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The Messages We SendSocial Signals and Storytelling$
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G. R. F. Ferrari

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798422

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798422.001.0001

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Storytelling as Intimation

Storytelling as Intimation

The Model Presented

(p.65) 3 Storytelling as Intimation
The Messages We Send

G. R. F. Ferrari

Oxford University Press

Full-on communications and half-on intimations are both overt. A kind of intimation that combines the overt and covert is now introduced, whose underlying form is ‘I want you to know that I do not want you to know that I want you to know’. Instances of such intimation in social life are common, often conditioned by politeness or self-protectiveness. The focus of the chapter, however, is on showing that the same pattern applies to the intimations that storytellers make to their audiences in the established narrative arts. Stories are overt about being pretences, since we know they are fictional; they are a mixture of covert and overt, however, when it comes to how they captivate their audience. Audiences must be made to lose themselves in the dramatically convincing story while still knowing the plot for the contrivance that it is. This achievement is the author’s overarching contrivance.

Keywords:   communication, intimation, overt/covert, politeness, narrative, storytelling, dramatic conviction, plot, pretence

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