The Unknown Storyteller

This paper/talk introduces an innovative application of the Calculus of Indications in George Spencer-Brown's 'Laws of Form' to the analysis of story structure.

VIMEO 359954407 The Unknown Storyteller — Leon Conrad

It is in four sections: I – Introduction, methodology, and approach; II - Demonstration of methodology in practice; III - Expansion, contraction, and classification of story structures; IV - Implications. It provides: 1. a simple, intuitive visual interpretation of story structure; 2. transparency and ease in analysing story structures across different genres; 3. greater insight into how story structures interrelate; 4. greater understanding of the inherent 'laws of story'; 5. potential for significant insights in narratology.

The paper presents a potential solution to a problem raised by H A Porter Abbott (The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, 2010/2016, p. 21): 'What is necessary for the story of Cinderella to be the story of Cinderella? … is a question that can never be answered with precision.' The paper potentially shows not just what's necessary for the story of Cinderella to be the story of Cinderella, but what's necessary for any story to be identified as a particular kind of story.

A book-length treatment of the application of Spencer-Brown's work to the analysis of story structure will be forthcoming. page