Volume 11, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1874-8767
  • E-ISSN: 1874-8775
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



Critics reading narratives as progressions, that’s to say, from beginning to end, prefer to see meaning emerge as a result of the interaction between different elements in the narrative, rather than of the imposition of a priori cultural schemata. This article, however, argues for the possibility of using a priori cultural schemata, as long as these pass through the filters established by theories of narrative progression. To show how this is done, I will interpret Frank Miller’s comic by letting a tool of cultural-semantic analysis interact with narrative tension in the form of suspense, curiosity, and surprise. I argue that the back and forth between narrative tension and the tool accounts not only for the content of the comic but also for its basic narrative rhythm.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Bal, Mieke
    2009Narratology: Introduction into the Theory of Narrative. Toronto: University of Toronto Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  2. Baron-Cohen, Simon
    2011The Science of Evil: On Empathy and the Origins of Cruelty. New York: Basic.
    [Google Scholar]
  3. Baroni, Raphaël
    2007La tension narrative: suspense, curiosité et surprise. Paris: Seuil.
    [Google Scholar]
  4. 2011 Tensions et résolutions: musicalité de l’intrigue ou intrigue musicale?Cahiers de Narratologie21: 1–13.
    [Google Scholar]
  5. Brooks, Peter
    1984Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative. New York: Knopf.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Candel, Daniel
    2013a Advanced literacy and the place of literary semantics in secondary education: A tool of fictional analysis. Semiotica195 (June): 305–330.
    [Google Scholar]
  7. 2013b Moving possible world theory from logic to value. Poetics Today34 (1–2): 177–231.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. 2013cLiteratur interpetieren – ein Analysetool. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. 2016 Possible worlds in the history of the novel. Poetics Today37 (1): 107–136. 10.1215/03335372‑3452631
    https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-3452631 [Google Scholar]
  10. Candel, Daniel et al.
    2017 Analyzing the fictional worlds of Pixar with an eye on digital humanities. Semiotica218 (September): 91–118.
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Candel, Daniel
    2018 A report on the reports of the Stanford Literary Lab: A reason why the digital humanities may find it difficult to change literary history. Semiotica, 224 (September): 1–24.
    [Google Scholar]
  12. Dannenberg, Hilary
    2008Coincidence and Counterfactuality: Plotting Time and Space in Narrative Fiction. Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press. 10.2307/j.ctt1dgn486
    https://doi.org/10.2307/j.ctt1dgn486 [Google Scholar]
  13. Doležel, Lubomír
    1998Heterocosmica: Fiction and Possible Worlds. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  14. Fischer, Andreas
    2004 The notional structure of thesauruses. InCategorization in the History of English, Christian J. Kay and Jeremy J. Smith (eds). Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 41–58. 10.1075/cilt.261.04fis
    https://doi.org/10.1075/cilt.261.04fis [Google Scholar]
  15. Herman, David
    2012Story-Telling and the Sciences of Mind. Cambridge: MIT.
    [Google Scholar]
  16. Herodotus
    Herodotus 1998Histories. New York: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  17. Hühn, Peter
    2016 The eventfulness of non-events. InNarrative Sequence in Contemporary Narratology, Raphaël Baroni & Françoise Revaz (eds). Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 37–47.
    [Google Scholar]
  18. Kay, Christian
    2009Historical Thesaurus of the Oxford English Dictionary: with Additional Material from “A Thesaurus of Old English”. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  19. Konyndyk, Kenneth
    1986Introductory Modal Logic. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Labov, William
    1972Sociolinguistic Patterns. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  21. MacIntyre, Alasdair
    2007After Virtue: A Study in Moral Theory. Notre Dame: University of Notre Dame Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  22. 2016Ethics in the Conflicts of Modernity: An Essay on Desire, Practical Reasoning, and Narrative. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781316816967
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316816967 [Google Scholar]
  23. McCloud, Scott
    1994Understanding Comics: The Invisible Art. New York: Harper Collins.
    [Google Scholar]
  24. McKeon, Michael
    2002The Origins of the English Novel: 1600–1740. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  25. 2005The Secret History of Domesticity: Public, Private, and the Division of Knowledge. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. Midgley, Mary
    1994The Ethical Primate: Humans, Freedom and Morality. London: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203287507
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203287507 [Google Scholar]
  27. Miller, Frank
    1999300. Milwaukee: Dark Horse.
    [Google Scholar]
  28. Moretti, Franco
    2013Distant Reading. New York: Verso.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Phelan, Jim
    1989Reading People, Reading Plots: Character, Progression, and the Interpretation of Narrative. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  30. 2007Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progressions, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative. Columbus: Ohio State University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Pramaggiore, Maria & Tom Wallis
    2011Film: A Critical Introduction. London: Laurence King.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Reichl, Susanne
    2009Cognitive Principles, Critical Practice: Reading Literature at University. Vienna: Vienna University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  33. Rescher, Nicholas
    1968Topics in Philosophical Logic. Dordrecht: Reidel. 10.1007/978‑94‑017‑3546‑9
    https://doi.org/10.1007/978-94-017-3546-9 [Google Scholar]
  34. Roberts, Adam
    1999Romantic and Victorian Long Poems: A Guide. Aldershot: Ashgate.
