Front cover of Slow Narrative across Media, Edited by Marco Caracciolo and Ella Mingazova, featuring a zoomed-in large image of an hourglass, showing the sands trickling from top to bottom.

Slow Narrative across Media

Edited by Marco Caracciolo and Ella Mingazova

238 pp. 6 x 9
12 illustrations
Pub Date: May, 2024

Subjects: Narrative Studies
Literary Theory

Series: Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

Order Hardcover $79.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-1567-8
Order PDF ebook$44.95   ISBN: 978-0-8142-8348-6

Slow Narrative across Media offers a comprehensive theory of slowness in narrative flow that privileges complexity over reductionism and reflection over consuming stories for thrills: a ‘time out’ from capitalist cultures of speed. It affords a great deal of textual and cultural context, finding its strength in a nuts-and-bolts approach, rather than a philosophical one, to narrative theory.” —Lalita Pandit Hogan, editor of Criticism and Lacan: Essays and Dialogue on Language, Structure, and the Unconscious

Slowness is frequently seen as a response to modernity’s cult of speed and efficiency, and its influence in contemporary culture can be felt in artistic trends such as “slow cinema” or “slow TV.” Despite the popularity of these labels, however, slowness remains undertheorized in contemporary narrative scholarship. What makes a narrative slow, and what conceptual and analytical tools are best suited to account for this slowness? Is slowness a feature of certain narratives, an experiential response to these narratives, or both? How is narrative slowness related to the pace and rhythm of plot, and how does it carry cultural significance?

Slow Narrative across Media illuminates the concept of slow narrative and demonstrates how it manifests across media forms: from short stories to novel cycles, to comics, to music, to experimental film. Led by editors Marco Caracciolo and Ella Mingazova, contributors draw on cognitive and rhetorical approaches to narrative as well as on econarratology to bring into focus both the media-specific ways in which narrative evokes slowness and the usefulness of a transmedial approach to this phenomenon.

Jan Baetens, Raphaël Baroni, Lars Bernaerts, Marco Caracciolo, Karin Kukkonen, Ella Mingazova, Peggy Phelan, Greice Schneider, Roy Sommer, Carolien Van Nerom, Gary Weissman

Marco Caracciolo is Associate Professor of English and Literary Theory at Ghent University in Belgium. He is the author of several books, including With Bodies: Narrative Theory and Embodied Cognition.

Ella Mingazova is a researcher in English and American literature at the University of Liège and at the KU Leuven in Belgium. She is the coeditor of Obsolescence programmée: Perspectives culturelles.


List of Illustrations

Marco Caracciolo and Ella Mingazova
Part 1   Theorizing Slowness in Narrative
Chapter 1        The Speed of Plot: Narrative Acceleration and Deceleration
Karin Kukkonen
Chapter 2        Summaries and Scenes as Decelerators and Accelerators of Narrative Speed
Raphaël Baroni
Chapter 3        Turning Pages and Going Up and Down: On Seth’s Clyde Fans
Jan Baetens
Part 2   Delaying the End
Chapter 4        Snail Fiction and the Tome Challenge: What Makes Novels Slow?
Roy Sommer
Chapter 5        Taming Your Time: Notes on the Novelistic Cycle as Slow Narrative
Lars Bernaerts
Chapter 6        A Matter of Slowness in Comics: Modulating Time in a Tale of Confinement
Greice Schneider
Part 3   Slowness, from One Medium to Another
Chapter 7        Music as Slow Narrative in Philip Glass’s Opera The Fall of the House of Usher
Carolien Van Nerom
Chapter 8        Hearing the Slow Mood of Don DeLillo’s Point Omega
Ella Mingazova
Chapter 9        Rereading for Simultaneous Consciousness: The Making of Slow Narrative in “Story of Your Life”—and Its Unmaking in Arrival
Gary Weissman
Part 4   Uses of Slowness
Chapter 10      Cosmic Summaries and the Ecological Value of Slow Narrative Experiences
Marco Caracciolo
Chapter 11      Warhol’s Empire: Weak Narrativity and Slow Cinema
Peggy Phelan

List of Contributors

Related Titles:

Book Cover

With Bodies

Narrative Theory and Embodied Cognition

Marco Caracciolo and Karin Kukkonen

Book Cover

A Passion for Specificity

Confronting Inner Experience in Literature and Science

Marco Caracciolo and Russell Hurlburt

Book Cover

Media of Serial Narrative

Edited by Frank Kelleter