• The Story Behind Any Story: Evolution, Historicity, and Narrative Mapping

    José Angel GARCÍA LANDA (see profile)
    Anthropology, Historical theory and the philosophy of history, Historiography, Narrative theory and Narratology, Philosophy
    Narration (Rhetoric), Philosophy
    Item Type:
    Emergence, Herbert Spencer, Big History, Time, Cognitive mapping, Narrative, Narratology, Complexity, Evolution
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    "The narratives of the world are numberless"; yet, all stories may be seen as chapters of a single story, the story of universal evolution as uncovered by contemporary science, with processes of human emergence and cultural development as a prominent backdrop to the understanding of any narrative process. Evolutionary approaches to literary and cultural phenomena (as theorized by socio-biologists like E. O. Wilson and by evo-critics like Joseph Carroll in the literary field) have led to a growing awareness that these literary and cultural phenomena are best accounted for within a consilient disciplinary framework. From this consilient standpoint, human modes of communication must be contextualized as situated historical phenomena, and history as such is to be placed within the wider context of the evolution of human societies and of life generally (what is often called "big history", to use David Christian's term). Using the notions of "narrative mapping" and "narrative anchoring", this paper draws from the aforementioned theoretical outlook a series of conclusions relevant to narratology, in particular to the narratological conceptualization of time and temporal schemata, and to the narrative understanding of evolutionary processes. The importance of evolutionary and historicist conceptual frames regarding the production and analysis of narratives is pointed out, and more specifically their significance for an adequate definition of narrative mapping and narrative anchoring. Evolutionary theory is itself a major instance of narrative mapping, and its emergent nature is focused in the paper's conclusion.
    Preprint of the article published in In Emerging Vectors of Narratology. Ed. Per Krogh Hansen, John Pier, Philippe Roussin and Wolf Schmid. (Narratologia, 57). Berlin and Boston: De Gruyter, 2017. 567-91.
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    Book chapter    
    Last Updated:
    3 years ago


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