Narration

“Narrative is first and foremost a prodigious variety of genres, themselves distributed amongst different substances – as though any material were fit to receive man’s stories…” Roland Barthes, 1966

There are thousand of ways to narrate the same story.  With an example, man landed on the moon is the story. The story, which engages the imagination, demands more of both writer and reader.

The paragraph below belongs to E.B. White. This is how he depicts the moon landing that is a milestone in human history. It is an artful way of writing. The sentences writing to evoke in oneself a feeling one has once experienced. Even in the field of journalism, art gives shape to the presentation of reality.

The moon, it turns out, is a great place for men. One-sixth gravity must be a lot of fun, and when Armstrong and Aldrin went into their bouncy little dance, like two happy children, it was a moment not only of triumph but of gaiety. The moon, on the other hand, is a poor place for flags. Ours looked stiff and awkward, trying to float on the breeze that does not blow. (There must be a lesson here somewhere.) It is traditional, of course, for explorers to plant the flag, but it struck us, as we watched with awe and admiration and pride, that our two fellows were universal men, not national men, and should have been equipped accordingly. Like every great river and every great sea, the moon belongs to none and belongs to all. It still holds the key to madness, still controls the tides that lap on shores everywhere, still guards the lovers who kiss in every land under no banner but the sky. What a pity that in our moment of triumph we did not forswear the familiar Iwo Jima scene and plant instead a device acceptable to all: a limp white handkerchief, perhaps, symbol of the common cold, which, like the moon, affects us all, unites us all. by E. B. White 1969

Perhaps, mostly, this artful part what makes us keep reading, what brings the material together, by creating a taste much like the melody in a musical piece it gives space to the emotional reception, lets us savour.

As a personal favour what I like as a  portray of art comes from Tolstoy. He tell us about art;

“The activity of art rely on transmitting the feeling by means of movements, lines colors, sound, or form expressed in words. Thus creating the same sort of experience into another body.  To him, the capacity of man to receive another man’s expression of feeling and experience those feelings himself, based on the  activity of art.”

By this definition, can we say that networking online itself a significant art that extend the capacity of man? Does art necessarily involve a finite object? Is it necessary for the concept of the aesthetic to assume representation?

Very much like the other ages, the way the agency of art puts itself is determined by the science. For example, the science of the chemistry. The paint is possible by the combination of the chemical substance. Just as the contemporary materials of the media. Yet still, It could be a fault to reduce the knowledge to the material addition. They are inevitably united but still independent.

Indeed, Polymaths like Leonardo da Vinci who sketched plans for a humanoid robot around 1495 also might be seen as a visionary inventor of contemporary products. Artistic and scientific sides both stimulates each other continuously.

Transferring the knowledge, idea, emotion or value are an unfaltering aim for art, as well as for narration. On the other hand, science takes these explorations into another level and make them possible and accessible on extended time zones. So they both build the  what we called media communication together. For instance, it is believed that Leonardo demonstrated his “mechanical knight” in 1495 in Milano. But there is no certainty. Even there are some recorded material it is hard to be certain with the history, but obviously, it is much harder if there are no evidence. Book pages of the drawing significantly valuable in terms of longevity of the narrative. To illustrate with another case, the reason of the oil painting is also to preserve longer. The art or narrative does not exist (only) for the artist or author it also exists for the spectators or readers.  Gutenberg’s invention revolutionised the distribution of knowledge by making it possible to produce many accurate copies of a single work. Longevity is important as much as the copying and reaching the contemporary receivers.  Longevity is one of the significant factors for the every type of art as a communicational way which always need a receiver (active participant) at the end. Basically, the longer it is preserved, the longer it is alive and accessible from the far far away realities.

So far in history, a narrative has been ruling the archival data. Manovich claimed that the logic of the database replaces that of the narrative in digital media. Supposedly, even there are big changes in our gestures and behaviours, rather they are interconnected and seminal for each other and the new hybrid forms.

On the other hand, from the writing to the documentaries every medium is influenced by computer – telematics technologies. There is a suspicion of the traditional structure of the narrative, which has to have a beginning, middle and, end by proposed by Aristo over 2000 years ago.


Narrating the technology:

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Narratology – Narrative Theory: There is many well-known narratologists wrote about the narratives such as Aristo, Todorov, Propp, Levi Strauss, Campbell and Vogner. What I will specifically mention about Narrative Theory will be based by more contemporary cultural theorist and professor of the Mieke Bal who takes the narrative as a cultural phenomenon in her book.

According to Bal, narrative text is not identical to the story, rather narrative text is a text that agency tells the story in a particular medium. Acting like place medium immerses the agency. Ball propose three layers;text, story and Fabula to study narrative text. Only the text layer embody the language as a world of the sign, whether it is visual, audial or lexical. Fabula as a material or a content work into a story, coherent series of events that experienced by actors. A story is a Fabula that is presented in a certain manner. The Same story can be noticeable various versions and forms.

Another point worth stressing is that something with the Fabula is not exclusively language related. Events, actors, time and location together constitute the material of a Fabula. These elements are organised in a way into the story. Their arrangements create effects that shouldn’t be confused with the author’s activity. In addition to the necessary relationship among actors, time, location and time other relationships may exist among the various elements. A voice is made from variously presented elements. This ends with focalisation “colours the story by subjectivity.” In this way, each story distance from each other.

On the other hand, as presentation into a medium; text is a conversion of the story into a sign system by an agent who relates the signs. Reader recognised the text at first glance rather than the Fabula. The agent of the text is known as a narrator. Who is doing the narrating does matters? Narrative agent or a narrator as the linguistic subject, a function and not a person, which express itself in the language that constitutes text. This agent is not the author of the narrative, which puts the authority of authorship in a difficulty.

In spite of its challenging and persuasive logic, we must place the authority of authorship within this dynamic.