Towards an embodied theory of narrative and storytelling

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It is argued that storytelling activity is grounded in the bodies of the participants, in the situation including the material artifacts, relationships, and in the organization of the storytelling. Storytelling by persons with a brain disorder (Alzheimer’s disease) is taken as a case in point of what happens when a part of the body – the brain – no longer can be used as a storytelling tool. In telling stories both storyteller and listener use a number of functional networks as resources. Telling stories is about transforming various kinds of experiences through the use of shared semiotic resources into a story that is performed and perceived multimodally by the participants. An embodied approach puts a stronger emphasis on the performance of storytelling rather than on the text.


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