Abstract

Stories go places. It is impossible to talk about narrative without using spatial terms, such as “plotline,” “narrative thread,” “twists and turns,” “pacing,” or “circularity.” In such metaphors, the two essential elements of narrative, time and meaning, are consistently replaced by distance and direction. Drawing on Bergson’s ideas on the spatial representation of time and Boroditsky’s cognitive research into spatial metaphors in abstract thought, and using literary digression in Sterne and Diderot as illustration, I consider the pervasiveness of these metaphors in narrative theory, and the consequences of such spatial mediation in the discipline’s analysis of narrative form.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 391-403
Launched on MUSE
2013-02-08
Open Access
No
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