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Restorying: the creative act of re-telling

Scott, Jeremy (2020) Restorying: the creative act of re-telling. In: Narrative Retellings: Stylistic Approaches. Advances in Stylistics . Bloomsbury, London, UK. ISBN 978-1-350-12002-0. E-ISBN 978-1-350-12003-7. (The full text of this publication is not currently available from this repository. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:80458)

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This chapter proposes a new way of thinking about creative re-telling (the redeployment of an existing narrative by a separate narrating entity from the progenitor of the original) by using the term ‘restorying’. The term has three senses, leading to the formal definition of three types of restorying. These will be illustrated with reference to exemplar texts: Type 1: restorying as recycling. This can be viewed as a process of recycling in the sense of a transformation of a mixture of source materials. Concrete elements of the narrative structure of the pre-text(s) will not, for the most part, be retained ,⁠ but aspects of style and content (themes, character-types, settings, genre features and so on) will be present. This is a matter of broad influence (e.g. in terms of creative ethic), and may be unconscious or conscious. Type 2: restorying as recontextualising. This type involves a conscious relocation of the original pre-text(s) to a new context, and fundamental changes in mediation (discourse), and thus storyworld. The pre-text(s) are more readily identifiable than in Type 1, either in terms of genre or archetypal narrative tropes. Typically, type 2 restorying comes about through a new narrative situation (stylistically, and in time, space, cultural context and so on), and will fundamentally alter the original pre-text(s), giving new creative impetus. Crucially, it will entail a refreshing of existing genre schema. Type 3: restorying as reinterpretation. Here, the act of restorying involves a single pre-text. The order, structure and progression of that pre-text’s narrative remains unchanged (indeed, fidelity to the pre-text is deemed essential), but there are concrete changes in style/linguistic choice to render the original accessible to a different audience, and these changes can be measured and defined through analysis. Thus, restorying can be seen as an essentially creative act, and a tool which all writers make use of to a greater or lesser extent. Indeed, it could be argued (c.p. Burroway 1982, Kroeber 1992, Booker 2004) that all creative writing is by definition a process of restorying. The chapter will illustrate this thesis with reference to examples from J.R.R. Tolkien (for type 1), the short stories of A.S. Byatt (for type 2 and )Simon Armitage’s new translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (for type 3).

Item Type: Book section
Uncontrolled keywords: Narratology; Creative Practice; Stylistics; Literary Linguistics
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Jeremy Scott
Date Deposited: 11 Mar 2020 12:18 UTC
Last Modified: 10 Feb 2021 11:34 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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