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Sameness versus Difference in Narratology: Two Approaches to Narrative Fiction
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0003-2080-3620
Örebro universitet, Institutionen för humaniora, utbildnings- och samhällsvetenskap.ORCID-id: 0000-0002-1267-0031
2018 (Engelska)Ingår i: Narrative (Columbus, Ohio), ISSN 1063-3685, E-ISSN 1538-974X, Vol. 26, nr 3, s. 241-261Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat) Published
Abstract [en]

In this article we examine the critical proposition that common versions of narratology do not provide an accurate description of narrative fiction and analyze why this critique has mostly been disregarded by narratology. The theoreticians we refer to-Sylvie Patron, Richard Walsh, and Lars-Ake Skalin-do not accept the notion that narrative fiction should be understood in terms of non-fictional narratives. We label their position a "difference approach" in contrast to a putative "sameness approach." We find their "difference" arguments convincing and therefore ask why they have had no apparent effect on narratology. As we discuss misreadings that the criticized approach to narrative fiction could be expected to generate and arguments that refute the existence of such misreadings, as well as suggested readings of narrative fiction by Liesbeth Korthals Altes, James Phelan, David Herman, and Gerard Genette, we make the claim, referring to Phelan's rhetorical narratology, that sameness narratology is often presented as a theory but in fact used and defended as a method or toolbox. Our suggestion is that it would be better to rework the theory of narrative fiction commonly adopted by narratologists so that the theoretical assertions become congruent with the analytical practice and with the intuitions about narrative fiction that the analytical practice implies. We thus support the difference approach.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Ohio State University Press, 2018. Vol. 26, nr 3, s. 241-261
Nyckelord [en]
Narratology, sameness, difference, narrative fiction, theory, method
Nationell ämneskategori
Litteraturstudier
Identifikatorer
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-69086DOI: 10.1353/nar.2018.0012ISI: 000444570400001Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053310158OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-69086DiVA, id: diva2:1252324
Tillgänglig från: 2018-10-01 Skapad: 2018-10-01 Senast uppdaterad: 2023-12-08Bibliografiskt granskad
Ingår i avhandling
1. The Difference Approach to Narrative Fiction: A Recurring Critique of Narratology and Its Implications for the Study of Novels and Short Stories
Öppna denna publikation i ny flik eller fönster >>The Difference Approach to Narrative Fiction: A Recurring Critique of Narratology and Its Implications for the Study of Novels and Short Stories
2019 (Engelska)Doktorsavhandling, sammanläggning (Övrigt vetenskapligt)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to advance the critical examination of narratology, or the study of storytelling. I analyze four versions of a critique of the dominant theory of narrative fiction in narratology and discuss this critique’s methodological implications. The critics, Sylvie Patron, Lars-Åke Skalin, Richard Walsh, and the proponents of unnatural narratology have, I suggest, similar understandings of narratology’s handling of works like novels and short stories as well as similar alternative approaches. I situate the critique among relevant theories of fiction and salient aspects of narratology, and conclude that the most radical critics have a difference approach to narrative fiction. This means treating this literary practice as following another rule system for creating meaning than other kinds of storytelling. These critics seem to base their reasoning on their readerly intuitions about how novels and short stories function; yet their approach also lends itself to, for instance, discussions on how such works afford life visions or worldviews. In contrast to this approach, I describe narratology, in the critics’ view, as having a sameness approach that treats narrative fiction as a subtype of “narrative” in the sense of the communication of events by a narrator.

The three opening articles of the thesis comprise a metadiscussion of the critique. I here describe, in part with Greger Andersson, the critics’ ideas, characterize the critique as a whole, and speculate about why it has had no apparent effect on narratology. The two latter articles utilize the difference approach in analyses of Angela Carter’s “The Loves of Lady Purple” and Sara Stridsberg’s Drömfakulteten (The Faculty of Dreams) while discussing narratological concepts and issues. Future studies might continue this discussion or inquire further about, for example, the relations between different narrative practices or what role different intuitions about narrative fiction play in descriptions and analyses.

Ort, förlag, år, upplaga, sidor
Örebro: Örebro University, 2019. s. 129
Serie
Örebro Studies in Literary History and Criticism, ISSN 1650-5840 ; 13
Nyckelord
Angela Carter, narrative fiction, narrative theory, narratology, Sylvie Patron, Lars-Åke Skalin, Sara Stridsberg, unnatural narratology, Richard Walsh
Nationell ämneskategori
Litteraturvetenskap
Identifikatorer
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-75851 (URN)978-91-7529-297-7 (ISBN)
Disputation
2019-10-18, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (Engelska)
Opponent
Handledare
Tillgänglig från: 2019-08-23 Skapad: 2019-08-23 Senast uppdaterad: 2019-10-10Bibliografiskt granskad

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