The article discusses the unifying and disintegrating narrative strategies of a form of episodic narrative called the short story composite, or short story cycle, and will be compared with the episode film. In the first part of the article the view that the short story composite is a comparatively recent phenomenon is questioned, the argument being that the genre rather stems from a very long tradition of episodic narrative art and literature being a modern variant of, for instance, the ancient Greek and Roman ‘novel’. The latter half of the text focuses on the friction in the short story composite and the episode film between the centripetal and the centrifugal narrative forces. Attention is paid to both the many cohesive narrative forces and even more to elements of indeterminacy, often neglected by scholars, such as the fact that these narrative forms basically are open works. Their centrifugal manoeuvrings de-emphasize causality and linearity; they downplay end-orientation and closure; they question retrospective patterning. By means of ellipses and shifting focalizers, protagonists, and settings, they create a fragmented, unreliable world.

from: Lundén, R. (2014). Centrifugal and Centripetal Narrative Strategies in the Short Story Composite and the Episode Film. Interférences littéraires/Literaire interferenties, (12), 47-60.