Narrative Theory

Authored by: Gretchen Barbatsis

Handbook of Visual Communication

Print publication date:  November  2004
Online publication date:  December  2004

Print ISBN: 9780805841787
eBook ISBN: 9781410611581
Adobe ISBN: 9781135636531


 Download Chapter



For many of us the word narrative probably sounds much too formal and literary to capture the familiarity we feel for stories and storytelling. What child does not know the enchantment promised by “once upon a time”? And who can resist the invitation from an eager listener to “tell me, what happened”? We tell stories of pregnancies and births, we grapple with a death by finding the story that makes sense of a life. With each returning autumn, school children know well how to craft the stories of a summer’s vacation, and those of athletic challenge, worldly adventure, and teen romance. The list goes on; no mater what our age or where we are from, we live our lives telling and listening to stories. Some are rendered with words, others we experience in tales told through dance, pictures, or music. Some are made for television and film, others for the stage. But what is this disarmingly familiar thing we call a story? What is it that we recognize as similar in so many variations: the story told through mime and a children’s book, ballet and a novel, the short story and a symphony, television news and situation comedy, the newspaper and a movie, the comic strip and a photo documentary?

Search for more...
Back to top

Use of cookies on this website

We are using cookies to provide statistics that help us give you the best experience of our site. You can find out more in our Privacy Policy. By continuing to use the site you are agreeing to our use of cookies.