View Full Version : Classical Plot: A non-Linguistic Construct

03-12-2007, 10:44 PM
Here's the beginning of a post-post-modern book (pub, 2000) on plot.


The points that intrigue me (and these may not be clear in the above excerpt) are:

1) Plot is constructed in a cognative space entirely separate from the strictly linguistic aspects of narrative (This goes against the basic assumptions of both Modernism and Post-modernism)
2) If the Unconscious is "structured like a language" (as Lacan says, though it still makes little sense to me, surely in fact even in Lacan it is structured like a mess of chains of signifiers, a proto-language at best)
and plots are not at all constructed (cognatively) like language, then the unconscious is very bad at constructing plots. Certainly that has been my experience.
3) Lowe (the author of the excerpt in the above link), suggests that plots are constucted more like games. Again, that has been my experience.

Much later:

I probably should have said "non-syntactic" instead of non-linguistic.

And I was reading along in the Lowe book and on page 130, I found the marvelous sentence:

"The Odyssey is able to open up its storyworld precisely because it has devised a narrative system powerful enough to contain it."

Kind of a strange vision: the Epic text devising an powerful narrative system so that it can contain all the marvels that it desires to contain.