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Narration Quotes

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"Education is suffering from narration sickness." - Paulo Freire

"The great majority of modern third-person narration is "I" narration very thinly disguised." - John Fowles

"The desire for narration keeps on reasserting itself, so that since modernism and fiction brought narration to an end, it is sought in memoirs." - Vivian Gornick

"Let the cut tell the story. Otherwise you have not got dramatic action, you've got narration." - David Mamet

"History is principally the inaccurate narration of events which ought not to have happened." - Earnest Hooton

"Prediction, not narration, is the real test of our understanding of the world." - Nassim Nicholas Taleb

"Movie narration in the forties was radically different than the narrative involved in books." - Robert Benton

"History is principally the inaccurate narration of events which ought not to have happened." - Earnest Albert Hooten

"I regard sports first and foremost as entertainment, so dry documentary narration is not for me." - Jack Brickhouse

"A play, after all, is a mystery. There's no narration. And as soon as there's no narration, it's open to interpretation. It must be interpreted. You don't have a choice... Each play can become many things." - Mike Nichols

"Narration is as much a part of human nature as breath and the circulation of the blood." - A S Byatt

"The narration, in fact, doubles the drama with a commentary without which no mise en scene would be possible." - Jacques Lacan

"I'm working 2 days a week right now, narration usually on Wed., and host on camera on Friday." - Robert Stack

"With narration, you have to be very accurate with your voice. It's a good exercise to do." - Ben Kingsley

"I wasn't aware I'd write the novel when I wrote the New Yorker story either. And the narration of their construction in 10:04 is fiction, however flickering." - Ben Lerner

"landscape, that vast still life, invites description, not narration. It is lyric. It has no story: it is the beloved, and asks only to be contemplated." - Patricia Hampl

"Never yet could I find that a black had uttered a thought above the level of plain narration; never saw even an elemental trait of painting or sculpture." - Thomas Jefferson

"I love working with Lars [von Trier]! I've worked with him three times. I did the narration of Dogville and Manderlay." - John Hurt

"I couldn't sit down and write a novel or a short story - even now - because of my dyslexia. But I learned narration through movies." - Robert Benton

"I think all good narration contains an element of mystery and suspense. If it didn't, if the storyline were predictable, we would have no interest in reading it." - James Lee Burke

"I've always hated quotation marks: they're ugly on the page and they classify the text for you, putting dialogue in one box and narration in another." - Catherine Brady

"As with instant replay, NFL Films' use of slow motion, camera angles and the narration of Facenda was not just a technical breakthrough but a conceptual breakthrough." - Tony Verna

"World events can shape culture. Music is either a soundtrack for or a narration of changing times. And who knows how that's going to go?" - La Reid

"Effective stream-of-consciousness narration is the product of verbal precision, not just of literal documentation. It is decidedly not a matter of unedited free-association." - Albert Murray

"If you find that a point cannot be made without narration, it is virtually certain that the point is unimportant to the story (which is to say, to the audience)." - David Mamet

"I regard sports first and foremost as entertainment, so dry documentary narration is not for me. I like the 'let's forget our troubles and have some excitement' approach. I'm convinced you can combine this with reporting integrity and accuracy." - Jack Brickhouse

"God help you if you use voice-over in your work, my friends. God help you. That's flaccid, sloppy writing. Any idiot can write a voice-over narration to explain the thoughts of a character." - Robert Mckee

"I fancy mankind may come in time to write all aphoristically, except in narration; grow weary of preparation and connection and illustration, and all those arts by which a big book is made." - Samuel Johnson

"Time is what makes good stories. Much has been cooking for a long time, and at last finds an out in narration one day. That's a supreme joy. And why the characters keep showing up." - Barry Hannah

"To choose the ideal voice for a character is to give a character an ardent and vivid life, to allow him or her to speak, rather than speaking for them, in an older style of omniscient narration." - Joyce Carol Oates

"I think the best writers are voracious readers who pick up the cadences and the feel of narration through a number of different books. And you begin by maybe copying the style of writers that really knocked you out." - Stephen King

"It can stand in the way of narration in cases where we want the protagonist to actually go through some kind of catharsis while our own (non-fictional) experiences and stories lead to something banal or completely uninteresting." - Sasa Stanisic

"It's not the subject of narration that interests me, but the structure. That's why I stay in touch with my old works, which I reread regularly. I don't hesitate to take up previously used images or even whole scenes." - Dumitru Tepeneag

"The human race has always defined itself through narration. That isn't going to change just because we've gone electronic. What is changing is that now we're allowing corporations to tell our stories for us." - Tom Robbins

"The symmetry of form attainable in pure fiction can not so readily be achieved in a narration essentially having less to do with fable than with fact. Truth uncompromisingly told will always have its ragged edges..." - Herman Melville

"Although there was a screenplay, the actors never knew what questions I was going to ask them, and all of my character's voice-over narration and scenes were added after the fact." - Griffin Dunne

"Sometimes we need to step back and understand the power of video games. 'Dear Esther' does just that. Through visuals, audio, and narration, this title weaves a story around the player as they explore different areas in the game." - Rob Manuel

"Time is the nervous system of narration, whether factual or fictive. If it gets confused some of the minutiae of human nature are certain not to work, not to glow, not to strike home." - Glenway Wescott

"Trying to get the sentences right and the structure of the narration right is about as big a job as I can handle. But I also know that if you handle that job properly, everything else just clicks into place." - Bob Shacochis

"In the late 60s and early 70s, I did get interested in voices, and in narration and embodying the voice, making the poem sound like a real person talking." - Robert Morgan

"There's something very strange and wrong-seeming about drawing realistic eyeballs in comics, at least in the mode of comics where action is carried more by the movement of the characters rather than where narration links disparately framed selected images." - Chris Ware

"Clothes as text, clothes as narration, clothes as a story. Clothes as the story of our lives. And if you were to gather all the clothes you have ever owned in all your life, each baby shoe and winter coat and wedding dress, you would have your autobiography." - Linda Grant

"I don't like making didactic, pedagogical documentaries based on standard formulas of narration: I'm only interested in the ambitious French tradition of the documentaire de creation where the film, if successful, is not about something but that something itself. The goal is to incorporate areas of risk and paradox that we associate with cinematic art." - Damian Pettigrew

"If the religious spirit be ever mentioned in any historical narration, we are sure to meet afterwards with a detail of the miseries which attend it. And no period of time can be happier or more prosperous, than those in which it is never regarded or heard of." - David Hume

"In 'Labor Day Hurricane, 1935,' Douglas Trevor vividly recreates a historical event. While that is the only story in A THIN TEAR IN THE FABRIC OF SPACE in the historical past, many of the other stories juxtapose fact-both historical and scientific-with narration to an engaging effect, one that distinguishes the voice of this new writer." - Stuart Dybek

"If I write nothing but fiction for some time I begin to get stupid, and to feel rather as if it had been a long meal of sweets; then history is a rest, for research or narration brings a different part of the mind into play." - Charlotte Mary Yonge

"We believed - and I personally still believe - that the so called Voice of God narration, ubiquitous in documentaries destined for PBS, is insulting to the audience. If you believe in the intelligence of your audience, you don't need to tell them what to think and how to process the material they're seeing." - Jayne Loader

"Literature is not exhaustible, for the sufficient and simple reason that a single book is not. A book is not an isolated entity: it is a narration, an axis of innumerable narrations. One literature differs from another, either before or after it, not so much because of the text as for the manner in which it is read." - Jorge Luis Borges

"[On School Uniforms] Don't these schools do enough damage making all these kids think alike, now they have to make them look alike too? It's not a new idea, either. I first saw it in old newsreels from the 1930s, but it was hard to understand because the narration was in German." - George Carlin

"I was desperately unhappy with it [Blade Runner]. I was compelled by contract to record five or six different versions of the narration, each of which was found wanting on a storytelling basis. The final version was something that I was completely unhappy with. The movie obviously has a very strong following, but it could have been more than a cult picture." - Harrison Ford

"I got used to [ Lars Von Trier] doing the narration for 'Dogville' and 'Manderley.' And I said to him I do these narrations for you but you never put me in a film! So he called my bluff and put me in 'Melancholia' and I was thrilled about that." - John Hurt

"The issues of poetry, and music, and dialogue with one another is the essential thrust of any song. The breakdown becomes the epoch, the language, the cultural tapestry from which it's echoing, if you will. I often say it's the eyes of the poet's and the ears of the composer's. This narration is what fascinates me endlessly." - Thomas Hampson

"I had never done a Director's Cut narration on Beaches so I did in time for the release of the DVD. It was a great visit and I do a whole-behind-the-scenes thing and I tell stories about Bette [Mudler] and Barbara Hershey and everybody and that was fun. It made me cry again." - Garry Marshall

"I like to blow up this notion that all we have to do as writers and artists is represent reality, which is presumably solid and self-evident, with no negotiation of the gap between myself and the world, between this body and this space, which needs narration to close it." - Aleksandar Hemon

"Look at a football field. It looks like a big movie screen. This is theatre. Football combines the strategy of chess. It's part ballet. It's part battleground, part playground. We clarify, amplify and glorify the game with our footage, the narration and that music, and in the end create an inspirational piece of footage." - Steve Sabol

"All of the narration in 'Smile' is first-person. Most of the books that I grew up reading had first-person narrators for some reason. My diaries were written in this voice, and since this story is autobiographical, it just felt like a natural extension." - Raina Telgemeier

"I enjoy dramatic narration, of course, because I'm an actor and I started as an actor. But I love things that are a challenge, and I look forward to more work with that in the future. So there's always a sun coming up the following day for me." - Peter Cullen

"Each time I'm starting to work on a film, even if I love to settle the plot in the real world, I start to think about the plot as a fairy tale, or a dream, or a nightmare... As if it was the best way to tell the truth about characters or narration, instead of realism." - Arnaud Desplechin

"The writer must face the fact that ordinary lives are what most people live most of the time, and that the novel as a narration of the fantastic and the adventurous is really an escapist plot; that aesthetically, the ordinary, the banal, is what you must deal with." - John Updike

"When you pick up a book, everyone knows it's imaginary. You don't have to pretend it's not a book. We don't have to pretend that people don't write books. That omniscient third-person narration isn't the only way to do it. Once you're writing in the first person, then the narrator is a writer." - Paul Auster

"A page of Addison or of Irving will teach more of style than a whole manual of rules, whilst a story of Poe's will impress upon the mind a more vivid notion of powerful and correct description and narration than will ten dry chapters of a bulky textbook." - H P Lovecraft

"People, they think that animation is a style. Animation is just a technique. It's like, people, they think that comics is a style, like comics is a superhero story. Comic is just a narration, and is a medium, you can say any kind of story in comics and you can say of any kind of story in animation." - Marjane Satrapi

"But would we know, whether the pretended prophet had really attained a just sentiment of morals? Let us attend to his narration; and we shall soon find, that he bestows praise on such instances of treachery, inhumanity, cruelty, revenge, bigotry, as are utterly incompatible with civilized society. No steady rule of right seems there to be attended to; and every action is blamed or praised, so far only as it is beneficial or hurtful to the true believers." - David Hume

"When writers are self-conscious about themselves as writers they often keep a great distance from their characters, sounding as if they were writing encyclopedia entries instead of stories. Their hesitancy about physical and psychological intimacy can be a barrier to vital fiction. Conversely, a narration that makes readers hear the characters' heavy breathing and smell their emotional anguish diminishes distance. Readers feel so close to the characters that, for those magical moments, they become those characters." - Jerome Stern

"This progressive effacement of human relationships is not without certain problems for the novel. How, in point of fact, would one handle the narration of those unbridled passions, stretching over many years, and at times making their effect felt on several generations? We"re a long way from Wuthering Heights, to say the least. The novel form is not conceived for depicting indifference or nothingness; a flatter, more terse, and dreary discourse would need to be invented." - Michel Houellebecq

"This progressive effacement of human relationships is not without certain problems for the novel. How, in point of fact, would one handle the narration of those unbridled passions, stretching over many years, and at times making their effect felt on several generations? We're a long way from Wuthering Heights, to say the least. The novel form is not conceived for depicting indifference or nothingness; a flatter, more terse, and dreary discourse would need to be invented." - Michel Houellebecq

"Narration is as much a part of human nature as breath and the circulation of the blood.... storytelling is intrinsic to biological time, which we cannot escape. Life, Pascal said, is like living in a prison from which every day fellow prisoners are taken away to be executed. We are all, like Scheherazade, under sentence of death, and we all think of our lives as narratives, with beginnings, middles and ends." - A S Byatt

