Jahn’s Degrees of Narrative

September 18, 2011

Manfred Jahn’s matrix narrative ideology offers authors a very unique tool upon creating their own narrative. The author is no longer subjected to a linear time line or sustainable and realistic universe but rather have the ability of creating a story that can offer many levels of plot development in which to ease their characters through their respective stories. It gives the author a wonderful way to transition from plot point to plot point.

A first-degree narrative is a narrative that is not embedded in any other narrative; a second-degree narrative is a narrative that is embedded in a first-degree narrative; a third-degree narrative is one that is embedded in a second-degree narrative, etc. A first-degree narrator, by analogy, is the narrator of a first-degree narrative, a second-degree narrator is the narrator of a second-degree narrative, etc., in exact correspondence. (Jahn N2.4)

This tool can also be used to repair any discrepancies that the characters may encounter through their respective points of view. This can be utilized through the various levels of consciousness that is readily available to the author via dreams, alternate realities, imaginary plane of existence, etc. This is most readily seen through the eyes of the characters in Don Quixote, as they realize that they are characters within a second or possibly third degree narrative. This can also be seen through the character development between the authors; Samperio, Sagovia, and Ofelia in Samperio’s She Lived in a Story.

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One Response to “Jahn’s Degrees of Narrative”

  1.   Class Notes, 21 Sep. 2011 said:

    […] Reading together PIE paragraph of Justin Tse: http://jtse102.qwriting.qc.cuny.edu/2011/09/18/jahns-degrees-of-narrative/ […]

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