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Moreover, literary journalism is conditioned by what James Phelan (2007, 217) calls the ethics of ‘global referentiality’.
Mark Bowden’s hypertext Blackhawk Down (1997) is a paradigmatic example of literary journalism.
In this essay, I shall demonstrate that the performative power of Bowden’s hypertext is erected upon a number of textual signals that can be rendered intelligible with the help of analytical tools provided by narratology.
I seek to shed light on the genre- and media-specific structures that serve as ways of cultural worldmaking as well as the ethical and epistemological functions of narratological categories that Bowden uses in order to advance narration so that it becomes a process of relating.
The most urgent need in the context of a Critical Ethical Narratology (CEN) is to find a way to talk about the formal properties of hybridized (fictual) genres and to combine this discussion with a consideration of their ideological and ethical implications.
The concepts of sequentiality and temporality are closely linked to eventfulness, because the causal and/or chronological sequence of events implies the presence of temporality (cf. Experientiality is defined by Monika Fludernik (1996) as the evocation of human experience within a represented human context.
Together, eventfulness, sequentiality (temporality) and experientiality make room for a conceptualization of literary journalism as a specific form of narration that is characterized by a temporal sequence of events, which are causally and/or chronologically connected and that evoke some kind of human experience.In The Mythopoeic Reality, Mas’ud Zavarzadeh (1976, 56) argues that the emergence of the ‘fictual’, a neologism that he uses to describe the merging of the fictional and the factual, is inextricably linked to “runaway contemporary technologies”.Similarly, Ansgar Nünning and Jan Rupp’s (2011) claim that not only hybridization but also medialisation plays an important role in terms of generic development and innovation is highly applicable to literary journalism in general and Mark Bowden’s hypertext more specifically.In Fables of Fact, John Hellmann (1981) emphasizes the significant role of mass-media journalism in the shaping of a postmodern ethos or what Jean Baudrillard (1981) described as a postmodern culture of simulacra.In Fact and Fiction, John Hollowell (1977, 5) alludes to the political ferment in the U. in the 1960s, televised assassinations, and the hippie movement as signposts of a “blur […] of the comfortable distinctions between reality and unreality, fantasy and fact”.The analytical framework of CEN promises to give insights into literary journalism as a genre that is heavily involved in the representation, construction and dissemination of ethical values and norms. Keeble / Tulloch 2012, Hartsock 1999, 2000, Sims 1984, 1990, Sims / Kramer 1995) is an umbrella term for what is variously referred to as literary non-fiction (Anderson 1989, Goudsblom 2000), documentary fiction (Foley 1986, Pedri 2001), factual fiction (Flis 2010), or the literature of fact (Weber 1980) by scholars.The reason why these terms are often used interchangeably has to do with the fact that different kinds of literary journalism are ontologically similar and share epistemological common ground.(CEN) – with the help of which it will be shown that narrative techniques and strategies are semanticized in Bowden’s hypertext to the extent that they convey ideologically charged values and norms and contribute to culture-specific notions of narration as a process of relating.The conceptualization of narration as a process of relating can be fruitfully linked to the idea of a non-violent ethics as proposed by Judith Butler (2004).Hypertext is a type of narration that “uses the best devices of the novel – and the movie! What makes Blackhawk Down, a minute-to-minute account of the Battle of Mogadishu for which Bowden received international recognition, a particularly interesting, yet overlooked, laboratory for analyzing the construction of ethical values and norms is that the author is aware of the problems involved in representing the precarious life of the Other and of the powers of mourning and violence (cf. Bowden’s hypertext inspires various processes of relating crucial to enlightened ethical discourse and authentic ethical soul-searching.If one accepts Jane Stadler’s claim that “narration is literally a process of ‘relating’, of accounting for the complexity of ethical situations and the patterns of responsiveness and responsibility within them” (Stadler 2008, 19), then it is important that one does not place ethics in the realm of abstract rules, thereby reducing the analysis of value construction to an exercise in ideology critique.