Narrative is about memory. Not exclusively, of course, but always and without exception, as imaginative writing is (not exclusively) but always and without exception, about language.
Narratives show us how we think about memory, and perhaps more important, about the limits we impose on organic memory in order to create narrative. Think of Aristotle's rationalization for the Iliad beginning in medias res, or how Proust's exploration of involuntary memory demanded a new form of narrative for its explication--which brings to mind a third element: personal identity.
Narrative, then, is about memory and identity, not exclusively, but always and without exception.
The fantasy narratives Ann describes would seem to have made these relationships explicit in patterns of action and transition.