Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Narratives, Space and Drama: Essential Spatial Aspects Involved in the Performance and Reception of Oral Narrative

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Date:August 14, 2014
In the past, oral narratives tended to be regarded as a two-dimensional phenomenon largely confined to the form of the spoken (or later) printed word. Over the last twenty years, however, oral narratives have gradually gained “thickness” in the eyes of folklore scholars who have increasingly demanded that more attention be paid to the social and personal contexts that gave rise to these narratives.  This present article reviews the ways in which the understanding of oral narrative depends on its physical, mental and social surroundings, noting also how the process is actually reciprocal, since while taking much from their surroundings, narratives are also capable of subtly changing the context that gave birth to them.  Working out from the three-dimensional nature of the oral narrative performance, it is argued that much could be gained form analyzing oral narratives as pieces of theater or dramatic performances rather than as pieces of text.

Originally Published:
(2006). Electronic Journal of Folklore. Vol 33. Mare Kõiva, Andres Kuperjanov (eds).

Terry Gunnell: