Thursday, December 2, 2010

Monika Fludernik's model for natural narratology

Essentially what Monila Fludernik is trying to suggest in her "Towards a Natural Narratology" is a new model for narrative analysis which is based on her notions of experienciality, narrativity and narrativization.
Following Nilli Diengott's analysis, Fludernik's model is divided into 4 levels:

the first level of the model is related to the question "what" (to distinguish from the question of "how" in levels 2 and 3). This level is essentially pre-understanding of how the world functions and contains "parameters of real-life experience" which are the most basic, initial cognitive frames of experiencing. These cognitive frames are what Fludernik calls "core schemata" which relate to presupposed understanding of reality, and they include such schemas as "agency" and "goals". They make up a configuration of an experienced event that includes (and must include) an evaluation of it and its meaning. This configuration is of a teleological nature, a mechanism of causality, and it must do so in mutual agreement with the function of evaluation. These cognitive schemas are natural on account of being a part of our consciousness, enabling us to grasp a world of action and change.

The second level relates to "how" and is a mediating one, containing according to Fludernik four cognitive frames or parameters: telling, viewing, experiencing and acting. These are explanatory in the sense that they mediate a story to us and render it accessible. These categories are also natural on account of "explanatory patterns" utilized by us in understanding our daily experience. This level is also reflective by accounting for the presence of consciousness.

The third level also deals with "how" and is a cultural pattern of storytelling and includes genres and conventions. Fludernik does not contrast "cultural" with "natural", and she argues that this level is also natural in the sense that we naturally employ these culturally acquired capabilities. This level, for instance, includes the poetics of a genre, allowing for its creation and consumption.

Level four is a dynamic process of narrativization in one narrative. Here the previous levels are employed in order to construct a coherent narrative that settles problems and contradictions in the understanding of the text.      

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