the tragic mode is unavailable where narrative is haunted...

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Senior Member

Is the parenthesized chunk saying that whenever the predestination occupy the narrative we cannot have tragic style because those who has already has a tragic fate cannot die tragically?!!!

In all of these patterned narrations, the motif of the immanent supernatural is centre stage, whether played for comedy or for epic (the tragic mode is unavailable where narrative is haunted by predestination: those who are fated cannot live or die tragically)."

Film Theory and Contemporary Hollywood Movies, chapter two: The Supernatural in Neo-baroque Hollywood, by Sean Cubitt
  • Cagey

    post mod (English Only / Latin)
    English - US
    Yes, I think you understand it correctly.

    I may be mistaken, because I don't have the whole context, but one definition of 'tragedy' requires that the central figure bring about their own downfall unwittingly by some action, or a decision they make. By this definition, if a person is simply fated to end badly with no possible recourse, they can't die tragically.

    (In actual tragedies -- that is, plays that are called 'tragedies' -- there is often some overlap of these two causes: fate and some flaw in the central character combine to precipitate the central character's downfall and death.)


    Senior Member
    English - England
    I agree with Cagey and would add the example of, say, the hero who enters the Egyptian pyramid knowing that there is a curse on all who enter: there can then be no tragedy if the curse takes effect.
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