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May 2013, Week 2


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Sun, 12 May 2013 10:19:30 -0400
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There's an interesting anthology edited by Pat Harrigan and Noah Wardrip-Fruin called Third Person: Authoring and Exploring Vast Narratives.  Even though a good bit of it is oriented towards gaming (which is also the section where the library files it) the idea of vast narratives has obvious relevance to television (and to a lesser extent some movies).  Is this a topic that's been explored in any systematic way?  I can't find anything as "vast narratives" so is there different term?

The book offers only a vague, fairly useless attempt at defining the idea and the examples from the book only make it less coherent.  There are obvious ones such as a very long, very complex single narrative (Cerebus), large numbers of overlapping, barely connected stories in multiple media (Dr Who), variations on stories and characters (superhero comics) and so on.  There are some pieces on work that doesn't appear to be a vast narrative in any meaningful sense (Deadwood) and except for something on Thomas Mann's Joseph & His Brothers it mostly ignores the many literary examples not to mention what might be the prime example of vast narratives- soap operas.

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