Defining transmedia narrative with Marie-Laure Ryan – notes

by stronged


The proposal below organizes the conditions of narrativity into three semantic and one formal and pragmatic dimension.

Spatial dimension

(1) Narrative must be about a world populated by individuated existents.

Temporal dimension

(2) This world must be situated in time and undergo significant transformations. (3) The transformations must be caused by non-habitual physical events.

Mental dimension

(4) Some of the participants in the events must be intelligent agents who have a mental life and react emotionally to the states of the world. (5) Some of the events must be purposeful actions by these agents.

Formal and pragmatic dimension

(6) The sequence of events must form a unified causal chain and lead to closure. (7) The occurrence of at least some of the events must be asserted as fact for the story- world. (8) The story must communicate something meaningful to the audience.

‘According to you (Mary-Laure Ryan), narrativity is perceived not as an intrinsic property of the text, but rather as a fuzzy series of concentric conditions that ensures a scalar conception of narrative…’ (3)

‘…narrative is a phenomenon that transcends media.’ (4)

‘…the semiotic structure of narrative [consists of] three components, discourse, story and use…’ (4)

‘…only language can express explicitly notions like causality.’ (5)

‘…moving images have the greatest narrative expressivity…film – and life – do not tell stories, they enact them (cfr. the distinction telling vs. showing), and it is left to the interpreter to image the story.’ (5)

‘…narratives are a manifestation of the mind.’ (6)

Paul Grice: “[a sender] must intend to induce by x [an utterance] a belief in an audeicne, and he must also intend his utterance to be recognized so as intended.” (6)

‘narrative sequence as a linear phenomenon’ (7)