This introductory chapter sets out the purpose of the book, which is to come to the defence of narrative, arguing that it is a vital element of contemporary culture, lying at the heart of the processes through which humans make sense of their experiences in everyday lives that are, by virtue of their mediation through and across information, increasingly multi-layered and complex both temporally and spatially. It argues that narrative is an intrinsic part of a new informational economy which becomes its material and which it holds and articulates. Narrative lives because it is contingent and mutable, because it is changing and transforming rather than fading in response to alterations in the material conditions under which we live, which are themselves articulations of a social totality. An overview of the subsequent chapters is also presented.
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