Film Narrative Part 4 (2016)Apunte Inglés
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Formalism and Narrative. PROPP.
1. Introduction to Formalism.
Russian formalism was an intellectual movement of the 1920s which tried to explain how aesthetic effects were produced by literary devices, and how literary writing differed from nonliterary. Literature was for them an autonomous product, and should therefore be studied by appropriate scientific-like methods. The literary was not distinguished from the non-literary by subject matter, poetic inspiration, philosophic vision, or the quality of the poetic image, but by its verbal art. Narrative devices, particularly metaphors, were one of the keys, as they shifted objects to a new sphere of perception, making the familiar strange, novel and appealing. Formalism is about the form, the shape.
Some of the most relevant names were Vladimir Propp, Boris Eichenbaum and Roma Jakobson. Although it was a diverse movement and never produced no unified doctrine, some of its ideas are still the most relevant in narrative studies. Two general principles underlie the Formalist study of literature: first, literature itself, or rather, those of its features that distinguish it from other human activities, must constitute the object of inquiry of literary theory; second, 'literary facts' have to be prioritized over other commitments of literary criticism, whether philosophical, aesthetic of psychological.
2. Introduction to Propp.
The Russian Formalists broke down sentence structures into analyzable elements: morphemes. Vladimir Propp used this method to analyze folk tales, he did the same with literature. He broke down a large number of Russian folk tales into their smallest narrative units - narratemes - Propp was able to arrive at a typology of narrative structures. By analyzing types of characters and kinds of action, Propp was able to arrive at the conclusion that there were 31 generic narratemes in the Russian folk tale. While not all are present, he found that all the tales he analyzed displayed the functions in unvarying sequence. He found out that all stories could be listed into 31 narratemes. If you change the order of the narratemes, or if you change the narratemes, the story doesn't work.
Propp's theories have been applied to contemporary film narratives in order to prove how powerful the narrative structures of folk mythology are, and how they are continually reinserted into contemporary popular culture.
3. The seven spheres of action.
Vladimir Propp suggested that characters took on the role of narrative 'spheres of action' or functions. The seven spheres of action are: -The hero, usually male, is the agent who restores the equilibrium often by embarking upon a quest (or search), saves the princess and wins her hand. Propp distinguishes between the victim hero, who is the centre of the villain's attentions, and the seeker hero who aids others who are the villains victims. The hero is invariably the text protagonist or central character.
-The villain creates the narrative disruption (in this case is the villain that ignites the action, he breaks the form and creates a different one, he allows the narrative to start construction its form).
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 -The donor gives the hero something, it may be an object, information or advice, which helps in resolution of the narrative.
-The helper aids the hero in the task of restoring equilibrium.
-The princess (the victim) is usually the character most threatened by the villain and has to be saved, at the climax, by the hero. The father's (who in fairy tales was often the king) role is usually to give the princess away to the hero at the narrative's ending. He may also dispatch the hero.
-The dispatcher sends the hero on his task (who can also be the princess father).
-The false hero appears to be good but is revealed, at the narrative's end, to have been bad.
Characters can fulfill more than one sphere of action and spheres of action can be made up of more than one character; so a princesses may also be a helper and a text may have several villains.
Likewise, all characters perform, at least, one function: The hero - a character who seeks something.
The villain - who opposes or blocks the hero's quest.
The donor - who provides an object with magical properties.
The dispatcher - who sends the hero on his/her quest via a message.
The false hero - who disrupts the hero's success by making false claims.
The helper - who aids the hero.
The princess - who acts as the reward of the hero and the object of the villain's plots.
The father- who acts to reward the hero for his effort.
There's a reward for the seeker, that is the end, there is no bad ending, everything at the end have some kind of beauty or happiness.
Propp identified 31 narrative functions that, though not necessarily present in all the folk-tales, always occurred in the same sequence. The narrative functions Propp identified are: 00. The initial situation.
01. One of the members of a family absents himself from home.
02. An interdiction (prohibition, order or suggestion) is addressed to the hero.
03. The interdiction is violated.
04. The villain makes an attempt at reconnaissance.
05. The villain receives information about his victim.
06. The villain attempts to deceive his victim in order to take possession of him or of his belongings.
07. The victim submits to deception and thereby unwittingly helps his enemy.
08. The villain causes harm or injury to a member of a family.
09. Misfortune or lack (luck) is made known; the hero is approached with a request or command; he is allowed to go or he is dispatched.
10. The seeker agrees to or decides upon counteraction.
11. The hero leaves home.
12. The hero is tested, interrogated, attacked, etc., which prepares the way for his receiving either a magical agent or helper.
13. The hero reacts to the actions of the future donor.
14. The hero acquires the use of a magical agent.
15. The hero is transferred, delivered, or led to the whereabouts of an object of search.
16. The hero and the villain join in direct combat.
17. The hero is branded.
18. The villain is defeated.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 19. The initial misfortune or luck is liquidated.
20. The hero returns.
21. The hero is pursued.
22. Rescue of the hero from pursuit.
23. The hero, unrecognized, arrives home or in another country.
24. A false hero presents unfounded claims.
25. A difficult task is proposed to the hero.
26. The task is resolved.
27. The hero is recognized.
28. The false hero or villain is exposed.
29. The hero is given anew appearance.
30. The villain is punished.
31. The hero is married and ascends the throne.
ADAPTATION 1. Typology of adaptation. Fidelity.
a) Transposition. The screen version sticks closely to the literary source.
b) Commentary. The original is purposely or unwittingly altered.
c) Analogy. A completely different work of art which is a substantial departure from the original.
2. Genette's transtextual relations. (she said that all texts are adaptations) a) Intertextuality. the text that is included in a given film, book, theater play... which originates in another text. The resocance of the original text is so big that impregnates our film (Don Quijote is the major Spanish example). Not plagiarism, the text impregnates the other text by being inserted there.
b) Paratextuality. The surroundings of a film or book, the elements that surrounds the text, and establish relationship with the text (commentaries on a dvd, deleted scenes: it's the film, and the extras...).
c) Metatextuality. The commentary on the source text and/or on the adaptation process. When the adaptation is about the adaptation, when the very process of the adaption is what constitutes the relationships between the texts (once upon a time - with Disney films, Shrek). Sequels are adaptations, and some of them establish relationships of metatextuality.
d) Architextuality. When an adaptation is structurally connected to a source text. They are about being faithful to the structure.
e) Hypertextuality. One text's (hypertext) relation to another (hypotext). Numerous adaptations (a high number of hypertextuality) can confirm or reflect the canonical status of the hypotext. One adaptation after another, and the relation. What is the relationships between the original text and what comes afterwards, is not about how to go from the original to the new material, but how to go from the material to the original. It's about how the new text affects the original.
Más en www.unybook.com gperez1783 3. Adaptation as translation vs. appropriation.
An adaptation onscreen can re-envision a well-worn narrative for an audience inhabiting a very different cultural environment, and their relationship to the original source may itself change. Literariness is liquid, and can be conveniently used. It's faithful, but at the same time it can change. (As Vis a Vis is an adaptation or not of Orange is the New Black)By looking at a new adaptation, we learn something about our society.