Narrative technique

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The narrative technique is the process of changing elements of reality for the purpose of depicting a fictional narrative event. In the standard model of storytelling, the past is usually reproduced, be it fictional or not. In video games, on the other hand, what is told is simulated during the course of the game through the interaction between the player and the computer, i.e. the events told arise into the future.

In the standard model of narration, the following elements are considered to be constitutive for reality: dates, places, facts, figures, statements, events, contexts. These are processed, alienated and disguised through style , grammar and language pragmatics . It is expected from fictional narratives that language is not used exclusively in a factual assertion, but that there are relativizing references, for example, and an artistic style can be identified that may work with ironic refractions.

Narrative techniques of the standard model can be divided into narrative situations, the time structure of the narration, and the reproduction of speech and consciousness.

Narrative situation

The “narrator” is to be distinguished from the “narrating author”, even if the prose author seems to remain present as the actual author of the narrative text and sometimes autobiographical parts can be found in every work. This methodological rule applies even if the author gives his narrator his own name. In the novel That's me by Thomas Glavinic z. B. tells Thomas Glavinic that he wrote the original article about himself on Wikipedia and that he wrote negative things about one of his novels so that it would not be noticed immediately. One should therefore expressly warn against blindly trusting the narrator's declarations of authenticity. The narrator can be seen as a kind of "substitute" that the actual author puts forward.

With regard to the narrative situation, a work can basically be differentiated according to whether a narrator can be "heard" at all, i.e. whether one has the impression that someone is commenting and explaining the present story ( authorial narration ), or whether one has the impression that What happens is "presented" without a narrator being heard (personal and neutral narrative form and narrative perspective / narrator instance).

In the case of the latter, a further distinction can be made as to whether the event is presented “from the outside”, i.e. similar to the representation after a picture is taken through a camera lens (“neutral narration”), or whether what is presented without comment is precisely the inner world of the narrator, theirs Thoughts, their "consciousness" is ("personal narration"). This latter representation is a hallmark of the modern novel .

Time structure of narration

When analyzing the narrative time order, one can distinguish between

  • time-covering narration ( narrated time and narrative time match),
  • time-stretching storytelling and
  • quick narration.

A linear time structure is also interrupted by

Reproduction of speech and consciousness

The personal speech can be played as

The person consciousness can furthermore be represented as

See also


  • Matias Martinez, Michael Scheffel: Introduction to narrative theory. Beck, Munich 1999, ISBN 3-406-44052-5 (9th, expanded and updated edition, ibid 2012, ISBN 978-3-406-63860-2 ).
  • Jochen Vogt: Aspects of narrative prose (= basic studies in literary studies. Vol. 8). Bertelsmann Universitäts-Verlag, Düsseldorf 1972, ISBN 3-571-09278-3 , 11th, updated edition Fink, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-8252-4056-1

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marie-Laure Ryan, Narrative and Digitality: Learning to Think With the Medium, in: A Companion to Narrative Theory , edited by James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz , Blackwell Publishing, Malden / Massachusetts and Oxford 2005, paperback edition 2008, ISBN 978-1-4051-1476-9 Table of Contents , pp. 515-528.