As Narration According to a general understanding, the term "epic" is used to describe all epic texts and therefore all works that are characterized by a narrator (cf. Narrative Perspective) and in this respect can be distinguished from drama and poetry. For the most part, epic texts are written in prose, although there are examples based on verse. Consequently, narrative is then a generic term for novels, novellas, short stories, anecdotes, fairy tales etc. In particular, however, the term refers to a very specific genre, the characteristics of which, however, can not be clearly named. It is considered essential that it is a rather short story, usually with a clear introduction, main body, and conclusion, as well as showing a manageable plot, which distinguishes it from the convoluted novel, although it does not meet the sharp criteria of novellas and short stories. The plot is mostly made up of a Narrative perspective and chronological narration. Flashbacks are more likely to be realized through memories or letters.


The noun narrative derives from the verb narrate from. The verb tell goes back to the Middle High German word tell, also erzellen, back. This originally meant to enumerate or report. Consequently, this is basically the reproduction of an event in written as well as oral form. Someone narrates a content and the result is generally called a story or even Narration denotes.

In terms of literature the term means not only the fact that a person tells something, but also that this story is mostly fictional, i.e. that the not real is. This is also true when the narrator asserts in the text that everything he says is true. In general, the term therefore refers to a generic term for literary Epic texts and also a Genre , which, however, has only a few unambiguous characteristics.

Nevertheless, it can be stated that the narrative is a medium-length text, which is usually told chronologically, i.e., it functions without foreshadowing and flashbacks, and can usually be divided quite clearly into an introduction, a main section, and a conclusion, with tension building up in the course of the story, reaching its climax in the main section, only to drop off in the conclusion (cf. suspense).

Characteristics of the Narrative

As already described, there are very few characteristics that can be applied to any text of the genre. In addition, the term is sometimes used for all epic texts, which is why a very precise classification is extremely difficult. The following is an attempt to list the essential characteristics that apply to most narratives and are thus often applicable.

  • In principle, a narrative is a story, which is either passed on orally or in writing becomes. In most cases, however, the term is used to refer to texts that are in the same written down are. Thus, the written text of such a narrative is essentially unchanging and is not subject to variation. This feature has the text type in common with the novel and distinguishes it from fairy tales, sagas and legends.
  • Furthermore it is Text type of medium length . This means that the genre can thus be distinguished from the epic small forms, such as the anecdote or the short story. However, it is not as extensive as a novel. This characteristic is, of course, rather vague, but can be helpful, especially in distinguishing it from small forms.
  • It is also true that narratives are usually told chronologically is. Thus, there are no jumps in time in the form of flashbacks or flash-forwards. If there are nevertheless temporal jumps, this is mostly realized by letters or memories, which the protagonist reads or thinks about – rather untypical is the jumping into different tenses. The same applies to the narrative strands. The most stories are single-stranded and concentrate on one character / group of characters.
  • Since the text does not jump between tenses and is therefore told in a linear fashion, the narrative can usually be divided into three rough sections: introduction, main part and conclusion . The tension increases from the beginning and reaches its climax in the main part.
  • Since the text does not have an enormous extent, mostly also the plot manageable , which is also true for the ensemble of characters. Usually the story focuses on a protagonist and his confrontation with the environment. The The plot is therefore not very elaborate and complex , but remains with the essential.
  • In addition, the genre is characterized by a high comprehensibility from. Although there are all sorts of examples written more for scholars, unlike drama or poetry, the genre produces numerous works that are designed as consumer goods for members of all educational classes. For this it is only necessary to take a look at the book market, where it becomes obvious that narratives are mostly assigned to fiction and therefore to light literature, whereby they distinguish themselves by an understandable language and clear constellations of characters distinguish. They are therefore intended for many readers.
  • Furthermore, the text is fictional– or at least to create the suspicion that this is so – and therefore not real is. This means that the narration reflects events invented by an author, even though they may well be based on real occurrences. These imagined events are conveyed by a narrator. In this way, the genre can be distinguished from non-fiction texts of all kinds.
  • such a narrator is the essential characteristic of epic texts. Although there are various experiments that push the narrator into the background, basically you find either an auctorial, personal, neutral or first-person narrator who tells the story and communicates with the addressee (reader, listener) shares (cf. Narrative Perspectives).
  • If such a narrative is not passed on orally, it Prose Texts . This means that the text is not characterized by metrical or rhythmic guidelines, is not oriented to a rhyme scheme, and is consequently in unbound speech appears.
  • Hint: The above characteristics are not universal. They were determined with the indicated secondary literature and by own investigations. This is due to the fact that there are no set characteristics, but rather vague attempts to describe the genre.

Structure of a narrative (German lessons)

As described, the linear plot of such a story is mostly divided into a clear introduction, a clear main part, and a very obvious conclusion. In principle, these parts can be designed quite freely. However, especially in German lessons, these sections are assigned certain functions. These are explained below.

In the introduction it is basically determined in which tense the text is told. In this case, the past tense or the present tense is usually chosen. Furthermore, in the introduction there are clear indications which narrative perspective will basically determine the following text. Furthermore, essential questions are clarified here, which are necessary for the understanding of the narrative. Here there is information about the place and time of the following events as well as about the prehistory, which can be essential for the story. Accordingly, the introduction resembles the exposition in drama (cf. Peripetia).

The main part has basically two functions. Thus it should drive the suspense and tell the essence of the story. So on the one hand you can find information about the activities of the protagonists and on the other hand the actual core of the narrative. Here, the actual story is told, that is, what it is about in the first place. Flashbacks and flash-forwards are usually realized through dreams, memories or letters. Furthermore, the tension of the story reaches its peak in the main part (cf. Tension Curve).

The conclusion can be either open or closed. If it is closed, the conflict that determined the narrative is resolved and ultimately resolved, dropping the tension. If it is open, the narrative again approaches the short story, breaking the tension rather apruptly.

Like this post? Please share to your friends:
Leave a Reply

;-) :| :x :twisted: :smile: :shock: :sad: :roll: :razz: :oops: :o :mrgreen: :lol: :idea: :grin: :evil: :cry: :cool: :arrow: :???: :?: :!: