63N: narrative structure

Somewhat out of order, a section of the Stanford linguistics course 63N (on linguistics in the comics) on narrative structure (partly so I can introduce two strips that I wouldn’t have posted here before).

The strips, found by Paul Lai (in rather obscure places, given that Calvin and Hobbes and Garfield are not obscure strips: here and here, respectively; in both cases, you need to scroll down to the end, or near the end, of the source to find the strips):



I won’t try to analyze these here, beyond saying one obvious thing: that these multi-panel strips are stories, told in a sequence of images (and, usually, speech) corresponding to sequence in time. (Paul is, or might be, writing up his own analysis in his course paper, and I don’t want to impose my own thoughts on him.)

Now, narrative organization is a specialty of my course colleague Elizabeth Traugott, so this part of the course is pretty much all her. (I made significant contributions to other pieces of the course.) Her course notes and assignments:

The students struggled (quite reasonably) with the phases of narrative, recognizing that formulations of “ideal” unfoldings of stories didn’t always correspond to what happens in actual narratives.

2 Responses to “63N: narrative structure”

  1. rapunzellindemann Says:

    Reblogged this on Anakin's reveries in multiverses.

  2. Story Structure | Arnold Zwicky's Blog Says:

    […] On narrative structure, with special reference to the comics, see my posting of 3/16, here. […]

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