"I never feel there's anything I can't do with comics. There are certain things in comics that you can't do in any other medium: for instance, in Mister Wonderful, Marshall's narration overlaps the events as they're going on. That would be difficult in film; you could blot speech out with a voiceover, but it wouldn't have the same effect. That's always of interest, to see what new things you can do in comics form." - Daniel Clowes

"It is commonly supposed that the uniformity of a studious life affords no matter for narration: but the truth is, that of the most studious life a great part passes without study. An author partakes of the common condition of humanity; he is born and married like another man; he has hopes and fears, expectations and disappointments, griefs and joys, and friends and enemies, like a courtier or a statesman; nor can I conceive why his affairs shuld not excite curiosity as much as the whisper of a drawing-room, or the factions of a camp." - Samuel Johnson

"So it became in my mind a nine-carol service; an oratorio and orchestral concert all in one, but with narration. That's something I've learned about, because it's the story that keeps you in there. I wrote a libretto and I gave it to John [Du Prez, Idle's co-writer of many years]. We normally don't work in this fashion but I said off you go, and he went off for about three months. He brought me back this demo which blew my mind." - Eric Idle

"There are, occasionally, writers who are able to combine both story and style. They are, of course, the best. You get a spectacular view and you also get to look at it from the backseat of a chauffeur-driven Cadillac. In the field of fantasy, those writers able to combine story-as-narration with story-as-style are even rarer. But there are a few...the late Theodore Sturgeon, the early Ray Bradbury...and Richard Christian Matheson. A brilliant chip off the old block." - Stephen King

"The true historian, therefore, seeking to compose a true picture of the thing acted, must collect facts and combine facts. Methods will differ, styles will differ. Nobody ever does anything like anybody else; but the end in view is generally the same, and the historian's end is truthful narration. Maxims he will have, if he is wise, never a one; and as for a moral, if he tell his story well, it will need none; if he tell it ill, it will deserve none." - Augustine Birrell

"The 'I' character in journalism is almost pure invention. Unlike the 'I' of autobiography, who is meant to be seen as a representation of the writer, the 'I' of journalism is connected to the writer only in a tenuous way-the way, say, that Superman is connected to Clark Kent. The journalistic 'I' is an overreliable narrator, a functionary to whom crucial tasks of narration and argument and tone have been entrusted, an ad hoc creation, like the chorus of Greek tragedy. He is an emblematic figure, an embodiment of the idea of the dispassionate observer of life." - Janet Malcolm

"The "I" character in journalism is almost pure invention. Unlike the "I" of autobiography, who is meant to be seen as a representation of the writer, the "I" of journalism is connected to the writer only in a tenuous way-the way, say, that Superman is connected to Clark Kent. The journalistic "I" is an overreliable narrator, a functionary to whom crucial tasks of narration and argument and tone have been entrusted, an ad hoc creation, like the chorus of Greek tragedy. He is an emblematic figure, an embodiment of the idea of the dispassionate observer of life." - Janet Malcolm

"When we look at the arts and letters in America, especially if we look at poetry, and poetry set to music, this dialogue, we have this very powerful beautiful, eclectic, diary, or narration of being in America, being American, participating in America, becoming more of America and also as an American, the American creative spirit, which is quite interesting. Our composers and poets have spent more time writing and thinking and speaking out of what it means to be a composer or poet as well as to be an American, or a composer or poet In America; both relationships." - Thomas Hampson

"Cartooning is completely different from other media: it is closely related to film and prose, other narrative forms, but the skills needed to realize a story are very different, and include not only drawing and writing dialogue and narration, but graphic design and the ability to depict time passing visually. It's a whole suite of skills that has to go into making a comics page, skills that are quite distinct from those that go into writing a page of prose, or making a film." - Jessica Abel

"When Veronica Mars was canceled, the following season of pilots for The CW had been announced, and one was Gossip Girl. I read it, and I knew I was sort of old to play any of the kids. I called Dawn Ostroff - who was the head of The CW at the time - and said, 'Hey, I did so much narration on Veronica Mars, can I narrate this show? And she said, 'Hey, that's a very good idea.' They knew I had a younger voice, they liked me and they knew I'd show up for work, and I guess that was all I really needed. It was so clear to me how sassy and catty she needed to be." - Kristen Bell



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