The cinematic mode in fiction

TitleThe cinematic mode in fiction
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsBellardi, M
JournalFrontiers of Narrative Studies
Paginations24 - s47
Date Published2018///
ISBN Number2509-4882
Keywordscinematisation, monstration and narration, narrative relief, para-cinematic narrator, remediation

This article focuses on the imitation of film form in cinematic novels and short stories on the level of narrative discourse and introduces the concept of ‘para-cinematic narrator’. The author compares the temporality expressed by verbal tenses in literature and the temporality expressed through film semiosis. The connection between film and literary fiction is explored in terms of foreground and background narrative style. It is argued that the articulation of narrative foreground and background – i. e. the “narrative relief” (Weinrich 1971) – in film form tends to favour the foreground style, and that such narrative relief is ‘flattened’ due to the “monstrative” quality (Gaudreault 2009) of the medium. This flattening is remediated in strongly cinematised fiction and conveyed through the use of verbal tenses. The imitation of montage and specific cinematic techniques is conceived, consequently, as a separate feature that can integrate into this remediated, para-cinematic temporality. Finally, the author recalls the concept of “mode” in genre theory (Fowler 2002), which describes a “distillation” of traits from one genre to another. With the category of cinematic mode the remediation of basic traits from film to literary fiction can be framed in terms of genre-related discourses.


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