week 5 reading

this weeks readings give us an idea of what can be defined as a narrative and similarly what cannot be defined as a narrative, as adrian wrote in the post about the readings it’s interesting to note where the type of interactive documentaries we are making in this course sit. it also made me think about documentaries in general and crossed over to work we are doing in another subject about how much of a ‘documentary’ is fictional, constructed (or purposefully ‘narrative’ driven, which makes the authenticity questionable). if you make an interactive documentary, for example, about a character or subject that is: in the current world, situated in time, with intelligent mental life, affected by causality and has clear goals or desires that propel the story forward, does this not completely satisfy ryan’s criteria for what can be classed as a narrative? it is possible for documentary to be narrative, therefore it is also possible for interactive documentaries to be narrative if they meet some of the criteria. I wonder, however, if an interactive documentary may still be classed as an interactive documentary if it is strongly narrative based, or if it becomes classified as something elseā€¦ the question I pose is do interactive narratives have a specific criteria that they must meet to become an ‘interactive’ documentary (like there is criteria in this weeks readings as to what is a narrative and what isn’t a narrative) as opposed to falling into becoming just a narrative, a website, a database or a documentary?

here’s some notes on ryan:

Marie-laure Ryan: Avators of Story

“narratives” are now defined in a multitude of different ways and most definitions traditionally relate to textual actualisation of a story

because transmedial narratives cannot be defined verbally this poses a problem

ryan has proposed the conditions of ‘narrative’ into these dimensions-

1. spatial dimension (story must be about a world populated by individuated existents)
2. temporal dimension (story must be situated in time and undergo significant transformations, transformations must be caused by non habitual physical events)
3. mental dimension (participants in events must be intelligent agents with mental life who react emotionally to the states of the world they inhabit, some events must be actions by these agents/characters and motivated by identifiable goals)
4. formal and pragmatic dimension (evidence of causality, events asserted as ‘fact’, story must have meaning)

ryan concludes that definition of what or what isn’t a narrative is ultimately in the hands of the reader and that the reader embeds their own meaning (or lack of meaning) into a text


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