Configuration and Emplotment: Converging or Opposite Paradigms for Storytelling?

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State: Public
Version: Final published version
License: All rights reserved
Serval ID
serval:BIB_360C3AD226F6
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
Configuration and Emplotment: Converging or Opposite Paradigms for Storytelling?
Journal
Poetics Today
Author(s)
Baroni Raphaël
ISSN
0333-5372
1527-5507
ISSN-L
0333-5372
Publication state
Published
Issued date
01/09/2021
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Volume
42
Number
3
Pages
425-448
Language
english
Abstract
Reflecting on Paul Ricoeur's discussion of historical configuration and fictional emplotment, this article proposes to actualize his model to oppose two prototypes of narrativity, which form two poles between which narrative representations extend. Instead of basing these prototypes on narrative genres such as historiography and fiction, it compares the configuration of narratives designed to inform readers about the signification of a past event with the emplotment of narratives aiming to immerse readers in a simulated past or a fictive storyworld. While contemporary narratology has been mostly concerned with the latter case, we will see that a comparison between narratives belonging to these two poles can help us better understand the functioning of narrative texts, most of them situated between these two extremes. Drawing on stories of a plane crash found in daily newspapers and magazines, the article shows that news stories usually favor the informative function, but when an event cannot be fully told, information enters a process of serialization, leading to the emergence of a “natural” plot. This leads to the conclusion that artificial emplotment is an imitation of prefiguration rather than the triumph of concordance.
Keywords
Plot, Configuration, Experientiality, Nonfiction, Literary journalism, Ricoeur
Create date
09/09/2021 10:47
Last modification date
14/09/2021 5:40
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