Computationele narratologie: ‘structuralism strikes back’ of nieuwe antwoorden op nieuwe vragen?

Gunther Martens


The article aims to explore methodological tenets and options underpinning the ongoing development of computational narratology. So far, the digital turn in narrative studies seems to have been dominated by a return to early formalist and proto-structuralist accounts of story grammar (Propp). However, it is shown that aspects of discourse and style have been latent in approaches to distant reading outside of narrative studies. The application of digital humanities to narrative studies requires us to abandon a staple of literary theory: the alleged oppositions between between system and performance, between structure and pragmatics, autonomy and heteronomy etc. This means that aspects of the paratext and a multimodal take on the setting of narrative are likely to feed into the digital analysis of narrative, but also that categories hitherto considered to be formalist turn out to rely on interpretation. The article then takes a look at the purport of sentiment mining, network analysis and co-reference resolution for digital (literary) narrative studies. Finally, it is argued that the anti-computationalism of second-generation cognitive theory (currently dominant in narrative studies) is in fact a misnomer, as the tenets of embodied cognitionn are in fact highly amenable to the study of the actual reception and comprehension of narratives via digital tools.


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© Tijdschrift voor Nederlandse Taal- en Letterkunde | ISSN (print): 0040-7550 | eISSN (online): 2212-0521