent, empathy , and accurate representation.

While storytelling—and retelling—can function as a powerful tool for agency and advocacy , it can also lead to misunderstanding and exploitation. Storytelling rights is notably important in the genre of personal experience narrative. Academic disciplines such as performance , folklore , literature , anthropology , Cultural Studies and other social sciences may involve the study of storytelling rights, often hinging on ethics.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Account that presents connected events. For other uses of "story", see Story disambiguation. Main article: Multiperspectivity. See also: Narrative therapy and Narrative psychology. Rao Archaeological Survey of India. Brill, An Encyclopaedia of Indian Archaeology: Subjects. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Literature.

Introduction and general overview. Narrative psychology: Internet and resource guide. Le Moyne College. Retrieved September 28, The Self and Memory. Can Fam Physician. Hyden, L. Health, Illness and Culture: Broken Narratives. New York: Routledge. Sulik Personality and language use in self-narratives.

Journal of Research in Personality, 43, Narrative inquiry: Research tool and medium for professional development. European Journal of Teacher Education, 23 1 , 49— Berlin: De Gruyter. New Literary History. The Oxford Companion to World Mythology. Reference Reviews. Symbolism and imagery in the story of Cupid and Psyche in Apuleius' Metamorphosis.

Folklore: Electronic Journal of Folklore. August The Loeb Classical Library. Two vols. Small 8vo. Putnam's Sons, The Classical Review. By Janet Ruth Bacon. London: Methuen, The Journal of Hellenic Studies. The Journal of American Folklore. The Journal of Religion. Journal of Transcultural Nursing, To judge by the gathering of essay-reviews in this issue of American Book Review , current cognitive fictions would seem closer to Kafka than to mainstream narratives, more a matter of suggestions and hints beyond consciousness than a construction of stories we tell ourselves about ourselves - "all false," as Thomas Pynchon says in Gravity's Rainbow Those novelists who picked up early on research in neuroscience, notably Joseph McElroy, Don DeLillo, and Lynne Tillman, model "the layered brain" not with conventional stories and plots but in "a quiet art of suggestive juxtaposition," as Stephen Burn writes in his contribution to this issue.

Authors of electronic literature, working in environments that, like the brain, are also layered and multi-mediated, are likely to eschew conventional, linear plot lines for hypertextual, hypermediated narratives in which language is a minority element, a niche within the overall mental and medial ecology.

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Why, then, is a preference for conventional narrative still so prevalent among scientists and philosophers of mind? Just as popular fictions hold on to narrative models which are, in essence, derivations of nineteenth-century realism, so too do the majority of cognitive scientists - those, at least, with a general readership - hold on to popular claims about narrativity that the philosopher Gaylen Strawson has identified and critiqued in his provocative article "Against Narrativity":.

I argue against two popular claims. The first is a descriptive, empirical thesis about the nature of ordinary human experience: "each of us constructs and lives a 'narrative' We try to make all of our material cohere into a single good story. And that story is our autobiography. The chief fictional character The second is a normative, ethical claim: we ought to live our lives narratively, or as a story; a "basic condition of making sense of ourselves is that we grasp our lives in a narrative" and have an understanding of our lives "as an unfolding story" Charles Taylor.

A person "creates his identity [only] by forming an autobiographical narrative - a story of his life," and must be in possession of a full and "explicit narrative [of his life] to develop fully as a person" Marya Schechtman. Strawson I think rightly points out that valuing narrative is a choice, and experiencing oneself and one's life as a narrative is by no means self-evident or universal.

In any case, conventional, character-based storytelling cannot be said to receive much support from science: we can believe but not prove by experiment that the gathering together of experience in narrative is somehow natural, and we can think that conceiving our lives as a narrative is a good thing. But there isn't much either in cognitive science or the long history of fiction to support this.

The first volume of Steven Moore's at once magisterial and vernacular work The Novel: An Alternative History is remarkable not only for its range - from the earliest Egyptian novel prototypes circa BCE to the year - but for its presentation of a variety of dogmatic, epistolary, episodic, and other forms which have little to do with selves, Bildung , or narrativity. Not if by narrative we mean a story with characters and events connected in an account that is bounded by clear beginnings, complicating middles, and resolutions at the end. Looking beyond Moore's publication to modern times and to works that Moore no doubt will cover in succeeding volumes , one can find numerous examples of non-narrative fictions unconcerned with character development or plot resolution, notably Robert Musil's The Man Without Qualities , the procedural and computational narratives of Italo Calvino, Harry Mathews, and the Oulipo group, Lynne Tillman's American Genius , and David Markson's late work from Reader's Block to The Last Novel While these works are surely a minor strain in terms of the number of readers they attract, they nonetheless are the strain that most clearly anticipates hypertextual and multi-mediated literature in new media - suggesting that the long narrative of the rise of the realist novel is itself no longer the most obvious way of grouping fictions together even as we move out of the age of print.

Scientists, when considering cognition and consciousness, tend to bracket questions of meaning and agency while investigating their material supports. This practice, rooted in the early twentieth-century philosophy of Willard Sellars and W. Quine and currently associated with the "neurophilosophy" of Paul and Patricia Churchland, has been characterized as "eliminative materialism, the belief that the powers traditionally associated with mindedness can be explained and eventually discarded in the course of scientific inquiry," according to Robert Chodat in Worldly Acts and Sentient Things: The Persistence of Agency from Stein to DeLillo As Turner's remark about the "discovery of the mind" indicates, cognitive science concerns itself not with reflective attitudes in individuals or cultural constructions of consciousness, but rather with determining what the brain is.

This return to ontology in cognitive studies, concerning what we know not how knowledge is constructed or narrated, has found a popular audience that eludes contemporary literary and cultural studies. A recent school in the field of New Media, known as "Object-Oriented Ontology," similarly reflects this turn away from introspection, meaning, and agency, while bidding fair to activate a new popular audience through the sustained use of blogs, networks, and a whole range of media affordances that become, themselves, objects of knowledge.

It's that last characteristic, the creation and activation of new audiences, that should interest literary scholars regardless of what we think about the cognitive project. In essence, the cognitive critics and new media activists have come up with their own way of insisting on "what's really there" Kafka , and it is understandable that many among the Object Oriented, cognitivist generation share Kafka's impatience with "explanations" - with literary theory, unfalsifiable claims, abstractions mistaken for concrete particulars.

At times, one senses in the current generation an impatience even with thought , a technophilia and assumption that only what's "new" is worthy of attention.

The materialist reduction is probably too strong for literature, with its concern for subjectivity and intentional states that cannot, and should not, be discarded or explained away. At the same time, literary scholars should not neglect the underlying media that support our own practice and the practice of writing through the ages - especially not now, when the media of literary inscription and circulation are themselves being transformed irreversibly. Whether we are regarding the print medium itself not exclusively textual or other media, the weight of the technical device on our thoughts has to be taken into account no less than traditional questions of meaning, narration, authorial intention, and readerly interpretation.

The tiered systems of observation that Burn describes in DeLillo, the co-existence of sensory perception and "phantasmic" imagination in print and electronic literature D.