Narratives Personal, political, historical, legal, medical narratives: narrative’s power to capture certain truths and experiences in special ways - unlike other modes of explanation and analysis such as statistics, descriptions, summaries, or reasoning via conceptual abstractions
The spectrum of fiction fact – fiction – truth? HistoryRealismRomanceFantasy Realism vs romance: a matter of perception vs a matter of vision two principal ways fiction can be related to life Realism Romance
Literary narrative fiction literature: art of language kinds of Iiterature: poetry, drama, narrative fiction prose: from Latin prosa or proversa oratio =‘straightforward discourse’ M. Jourdain: I've been speaking in PROSE all along! Moliere ( ), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme
Literary conventions an agreement between artist and audience as to the significance of features appearing in a work of art knowledge of conventions = literary competence narrative: tells of real or imagined events; tells a story fiction: an imagined creation in verse/prose/drama story: (imagined) events or happenings, involving a conflict plot: arrangement of action → structure
Literary, narrative, fictional: distinct features, do not presuppose each other Where do we place lyric poetry? Marie-Laure Ryan, Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana UP, 1991
The history of fiction Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (1957) Dale Spender, Mothers of the Novel (1988) Margaret Anne Doody, The True Story of the Novel (1996)
Novel In: J. A. Cuddon: Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. London: Penguin, 1999 Derived from Italian novella, 'tale, piece of news‘ applied to a wide variety of writings only common attribute is that they are extended pieces of prose fiction The length of novels varies greatly when is a novel not a novel or a long short-story or a short novel or a novella? Fewer and fewer rules in contemporary practice a novel is between words and, say,
Cuddon Novel The actual term 'novel' has had a variety of meanings and implications at different stages. From roughly the 15th to the 18th c. its meaning tended to derive from the Italian novella and the Spanish novela (the French term nouvelle, is closely related) The term (often used in a plural sense) denoted short stories or tales of the kind one finds in Boccaccio's Decameron (c ). Nowadays we would classify all the contents of these as short stories.
Cuddon Novel /novelty The term denoted a prose narrative about characters and their actions in what was recognizably everyday life and usually in the present, with the emphasis on things being 'new' or a 'novelty'. It was used in contradistinction to 'romance'. In the 19th c. the concept of 'novel' was enlarged.
Cuddon Novel A form of story or prose narrative containing characters, action and incident and, perhaps, a plot
Cuddon Novel The form - susceptible to change and development Pliable and adaptable to a seemingly endless variety of topic and themes A wide range of sub-species or categories.
Cuddon Novel The subject matter of the novel eludes classification. A number of these classifications shade off into each other. For example, psychological novel is a term which embraces many books; proletarian, propaganda and thesis novels tend to have much in common; the picaresque narrative is often a novel of adventure; a saga novel may also be a regional novel.
Cuddon Novel The origins of the genre are obscure but in the time of the XIIth Dynasty Middle Kingdom (c BC) Egyptians were writing fiction of a kind which one would describe as a novel today
Cuddon Novel From Classical times Daphnis and Chloe (2nd c. BC) by Longus The Golden Ass (2nd c. AD) by Apuleius Satyricon (1st c. AD) of Petronius Arbiter Most of these are concerned with love and contain the rudiments of novels as we understand them today
Cuddon Novel Oriental prose fiction Arabian Nights‘ Entertainments, or The Thousand and One Nights, 10th c. the collection, collected and established as a group of stories probably by an Egyptian professional story-teller at some time between the 14th and 16th c. Became known in Europe early in the 18th c., since when they have had a considerable influence.
Cuddon Novel Collections of novella or short tales Italy - Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron (1349–52, revised 1370–1371) had much influence on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (late 14th c.) Matteo Bandello’s Le Novelle (written between 1510 and 1560) France - Marguerite of Navarre‘ Heptaméron (published in 1558) These were integrated short stories but important as they were in prose In their method of narration and in their creation and development of character they are forerunners of the modern novel
Cuddon Novel Until the 14th c. most of the literature of entertainment (and the novel is usually intended as an entertainment) was confined to narrative verse, particularly the epic and the romance. Romance eventually yielded the word roman, which is the term for novel in most European languages. In some ways the novel is a descendant of the medieval romances, which, in the first place, like the epic, were written in verse and then in prose (e.g. Malory's Morte D'Arthur, 1485). Verse narratives had been supplanted by prose narratives by the end of the 17th c.
