Perturbatory narration is a heuristic concept, applicable both quantitatively and qualitatively to a specific type of complex narratives for which narratology has not yet found an appropriate classification. This new term refers to complex narrative strategies that produce intentionally disturbing effects such as surprise, confusion, doubt or disappointment ‒ effects that interrupt or suspend immersion in the aesthetic reception process. The initial task, however, is to indicate what narrative conventions are, in fact, questioned, transgressed, or given new life by perturbatory narration. The key to our modeling lies in its combination of individual procedures of narrative strategies hitherto regarded as unrelated. Their interplay has not yet attracted scholarly attention. The essays in this volume present a wide range of contemporary films from Canada, the USA, Mexico, Argentina, Spain, France and Germany. The perturbatory narration concept enables to typify and systematize moments of disruption in fictional texts, combining narrative processes of deception, paradox and/or empuzzlement and to analyse these perturbing narrative strategies in very different filmic texts.
Sabine Schlickers and Vera Toro, Universität Bremen, Germany.