Without Geography You're Nowhere: Why Setting Matters

We are awash in narrative. It arrives on every platform in ever-shorter form. (A Little Life not withstanding.) Which has me wondering, who has the time to dwell in a Brontë moor? And what’s the pay off? Setting: A History Nearly 3000 years ago, Homer* described 190** ships sailing to Troy by their captains’ homes in The Iliad. That’s an awful lot of setting. But taken sequentially, the homes map the coastline of Ancient Greece. Surely a handy mnemonic device for the beleaguered bard. Not to mention a compass for the audience! Four-hundred years later, give or take, Aristotle analyzed how narrative works in Poetics. Poetics stands up. It’s still how narrative works. Three acts. Reversals, su

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