A part of a book
Title of the book
The Living Handbook of Narratology
Hamburg University Press
Hühn P., Meister J. C., Pier J., Schmid W.
Tellability is a notion that was first developed in conversational storytelling analysis but which then proved extensible to all kinds of narrative, referring to features that make a story worth telling, its "noteworthiness." Tellability (sometimes designated "narratibility" or "reportability") is dependent on the nature of specific incidents judged by storytellers to be significant or surprising and worthy of being reported in specific contexts, thus conferring a "point" on the story. The breaching of a canonical development tends to transform a mere incident into a tellable event, but the tellability of a story can also rely on purely contextual parameters (e.g. the newsworthiness of an event); in conversation it is often negotiated and progressively co-constructed through discursive interaction. Tellability may also be dependent on discourse features, i.e. on the way in which a sequence of incidents is rendered in a narrative.
tellability, narratology, conversation analysis, point, interest
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