chapter  15
Narratology and audiovisual translation
ByJeroen Vandaele
Pages 17

This chapter explores the classical concepts of narratology as developed in literary theory, and considers to what extent such concepts apply to audiovisual narrative. It examines the relevance of narratology to the study of audiovisual narrative in translation, and discusses a variety of narratological insights that bear on narratives conveyed across media, subtitling, dubbing and audio description: action, plot, narration, description, narrativity, focalization and characterization. Narratology has been 'conceived from its earliest days as a project that transcends disciplines and media', M. L. Ryan explains with reference to C. Bremond's famous statement that story 'is independent of the techniques that bear it along. The question for subtitling is always whether the action—any action, appellation included—is relevant for the narration. One way of answering the question of relevance is by saying that speech acts by characters may be either plot-relevant 'dialogue' or plot-irrelevant 'conversation', as P. Cattrysse and Y. Gambier suggest with reference to screenwriting theory.