Narrative Lists

Zoe with notes on the Ryan and Bogost. Yes, we have been making lists in our sketch tasks, well spotted/realised.. Mardy enjoys Bogost’s discussion of the role of lists in relation to language more broadly. Natalie picks up that K-films could be non narrative works and offers a great outline of Bogost and lists. Jackie too has brief notes on Ryan and Bogost, while Sam wonders about listing as a form of hypertext connection, and while I’m not sure about that the connection to montage (though only some forms of montage) is accurate. Bec has thorough notes

Symposium 07 Questions

Carry over questions from last week:

From Bogost reading:

  1. Apart from reminding us that narrative is made up of ‘everyday stuff,’ what can lists achieve as a literary device?
  2. Why and to what end are we to be freed from the ‘tyranny of representation’?
  3. Bogost writes ‘lists do not just rebuff the connecting parts of language but rebuff the connecting of being itself.’ How do lists do this?
  4. If a list was to be created through a random non-human selection is a narrative still created?


  1. Why has google not brought out Korsakow as it seems like a relevant tool/application for working with online video and ongoing developments with YouTube?
  2. Will multilinear videos become part of mainstream mass media or will they always be a niche part of new media content?
  3. Are k-films hierarchical because you are trying to define something without a structure by applying it to something with a structure?

Rascaroli, Laura. “The Essay Film: Problems, Definitions, Textual Commitments.”

  1. How would you distinguish between an essay and documentary film when both can have exploratory and creative elements?
  2. How can you say a film essay is not a genre when it is categorised by the author as something else?
  3. Films are about interpretation and personal knowledge – does this type of interpretation and personal knowledge transfer readily onto a k-film when making it into a type of essay?
  4. With the emphasis placed on the viewer’s interpretation and the role it plays in defining meaning – is it possible for a piece of work based on classification being free from interpretation, opinion and speculation?


Ali on Kafka, The Trial, and lists. We might also add that Kafka, famously, did not finish novels, most of the works remain just that. Partial. In many ways a great exemplar for the sorts of ideas we want to explore as they are less stories than ways to investigate an idea. Gina notes a class debate on lists, narrative, cause and effect. Tom on Bogost and not connecting through language. Nadine with key points about lists. Accumulation, indefinite relations, disconnection, staccato. And that list is a good description of how to make a Korsakow film.

On Ryan (1)

Grace finds the reading tough (welcome the realm of narratology), but remains unsure if, as Ryan argues, the best definition of narrative requires the context of its receivers as that which trumps anything else. Interesting problem. Is that mountain there a ‘narrative’ in this sense? If I’m a geologist? No. I can explain its presence, but explaining isn’t a narrative or story. However, if I’m indigenous and there is a story about how and why that mountain got there, and is what it is, then yes, it’s a story. In Ryan’s sense. Imogen discusses the Ryan stuff on narrative and Bogost on lists.