The Pictorial Narrator
- Číslo 1 
PublisherUniverzita Karlova, Filozofická fakulta
Helsinki University Press
Source documentEstetika: The European Journal of Aesthetics
Periodical publication year: 2023
Periodical Volume: 2023
Periodical Issue: 1
Rights and license termsThis is an open-access article distributed under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Keywords (English)narrator, narrative, pictures, perspective, fiction, story
In our everyday discourse we make frequent reference to pictorial narratives. We exclaim on the hunt scene in the cave painting, the frenzy unfolding in the graffiti, the adventure of the baby in the book illustration, and the disintegration of a marriage in the oil painting. Yet a more precise question concerning narrators and their relation to these so-called pictorial narratives remains overlooked. Theoretical debates in narratology are still primarily focused on literary narratives and so pictures remain relatively neglected as a class. Kendall Walton is an exception. He argues that the literary narrator is necessary to provide access to the story as ‘he mediates the reader’s access to the rest of the fictional world’. He says that pictorial narratives cannot sustain narrators akin to literary counterparts. But this seems to be at odds with how we understand paintings such as Marriage A-la-Mode, where events are arguably recounted to the viewer with wicked humour. This paper has two main aims. The first is to set out what is meant by ‘pictorial narrators’ by providing a succinct and up-to-date guide to the discussions that have touched on this issue. The second is to explore the possibility that pictorial narratives imply pictorial narrators.
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Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of theCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC-BY 4.0), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.