A major trend in contemporary narrative production is the rejection of an aesthetics that proclaims the inseparability of text, world and narrative. The traditional formula “one text, one world, one story” is challenged on one side by the phenomenon of transmedia storytelling, and on the other by texts that that contain many worlds and/or many stories. But the concept of world and its correlate of storyworld, which have received great prominence thanks to digital media, remain ill-defined. In this presentation I will examine the various possible relations between text, world and story. The cases to be discussed will include: many texts building one world (=transmedia storytelling); a text presenting a world that contains many stories; a text describing many ontologically distinct worlds, each containing its own story; a text telling a story that involves many ontologically different worlds, stacked upon each other; a text telling a story whose ontology comprises different realities, existing side-by-side; and the creation of a storyworld out of another world, through a borrowing and manipulation of semiotic material that creates this other world. In conclusion I will ask if “worldness” can be considered a scalar concept, realized to different extents in narrative texts, and what it takes for a narrative to evoke a world to the imagination.
Texts, worlds, stories: on the aesthetics of narrative and semiotic proliferation
Thursday, June 6, 2013 - 10:00 to 10:45