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Performing Stories

Narrative as Performance

Retelling performances, collecting things, reading traces, mapping memories, gaming autobiographies: in European and Anglo-American theater since the turn of the millennium, a range of new nonliterary narrative practices such as these have taken root. Unable to be subsumed under a well-established narratological, dramatic, or postdramatic perspective, they call for a reexamination of the relationship between performance and narration. Performing Stories seeks to reconceptualize narrative against the backdrop of innovative theater formats such as collective storytelling games, theater installations, extensive autobiographical performances, immersive role-playing, and audio-video walks.


Nina Tecklenburg’s focus lies on narration less as literary composition than as sensate, embodied cultural practice—a participatory and open process that fosters social relationships. She gives central importance to the forces of narration that create and undo culture and politics. A foundational new book, Performing Stories presents a groundbreaking transdisciplinary perspective through new approaches that are stimulating to performance studies, narrative and cultural theory, literary criticism, and game and video studies.
 

440 pages | 14 halftones | 6 x 9

Enactments

Literature and Literary Criticism: Dramatic Works


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Table of Contents

I. PERFORMING STORIES: AN INTRODUCTION

1. Origin Story Number One
2. Historical Contexts
2.1 Illusion, Distance, Presence, Interaction:
Stations of Narrative in Twentieth-Century Theatre
2.2 Wired Narration and Narrative Self-Performance
3. Terminological Foundations
3.1 Narrating: How to Do Things with Stories
3.2 Narrative Performances. Challenging Terminological Presuppositions
4. Protagonists, Plots, Methods


II. (THEORETICAL) SCENES OF NARRATIVE

1. A Walk-In Crime Story (Uwe Mengel)
2. Perspectives from Theatre Studies and Narratology
2.1 Between Drama and Performance: Narration as Deviation and Exclusion
2.2 Between Language and Representation: Narration as Verbal Communication and Arrangement of Incidents
3. Shifting Perspectives: Narrative as Process and Performance
3.1 Plotting, Narrative Knowledge, Narrative Energy.
On the Openness of Narration
3.2 Toward a Dynamic Concept of Narration
3.3 Entanglement, Narration-Action, Transmission.
Narration as Cultural and Social Practice


III. NARRATION GAMES

1. Narrating and Playing
2. Narration as (Language) Game (Wittgenstein)
3. And on the Thousandth Night … :
A Competition (Forced Entertainment)
3.1 Fabula Interrupta: Narrative Desire
3.2 Making a Play for It: The Canon of Stories and Politics of Narration
4. Narrative Self-Legitimization of the Social Bond (Lyotard)
5. Morally Entangled: A Roleplay (SIGNA)
5.1 Games of Trust and Secretiveness: Among Witnesses
5.2 Rumour Mills and Telling Swarms:
On the Power of Flying Narration


IV. STORIED THINGS: (AUTO)BIOGRAPHICAL COLLECTING, TAILORING, CRAFTING

1. How Things Narrate Us: Narrative Cargo
2. A Shambles of (Auto)Biographical Things (Bobby Baker)
2.1 Oneself
2.2 Recalcitrant Things, Story-Mixes and Trying to Self-Cleanse
3. Tailoring Identity (She She Pop)
3.1 Trying on Stories Like Clothes
3.2 The Self-Narrative as Fetish


V. NARRATIVE MOVEMENTS – NARRATIVE SPACES

1. Narrative Walks
2. Reading, Following and Leaving Traces (Janet Cardiff, plan b)
2.1 On the Narrativity of Traces
2.2 Narrivigating the City
3. The Flyneur and narrative Cartography (LIGNA, plan b)
3.1 GPS-Flânerie
3.2 Movement—Narration—Mapping


VI. TELLING EVENTS

1. (Re)Telling Performances
2. Anticipated Nostalgia:
The Performance as Grand Narrative (Lone Twin)
2.1 Event—Narration—Stories
2.2 A Cyclist’s Odyssey: On Anecdotal Heroic Deeds
2.3 Recycling: Communal History and Repeated Ending
3. Narrating Performance Art:
On the (De)Mythologization of the Performance (Boryana Rossa)
3.1 The Myth of the Event, the Myth of the Performance
3.2 Make (No) Graven Images: The Myth of Performance Art
3.3 A Matter of Life and Death: Hidden Narratives of Body Art


VII. CONCLUSION: THE NEW THEATRE OF NARRATION

1. Retelling, Recounting
2. Propositions
2.1 Performance Theory as Narrative Knowledge Praxis
2.2 Towards a Performative Turn in Narratology
2.3 Semiosis and Aisthesis and Their Asymmetrical Entanglement
3. Origin Story Number Two

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