Narrative Distance

Tuesday, June 24th, 2008

We’ve talking a lot about narrative distance this week (and last week). August Wilson has a neat example of this in his play, Fences. Here’s a chain:

1. Troy and Cory clash at the end of the play after building tension between them.
2. While not immediately linked to the above, but critical to it, Troy makes a contract with Cory. Cory “sort of” agrees to work at the A&P to earn his football play.
3. Troy learns that Cory has broken this contract.
4. Troy convinces the coach not to let Cory play at the recruiter’s game at the end of Act I. 1 is at quite a distance from 2, 3, and 4 but is a consequence of the plotted chain of events. This is narrative distance as an event model not as a path model.

A story can indeed be conceived as a set of points or several related points organized and determined by user choice in the context of story. The hypertext can also be drawn as a confluence model, a single events or set of them studied from multiple angles.

It’s time for me to get back to writing about hypertext, too.

Ah, Sandoval, you are Southwestern and its confluence, Mexican American, Science, and love.


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