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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Storytelling as Intimation

Storytelling as Intimation

The Model Defended and Refined

(p.113) 4 Storytelling as Intimation
The Messages We Send

G. R. F. Ferrari

Oxford University Press

The chapter argues against a ‘conversational’ model of the relation between storyteller and audience, on the grounds that it puts the storyteller at too little distance from the audience. Although more overt than intimation at the half-on position (since the transmission is required to come across by recognition of the intention of the transmitting party), the storyteller’s intimation still lacks the complete overtness of full-on communication (since that recognition is only partial); hence its ‘three-quarters-on’ position. Contrast the full covertness of the quarter-on position, whose underlying form is: I want you to know (something), but I also want you not to know that I want you to know (that thing). Lyric poetry, which comes alive for us by masking its own artificiality, belongs here. A derivation is then proposed that makes mimicry fundamental to storytelling’s manner of intimation, rendering theoretical appeal to make-believe, imagination, or the authorial ‘persona’ unnecessary.

Keywords:   communication, intimation, conversational model, overt/covert, lyric poetry, storytelling, mimicry, make-believe, imagination, persona

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