    [Google Scholar]
  35. Ronen, Ruth
    1994Possible Worlds in Literary Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9780511597480
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511597480 [Google Scholar]
  36. 2010 Des mondes possibles au-delà du principe de vérité. InLa théorie littéraire des mondes possibles, Françoise Lavocat (ed.). Paris: CNRS Éditions, 189–202.
    [Google Scholar]
  37. Ryan, Marie-Laure
    1991Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  38. 2001Narrative as Virtual Reality: Immersion and Interactivity in Literature and Electronic Media. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  39. Seaton, Douglas
    2005Narrative in music: The case of Beethoven’s “Tempest” sonata. InNarratology Beyond Literary Criticism: Mediality, Disciplinarity, Jan Christoph Meister (ed.). Berlin and New York: De Gruyter, 65–82. 10.1515/9783110201840.65
    https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110201840.65 [Google Scholar]
  40. Segal, Eyal
    2016 Ending twice over (or more): Alternate endings in narrative. InNarrative Sequence in Contemporary Narratology, Raphaël Baroni & Françoise Revaz (eds). Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 71–86.
    [Google Scholar]
  41. Shen, Dan
    2013 Implied author: Authorial audience and context, form and history in neo-Aristotelian rhetorical theory. Narrative21 (2): 140–158. 10.1353/nar.2013.0006
    https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2013.0006 [Google Scholar]
  42. 2014Style and Rhetoric of Short Narrative Fiction: Covert Progressions Behind Overt Plots. London: Routledge.
    [Google Scholar]
  43. 2015 Dual textual dynamics and dual readerly dynamics: Double narrative movements in Mansfield’s “Psychology”. Style49 (4): 411–438. 10.5325/style.49.4.0411
    https://doi.org/10.5325/style.49.4.0411 [Google Scholar]
  44. Spiro, Rand J.
    1980 Constructive processes in prose comprehension and recall. InTheoretical Issues in Reading Comprehension, Rand J. Spiro et al. (eds). Hillsdale: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 245–278.
    [Google Scholar]
  45. Sternberg, Meir
    1978Expositional Modes and Temporal Ordering in Fiction. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  46. 1990 Telling in time (I): Chronology and narrative theory. Poetics Today11 (4): 901–948. 10.2307/1773082
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1773082 [Google Scholar]
  47. 1992 Telling in time (II): Chronology, teleology, narrativity. Poetics Today13 (3): 463–541. 10.2307/1772872
    https://doi.org/10.2307/1772872 [Google Scholar]
  48. 2001 How narrativity makes a difference. Narrative9 (2): 115–122.
    [Google Scholar]
  49. 2010 Narrativity: From objectivist to functional paradigm. Poetics Today31 (3): 507–659. 10.1215/03335372‑2010‑004
    https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-2010-004 [Google Scholar]
  50. Swift, Graham
    1983Waterland. New York: Random House.
    [Google Scholar]
  51. Swirsky, Peter
    2010Literature, Analytically Speaking: Explorations in the Theory of Interpretation, Analytic Aesthetics and Evolution. Austin: University of Texas Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  52. Todorov, Tzvetan
    1977The Poetics of Prose. Ithaca: Cornell.
    [Google Scholar]
  53. Toolan, Michael
    2009Narrative Progression in the Short Story: A Corpus Stylistic Approach. Amsterdam and Philadelphia: John Benjamins. 10.1075/lal.6
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lal.6 [Google Scholar]
  54. 2016 Musical narrativity. InNarrative Sequence in Contemporary Narratology, Raphaël Baroni & Françoise Revaz (eds). Ohio: Ohio State University Press, 130–150.
    [Google Scholar]
  55. Turner, Mark
    1987Death Is the Mother of Beauty: Mind, Metaphor, Criticism. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
    [Google Scholar]
  56. Vernay, Jean-François
    2014 The truth about fiction as possible worlds, Journal of Language, Literature and Culture61 (2): 133–141. 10.1179/2051285614Z.00000000035
    https://doi.org/10.1179/2051285614Z.00000000035 [Google Scholar]
  57. von Wright, George H.
    1951An Essay in Modal Logic. Amsterdam: North Holland.
    [Google Scholar]
  58. Williams, Raymond
    1988Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society. London: Fontana.
    [Google Scholar]
  59. Wolf, Werner
    2005 Music and narrative. InRoutledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory, David Herman, Manfred Jahn & Marie-Laure Ryan (eds). New York: Routledge, 324–329.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error