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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter November 28, 2017

Eighteen hours of salmon: On the narrativity of slow TV

  • Dan Irving EMAIL logo


Slow TV programs are long, uninterrupted broadcasts of relatively mundane activities, focusing on topics ranging from train rides along the coast of Norway to the chopping, stacking, and burning of firewood. This article argues that slow TV problematizes the standard conception of narrativity, especially in terms of a conceptual narrative/non-narrative boundary. Moving away from the idea of narrative-as-concept, I argue for an understanding of narrativity more sensitive to readers’ actual experience and a further nuanced understanding of the range of weak-narrativity texts. A text deemed conceptually “non-narrative” by theorists can still be experienced as narrative by readers and/or viewers, supplementing given texts or programs with personal experiences to effectively narrativize the non-narrative; narrative, I argue, is better thought of as a state that is achieved, rather than a concept that exists within a text. The article ultimately suggests a gradient of weak narrativity in order to consider new forms of experimental narrativity without collapsing its different types.


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Published Online: 2017-11-28
Published in Print: 2017-11-23

© 2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston

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