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Open Cultural Studies

Editor-in-Chief: Miller, Toby

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2451-3474
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Driving, not Losing, the Plot: Narrative Patterns in Implicit and Explicit Fictional Representations of Dementia

Malte Völk
Published Online: 2017-05-19 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0006

Abstract

This essay examines representations of dementia in literary works. It draws a distinction between those representations of dementia symptoms that can be understood as implicit and those that can be understood as explicit. Whereas implicit representations do not treat dementia as a distinct, clearly identified disorder, they nonetheless display a certain similarity to the explicitly medicalized discussion of dementia symptoms. This similarity lies in the fact that dementia symptoms are used to drive forward the narrative action. The essay traces this pattern by analysing different literary works with this feature in common and discusses the significance of this narrative’s dynamic potential for the plasticity of cultural narratives of dementia and old age.

Keywords: cultural narratives; dementia; old age; literature

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About the article

Received: 2017-01-23

Accepted: 2017-04-18

Published Online: 2017-05-19

Published in Print: 2017-01-26


Citation Information: Open Cultural Studies, Volume 1, Issue 1, Pages 55–65, ISSN (Online) 2451-3474, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/culture-2017-0006.

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© 2017. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 License. BY-NC-ND 4.0

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