Chapter

Narrative and Systems

Bruce Clarke

in Posthuman Metamorphosis

Published by Fordham University Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780823228508
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780823240999 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5422/fordham/9780823228508.003.0002
Narrative and Systems

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The formal and thematic program running on the complex infrastructures of social and psychic systems is primarily called narrative; the medium of it in society is the network of metabiotics and their media environments. Narrative in any textual medium has to be continuously reconstructed within social systems that can use them as elements of communicative exchange. Over time contingencies ensure the continuous transformation of narratives from fiction of metamorphosis to histories of social evolution. The grand narrative has lost its credibility, and this withering of the grand narrative of modernity has been variously felt to be loss or gain, but a profound event is still worthy of its own historical distinction. Niklas Luhmann's discourse on modernity acknowledges this description but deflates its profundity. “Postmodernity” is one of many ways to observed communicative formations in the operation of modern social systems and their dissolution over time.

Keywords: narrative; metamorphosis; transformation; media environments; social evolution; modernity; social systems

Chapter.  10775 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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