Towards a Conceptual History of Narrative

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Title: Towards a Conceptual History of Narrative
Author: Hyvärinen, Matti
Editor: Hyvärinen, Matti; Korhonen, Anu; Mykkänen, Juri
Belongs to series: COLLeGIUM: Studies Across Disciplines in the Humanities and Social Sciences, Volume 1: The Travelling Concept of Narrative
ISSN: 1796 -2986
ISBN: 952-10-3019-4
Abstract: The article outlines a conceptual history of narrative, in particular the changes over the movement called “narrative turn” in the social sciences. According to Quentin Skinner, conceptual changes may take place on three separate levels: by changing the criteria of the concept, by changing the range of reference, and by changing the appraisal of the concept. Recent theorizing on narrative epitomizes all of these levels, but unevenly. In spite of the rhetoric of interdisciplinarity, two almost totally separate traditions of narrative theory persist: the narratological and the narrative-turn theories. Paradoxically, the narrative turn literature has radicalized the range of reference of narrative by attaching the concept to life and identity, but has left the criteria of the concept practically intact. This has extended the reign of a simplified Aristotelian concept of narrative as a chain of beginnings, middles, and ends. The narratological tradition of theorizing, instead, has debated extensively on the correct criteria of the concept, but enlarged the range of reference rather in the direction of cognition.
Date: 2006
Rights: © 2006 author and volume editors

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