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Narrativity describes the qualities that distinguish a narrative from all nonnarratives.



Narrative is a widely discussed concept given its complexity and sometimes elusive nature. As an over-arching concept, narrativity refers to all those qualities or characteristics applied to narratives that make a narrative a narrative; in other words, without these characteristics, we are left with non-narrative. Thus, narrativity becomes the distinguishing factor between narrative and nonnarrative. Some aspects of narrativity are: a distinguishable narrative voice, setting, plot development, and chronology of events, among others. Characteristics of narrativity apply to both fiction and nonfiction works alike. The set of conventions governing the way a story is told has equal effect on both genres.


Critical Debates

Related Terms

{list any terms that are related or usefully connected to this term or concept (e.g., list story under the definition of discourse)}


Abbot, H. Porter. The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative.

_____. "Narrativity." In Handbook of Narratology. Ed. Peter Hühn et al. Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2009. 309-28.

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Genette, Gérard. "Frontières du récit." Communications 8 (1966): 152-163. Rpt. in Figures II.

Keen, Susan. Narrative Form.

Pier, John, and José Ángel García Landa, eds. Theorizing Narrativity. (Narratologia, 12). Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2008.

Prince, Gerald. "Revisiting Narrativity." In Grenzüberschreitungen: Narratologie im Kontext / Transcending Boundaries: Narratology in Context. Ed. Walter Grünzweig and Andreas Solbach. Tübingen: Narr, 1999. 43-51.

Ricœur, Paul. "Les contraintes sémiotiques de la narrativité." In Ricœur, Temps et récit: Tome II: La configuration dans le récit de fiction. 1984. Paris: Seuil, 1991. 59-114.* (1. La morphologie du conte selon Propp. 2. Pour une logique du récit. 3. La sémiotique narrative de A. J. Greimas).

Scholes, Robert. "Narration and Narrativity in Film and Fiction." In Scholes, Semiotics and Interpretation. New Haven: Yale UP, 1982. 57-72.

Sturgess, Philip J. M. Narrativity: Theory and Practice. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1992.

Tiffeneau, Dorian, ed. La Narrativité: Recueil. Paris: Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, 1980.

Young, Katharine Galloway. "Storyability and Eventfulness: Beyond Referential Theories of Narrative." In Young, Taleworlds and Storyrealms: The Phenomenology of Narrative. Dordrecht: Martinus Nijhoff, 1987. 186-210.

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