Toward a Post-Narratology or the Narratology of Narrative Generation

Toward a Post-Narratology or the Narratology of Narrative Generation

Takashi Ogata (Iwate Prefectural University, Japan)
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 58
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-7979-3.ch002
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This new enhanced book, which includes this chapter, explores new possibilities and directions of narrative-related technologies and theories, as well as their implications for the innovative design, development, and creation of future media and contents such as automatic narrative generation systems; this exploration is carried out through interdisciplinary approaches to narratology that are dependent on computational and cognitive studies (i.e., computational and cognitive approaches to narratology). Concurrently, this book refers to “computational and cognitive approaches to narratology” as “post-narratology” to reflect its exploration of a new narratology. This chapter presents the concept of post-narratology and, in particular, describes “the narratology of narrative generation,” which is an approach to the author's post-narratology. In particular, this chapter demonstrates an attempt toward post-narratology, post-narratological survey, and the narrative generation modeling, as well as a comparative discussion on previous approaches to narratology and post-narratology.
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Recently, in the world of artificial intelligence (AI) and cognitive science, the latter of which is an interdisciplinary academic field supporting AI, many studies have attempted to realize creative functions. The number of challenges to artistic and literary works that do not possess pragmatic functions like industrial products has also been increasing. Of course, these are not sudden phenomena and demonstrate a kind of technological progression that is supported by recent research and developments in the fields of AI, cognitive science, and media technologies. In fact, research and development related to generative and creative activities has been conducted on an ongoing basis, and include music generation, automatic composition, sentence generation, and narrative generation. Further, various theories, methods, and technologies have been proposed. The author has also continued his research and development based on this flow of studies and their steady accumulation.

Previously, pioneering but subjective and fragmental research and development endeavors have been conducted in various places with a focus on creative AI technologies for literature, the arts, and narratives. Today, such research and development has been endeavored by the collaborative groups. Conversely, the likelihood of a research area or genre developing such that it is closely related to AI has been increasing. At the same time, another movement aims toward the pragmatic utilization of developed systems and content produced in the context of distribution mechanisms, such as businesses and other social systems. Thus, we are seeing innovative scenes that contrast with those from the previous situation of narrative generation.

In the current situation, the integration of various academic fields from the past into a new system of research and creation is required. The variety of academic disciplines should encapsulate the fields of AI and cognitive science, as well as the humanities and social sciences, which include narratology, literary theories, film theories, linguistics, philosophy and thought, mental medicine, marketing, and advertising. Moreover, research and development regarding the following topics should be managed synthetically: narrative generation phenomena including both the generation - production process and reception – consumption process, language, movies or images, etc. One key purpose of this research framework is to narrate a plan that has not been included in any prior research discipline and establish a new research field that includes system development and content creation. The author refers to this new plan or field as post-narratology.

The author has already co-authored, edited, and published four books in Japanese and English (Ogata & Kanai, 2010; Ogata & Akimoto, 2016; Ogata & Asakawa, 2018a; Ogata, Kawamura, & Kanai, 2018). These books revealed the plans for a new research system and use various, different-but-similar terms in their discussion, such as “informatics of narratology,” “informational narratology,” “cognitive and computational approaches to narratology,” and “content generation.” The term post-narratology is intended to synthesize the above terms or concepts. The objective of this chapter is to present the concept of post-narratology.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Post-Narratology: A concept for a research field in which narratology and literary theories are organically introduced into computational and cognitive approaches.

Narrative Discourse and Narrative Representation: Narrative discourse, in the broad sense, is divided into structural level (narrative discourse in the narrow sense) and representative level (narrative representation). The former (simply narrative discourse) corresponds to a kind of story adaptation and refers to narrative components based on the composition and order of a story, the organization of events, narrative viewpoints, and tempo. The narrative representation includes language representation, picture or image representation, music representation, etc.

Narratology of Narrative Generation: The author maintains that one goal of the research and development of post-narratology is the development of narrative generation systems, namely, the “narratology of narrative generation.”

Geino Information System (GIS): A system model of geino production and consumption. GIS has been considered a framework in which various levels of narrative generation processes were driven by authors, receivers, characters, actors, and actresses.

Story: The story in a narrative is the equivalent of a temporal sequence of events and an event is a unit that changes a particular state in a story.

Integrated Narrative Generation System (INGS): INGS is a synthetic narrative generation system architecture integrating the previous studies by the author.

Multiple Narrative Structures: A conceptual model by which a narrative text is multiply constituted and the narrative generation process is also multiply executed.

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