The pleasure of immersion: Some thoughts on how 'The Singing Detective' sustains narrative

Karpf, Anne (2012) The pleasure of immersion: Some thoughts on how 'The Singing Detective' sustains narrative. Journal of Screenwriting, 4 (3). pp. 309-316. ISSN 1759-7137

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Abstract / Description

This article argues that while Dennis Potter’s television drama series 'The Singing Detective' is commonly celebrated for its multi-layered narrative and the post-modern way that it played with genre, another of its critical features has remained relatively neglected: the sustained narrative pleasure that it afforded. It suggests that Potter allowed viewers the deep immersive experience of realist TV drama and storytelling, even while he was experimenting with narrative, so providing a bridge between modernist and traditional forms, and rewarding viewers (who had to try and integrate the series' different fragments and layers into some sort of quasi-cohesive narrative) with abundant dramatic gratification. Narrative, it claims, is not effaced, only displaced, partly onto the central character of Marlow, whose subjectivity unifies the fragmented narrative. Potter broke radically with the conventions of TV medical drama, and the painful experience of Marlow-as-patient acts as another binding agent.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: The Singing Detective; narrative; immersion; medical drama
Subjects: 300 Social sciences
700 The arts; fine & decorative arts > 790 Recreational & performing arts
800 Literature & rhetoric
Department: The School of Art, Architecture and Design
Depositing User: Anne Karpf
Date Deposited: 06 May 2016 09:51
Last Modified: 21 Jun 2018 07:36


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