Literature and narration: post-classical perspectives and analyses

The Concept prepared by Alenka Koron, chair of the colloquium

On the 10th and 11th of September, this year’s Vilenica festival, whose title is Ego and fabula, will again be hosting an international comparative literature colloquium – the 17th in a row. The colloquium is organized by the Slovenian Comparative Literature Association, and the Institute of Slovenian Literature and Literary Studies at the Scientific Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. The colloquium will be held at the Lili Novy Hall in Cankarjev dom in Ljubljana and will be dedicated to the theory of narrative and to narratology. It will focus on contemporary theoretical treatment of storytelling, which in a broader sense is closely intertwined with the central festival theme. Slovenian and foreign literary scholars from Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Hungary and Serbia will participate in the colloquium as they discuss the topic Literature and Narrative: Post-Classical Perspectives and Analyses. The “Narration” in the title of the colloquium is thought of in a broad sense, namely, as a set of literary forms and genres with a characteristic structure that includes a speaker, a message or story, and an addressee; in addition to stories and lyrical texts, narrative extends to non-word-based artistic genres (film, fine arts, dancing, etc.). At the same time, in this broad sense narrative is understood as a fundamental tool with which we think ourselves and the world, and in recent times it is increasingly used as a tool pertaining to the emotions and sensations. All of this is linked by the idea that the narrative manner of representing the world is omnipresent and that narrative goes beyond the field of literature.
Post-classical narratology deals with this broad concept of narrative, which today entails a vibrant field of literary and theoretical research that is becoming increasingly interdisciplinary. It is even current to speak about a narrative turn in science that is comparable to the linguistic turn that preceded it by several decades. Simultaneous to the expanding interest in the narrative beyond the humanities, an intensive discussion among literary scholars is raging about the very nature of narrative discourse and how it relates to analysing and interpreting texts. Ljubljana’s comparative literature colloquium will be included in the current debates of both fields, opening questions that transcend a merely intrinsic literary approach. In addition to narration and poetry, the colloquium will also see the analysis of television series, films, graphic novels, etc.