In considering desire on the plane of what I have configured as ‘narrative force’, I have interrogated the necessity of three crucial traits in classical narratology, namely: sequence; coherence; and closure. In this light, I have suggested that it is on narrative as process, rather than sequence, that the analytical focus should be.


Taken as process, rather than structure, narrativity brings in heterogeneous space/time configurations and invites the virtual to fill in the gaps and ruptures that appear in the narration of the actual, of what has happened. What is or has been narrated can thus be taken as a discursive event that actualises only a limited set of lines of thought, which however keep making connections with a myriad other narrative possibilities, characters and plots. What is not actualised or expressed in a narrative form, the virtual, the silenced, the non-said, inheres in what has been said, expressed or articulated, creating within the narrative itself a depository of forces that can always take it elsewhere, divert it from its initial aim or meaning, create bifurcations, sudden and unexpected changes, discontinuities and ruptures in the sequential flow. Stories, either written or oral, can thus qualify as narratives, not because they follow a sequential structure or constitute a coherent meaning, but because they form multiplicities. In this line of thought, narrative form emerges as fluent rather than sequentially structured and narrative sense appears as an effect of an endless process of difference and repetition with its own rhythm and refrains rather than as a stable representation of either events or experience.


In this light, narratives are seen as ‘events’, in the sense that they become the medium for ‘events’ to be expressed or rather leave their signs: ‘The pure event is tale and novella, never an actuality’ Deleuze has written and here we need to remember that ‘the event’ is not taken as a mere happening or occurrence. It rather emerges from a long philosophical tradition that goes back to Bergson, Whitehead and Nietzsche, wherein ‘the event’ is seen as something that makes new things happen, disturbing the order of what we do, the certainty of how we perceive the world and ourselves? Departing from good sense, the event sticks out from the ordinary, marks historical discontinuities and opens up the future to a series of differentiations. In this light, the world is made of events: happenings rather than things, verbs rather than nouns, processes rather than substances. It is on this plane that I have placed my notion of ‘nomadic narratives’ wherein, the analysis is about

  • what is expressed rather than represented
  • the process of what is expressed rather than the sequential structure of representation
  • the fluidity and openness of events rather than the fixity of meanings.



Please reference as: Maria Tamboukou (2018) ‘Forces’