Thursday, December 2, 2010

Experienciality according to Monika Fludernik

As was mentioned in the main overview of her work, the concept of experienciality is viewed by Monika Fludernik as the defining characteristic of narrative and narrativity. In this she departs from the classic narratology notion of narrative as a series of events the relate to one another through causality.
Experienciality can be understood as a copy of sorts of a real life experience, as something which has the appearance of something that is actually happening. Experienciality, according to Fludernik, has a number of traits that might assist in elaborating the concept.

Fludernik stresses that experienciality should be understood as differing from experience. She views experienciality as a dynamics that strives towards an illustrative effect and the attribution of meaning to the story. Experienciality is a state relevant for both the reader and the narrator – an anthropomorphic entity to which facts of the story are relevant – thus establishing the tellability of the narrative.

Embodiment is a term related by Fludernik to the anthropomorphic experienciality. Embodiment related to the state of physically being in space and time, a state that is interdependent of cognitive schemas that construct our experience. These schemas precede actual experience in the same manner lingual prototypes and universals precede actual objects. If we take for example the event of eating in a restaurant we find that we have a prototypical script on such a happening which allows us to comprehend and act within the situation.
Consciousness is also a part of experienciality. This is manifested mainly in a conscious agent for whom the events and actions of the narrative have meaning. Things are never sad, existing, scary etc. just on their own account, they must be so for someone, and that someone in Fludernik's view is the narrator. This gains importance if we view narrative as a medium which enables relating someone else's consciousness.

Mimesis is the final crucial element is Fludernik's notion of experienciality. Fludernik stressed that "mimesis must NOT be identified as imitation but needs to be treated as the artificial and illusionary projection of a semiotic structure which the reader recuperates in terms of a fictional reality". Mimesis, in other words, is not what traditional thought saw as imitation, but rather something constructive. Mimesis for Fludernik is a part of narrativization process by creating some sort of semiotic analogy between the text's fictional reality and actual reality.     

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