The Unknown StorytellerPresentation Slides
This paper introduces an innovative application of the Calculus of Indications in George Spencer-Brown's 'Laws of Form' to the analysis of story structure.
It is in four sections:
I – Introduction, methodology, and approach;
II - Demonstration of methodology in practice;
III - Expansion, contraction, and classification of story structures;
IV - Implications.
1. a simple, intuitive visual interpretation of story structure;
2. transparency and ease in analysing story structures across different genres;
3. greater insight into how story structures interrelate;
4. greater understanding of the inherent 'laws of story';
5. potential for significant insights in narratology.
The paper presents a potential solution to a problem raised by H A Porter Abbott (The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative, 2010/2016, p. 21): 'What is necessary for the story of Cinderella to be the story of Cinderella? … is a question that can never be answered with precision.' The paper potentially shows not just what's necessary for the story of Cinderella to be the story of Cinderella, but what's necessary for any story to be identified as a particular kind of story.
A book-length treatment of the application of Spencer-Brown's work to the analysis of story structure will be forthcoming.
Leon Conrad has run training courses in voice-centred communication skills for business for over 20 years. He is a writer, poet, storyteller and educator. He is passionate about reviving the integrated approach to teaching the liberal arts, in particular the Trivium of logic, grammar and rhetoric. He has an undergraduate degree in Music, an MA in the History of Design and Material Culture of the Renaissance.
In 2013, George Spencer-Brown began mentoring Leon through the process of engaging with 'Laws of Form' on a weekly basis, following which the engagement continued through the last 3 years of Spencer-Brown's life, and resulted in a meaningful friendship. Leon has gone on to successfully apply Spencer-Brown's methodology to the practice of logic, and – most recently – to the analysis of story structures, looking at the close link between story structures and different types of problems.
As founder of The Traditional Tutor (traditionaltutor.co.uk), Leon works with gifted and talented youngsters, and with professionals as a communication consultant through The Academy of Oratory (academyoforatory.co.uk).