Cuddon Novel Spain - was ahead of the rest of Europe in the development of the novel form. Cervantes's Don Quixote de la Mancha (1605, 1615) satirized chivalry and a number of the earlier novels In France Rabelais's Gargantua (1534) and Pantagruel (1532) can be classed as novels of phantasy, or mythopoeic
Cuddon Novel England, end of the 15th c., extended prose narrative: John Lyly's Euphues (in two parts, 1578 and 1580 Sir Philip Sidney's pastoral romance Arcadia (1590) – Daniel Defoe published his story of adventure Robinson Crusoe, one in a long tradition of desert island fiction Defoe's other two main contributions to the novel form were Moll Flanders (1722), a sociological novel, and A Journal of the Plague Year (1722) – a reconstruction and thus a piece of historical fiction
Books on Fiction Booth, Wayne: The Rhetoric of Fiction. Second edition. London: Penguin, 1991 (1983) Lodge, David: The Art of Fiction. London: Penguin, 1992 Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith: Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics. London and New York: Methuen, 1983
Sub-genres Integrated short stories Arabian Nights' Entertainments, or The Thousand and One Nights, Boccaccio: Decameron James Joyce: Dubliners
Sub-genres Romance any sort of stroy of chivalry or of love Cervantes: Don Quixote ( ) Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (14th c.) Thomas Malory: Le Morte D’Arthur (15th c.) Pastoral romance Longus: Daphnis and Chloe (2nd c. A.D.) Philip Sidney: Arcadia (1590) Anti-pastoral: Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbevilles (1891), Jude the Obscure (1895)
Sub-genres Picaresque novel tells the life of a knave or a picaroon who is the servant of severel masters Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders (1722) Henry Fielding: Jonathan Wild (1743)
Sub-genres Novel of adventure / desert island novel (related to te picaresque novel and the romance) Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe (1719) R.L. Stevenson: Treasure Island (1883) Mark Twain: Tom Sawyer (1876) Huckleberry Finn (1885) James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans (1826)
Sub-genres Gothic novel a type of romance, popular from the 1760s until the 1820s, has terror and cruelty as main themes, impact on the ghost story and the horror story Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1764 Ann Radcliffe: Mysteries of Udolpho (1794) Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818) Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey (1818) Charles Dickens: Great Expectations (1861) R. L. Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886) Dracula, doppelgänger
Sub-genres Epistolary novel in the form of letters, popular in the 18th c. Samuel Richardson: Pamela (1740) and Clarissa Harlowe (1747, 1748) Tobias Smollett: Humphrey Clinker (1771)
Sub-genres Sentimental novel / novel of sentimentality popular in the 18th c., distresses of the virtuous Samuel Richardson: Pamela (1740) Oliver Goldsmith: The Vicar of Wakefield (1766) Sentimentality in fiction Laurence Sterne: A Sentimental Journey (1768)
Sub-genres Historical novel a form of fictional narrative which reconstructs history imaginatively Walter Scott: Waverly (1814) William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair ( ) Robert Graves: I, Claudius (1934) William Golding: Rites of Passage (1980)
Sub-genres Documentary novel based on documentary evidence in the shape of newspapee article, etc. Truman Capote: In Cold Blood (1966) Graham Greene: The Quiet American (1955)
Sub-genres Key novel actual persons are presented under fictitious names Aldous Huxley: Point Counter Point (1928) (D. H. Lawrence)
Sub-genres Thesis / sociological / propaganda novel treats of a social, political, religious problem Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852) The condition of England novel /regional novel Charles Dickens: Hard Times (1854) Charlotte Brontë: Shirley (1849)
Sub-genres Utopia [gr. Ou + topos = no place and eutopia = place where all is well] Thomas More: Utopia (1516) George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949) Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels (1726, 1735) William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954) Anti-utopia, dystopia Science fiction Phantasy or fantasy
Sub-genres Campus novel has a university campus as setting Mary McCarthy: The Groves of Academe (1952) Kingsley Amis: Lucky Jim (1954) David Lodge: Changing Places (1975)
Sub-genres The saga / chronicle novel narrative about the life of a large family John Galsworthy: Forsyte Saga ( )
Sub-genres Time novel employs stream of consciousness technique, time is used as a theme James Joyce: Ulysses (1922) Marcel Proust: A la recherche du temps perdu ( )
Sub-genres Psychological novel concerned with emotional, mental lives of the characters Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway (1925)
Building blocks of narrative types of character (»roles) types of event types of lack and restoration types of getting from beginning to end (How do you know it is the end of the story?) types of setting types of narrator
Characters characterization: round vs flat characters E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel stereotypes: characters based on conscious or unconscious cultural assumptions that sex, age, ethnic or national identification, occupation, marital status and so on, are predictably accompanied by certain character traits, actions, even values
