342. Stories are Everything: Learning about Narratology with Arkady Martine

The suggestion for this guest came from EC Spurlock – thank you, thank you!

Today I’m speaking with Arkady Martine, also known as Dr. AnnaLinden Weller. As Arkady Martine, she’s a science fiction and fantasy writer, and as Dr. Weller, she’s a Byzantine scholar, a narratologist, and also a city planner. There was a tense moment where I almost scrapped the whole interview to ask about city planning, but no, we’re going to talk about narratology!

Arkady recently wrote an essay on Tor.com that introduced me to narratology as a field, and I emailed to ask if she’d be willing to talk more about the subject on a podcast. So if you haven’t heard of narratology – which, essentially, is the study of how a story works – buckle up because it’s nerdy deep dive time. I brought enough snacks for everyone.

We talk about:

Terminology used by narratologists, and how it differs from terms readers use.

How cognitive narratology explores a very cool question: “How does the brain respond to experiencing narratives?”

The rules of world building and the meaning of “story world.”

The multiple meanings of the term “News Stories” and the powerful impossibility of getting someone to change the way they understand the world.

And of course we talk about what she’s reading – and her upcoming science fiction novel, A Memory Called Empire.

Key concept from this episode? Everything is a narrative. Everything is a story – and we can learn a lot from understanding why and how a story works.

Listen to the podcast →

Read the transcript →

Here are the books we discuss in this podcast:

You can find Arkady Martine online at ArkadyMartine.net, and on Twitter @ArkadyMartine.

You can read the Twitter thread I referenced in the intro here.

And you can read more about narratology at the article on Tor.com that inspired this interview: The Mysterious Discipline of Narratologists.

 

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This Episode’s Music

Deviations Project The Ivory BowOur music is provided by Sassy Outwater.

This track is called “Celtic Frock” by a UK duo called Deviations Project, which features producer Dave Williams and violinist Oliver Lewis – they have their own Wikipedia page.

This is from their album Ivory Bow. You can find Deviations Project on iTunes, Amazon, or wherever music is sold.


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