A part of a book
Narrative Diagrammatik. Mit einer Modellanalyse: Die Diagrammatik des "Decameron"
Title of the book
Diagramm und Text. Diagrammatische Strukturen und die Dynamisierung von Wissen und Erfahrung. Überstorfer Colloquium 2012
Address of publication
Lutz E.C., Jerjen V., Putzo C.
Überstorfer Colloquium 2012.
Taking as a starting point the seeming inconsistency of late-medieval romances notoriously 'run wild' (verwildert), this article is concerned with the description of an abstract form of narrative coherence that is based on the notion of the diagrammatic. In a first section, this concept is illustrated in a simplified manner by an analysis of Boccaccio's Decameron based on two levels of spatial structure: that of the autograph Berlin manuscript (Codex Hamilton 90) and that of the recipient's mental visualisation of the relations between the frame and the tales of the work. It is argued that the connectivity of the work as a whole depends on the perception of those two spatial representations of the plot. A second section develops this concept in a more theoretical fashion, drawing on Charles Sanders Peirce's notion of diagrammatic reasoning as a way of perceiving relations through mental and material topological representations. Correspondingly, a view of narrative is proposed that does not depend on the traditional perspective of temporal sequence but emphasizes the spatial structure of literary narrative. It is argued that these conditions form the primary ontological mode of narrative, whereas the temporal development of a story is an aesthetic illusion that has been specifically stimulated by the narrative conventions of approximately the past three centuries and must thus be considered a secondary effect. To conclude, an interpretation in miniature of an aspect of Heinrich von Neustadt's Apollonius von Tyrland that seems to have 'run wild' is undertaken from a diagrammatic perspective.
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