Arrangement of events with a particular kind of beginning and ending orientation, closure, coda usually told for a purpose typically about change: situation A changes to situation B lack leads to restoration
Structure structure: connecting elements, repetition, parallelism selection, connection, ordering of information leading to a recognition moving to illuminate the beginning by the ending
Setting The space where the narrative takes place: rural setting, urban setting, nature scenes, country houses etc. Settings often echo or emphasize other features: Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847) Yorkshire moors Wuthering Heights ↔ Thrushcross Grange EarnshawsLintons harsh, roughwarm, soft, civilised
Space and Time James Joyce, Ulysses (1922) Dublin, 16 June 1904 Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925) London, a single day in June, after WWI
Narrator, narration narrator: one who tells a story within/outside the space and time of story Who tells the story? To whom? Why? How? narration: narrative perspective: point of view author ≠ author's persona (mask) ≠ narrator (Samuel Clemens vs Mark Twain)
Narrator, narration, narrative account of a sequence of connected events told by a narrator what happened vs how it is told 'story' 'narration' Narration - rearranges the order of events e.g., flashback: historical time vs narrated order - sets up relations between events e.g., cause and effect
Narrative perspective viewing aspect: focus like a movie camera: choosing, framing, emphasizing, distorting limited/unlimited (omniscient narrator) stand back: dramatic focus verbal aspect: voice
Point of view visual perspective ideological framework basic types of narration: 1 st person (I-narration) 3 rd person (they-narration) e.g., 'window' on text: seems objective internal vs external restricted knowledge vs unrestricted knowledge (seemed, looked as if) texts with instability of point of view: watch out for WHO experiences and WHAT is experienced
Focalization external focalization: unidentified narrator character focalization: a character experiences focalizer: the one who is looking focalized: what is being focussed on expression and construction of types of consciousness and self-consciousness Shifting narrative viewpoints, several narrators: Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)
Narratology The study of narrative in literature Early examples in the 20 th century: Vladimir Propp (Russian Formalist) Morphology of the Folktale (1928) Claude Lévi-Strauss (French Structuralist) Anthropologie Structurale (1958) (myths) Gérard Genette Narrative Discourse (1972)
Gérard Genette’s system Based on the distinction between story and plot (fabula and syuzhet in Russian formalism) - récit (the chronological order of events in a text or narrative) - histoire (the sequence in which events actually occur) - narration (the act of narrating) (Gérard Genette, Narrative Discourse, 1972)
Genette’s system narrative: the result of the interaction of its component levels 3 basic kinds of narrator: - narrator is absent from his own narrative ((‘heterodiegetic narrator’)) - narrator is inside his narrative (1 st person) ((‘homodiegetic narrator’)) - narrator is inside his narrative and also main character ((‘autodiegetic narrator’))
Roland Barthes ( ) France: from structuralism to poststructuralism attempt to describe narrative as a formal system based on the model of a grammar ‘The death of the Author’ (essay from 1967) (against the concept of the author as a way of forcing a meaning onto a text) S/Z (1970) a critical reading of Balzac’s Sarrasine text open to interpretation
Task What can you notice about the following excerpts? (Can you guess the period, the author, the work?) How is the weather defining the beginning of the book in Chapter 1? What do we find out about the narrator from the way Mrs Fairfax is introduced in Ch 12? How is the introduction of the people in Moor House different in Ch 30? Do you notice anything special about the way the last chapter, Ch 38 begins?
Chapter 1 There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs Reed, when there was no company, dined early), the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question. (Penguin Classics edition, p 39)
Chapter 12 The promise of a smooth career, which my first calm introduction to Thornfield Hall seemed to pledge, was not belied on a longer acquaintance with the place and its inmates. Mrs. Fairfax turned out to be what she appeared, a placid-tempered, kind-natured woman, of competent education and average intelligence. My pupil was a lovely child; who had been spoilt and indulged (140)
Chapter 30 The more I knew of the inmates of Moor House, the better I liked them. In a few days I have so far recovered my health that I could sit up all day, and walk out sometimes. I could join with Diana and Mary in all their occupations, converse with them as much as they wished, and aid them when and where they would allow me. There was a reviving pleasure in this intercourse, of a kind now tasted by me for the first time – the pleasure arising from perfect congeniality of tastes, sentiments, and principles. (376)
Chapter 38 Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present. When we got back from church, I went into the kitchen of the manor house, where Mary was cooking the dinner, and John cleaning the knives, and I said – ‘Mary, I have been married to Mr Rochester this morning.’(474)