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Texts do not mean whatever die interpreter wants diem to mean. Syntax counts. Kronick's argument for constant reinterpretations can serve to keep history alive. Reminding us that "the continuity of history depends upon die infinite process of interpretation that renders die past for die future," he would rescue history from being "merely a funerary monument" pp. But when he argues diat all evidence and selection must be random and arbitrary, he opens "an abyss ofendiese interpretations" widiout significance pp.
If mat view wins die day, then historians will continue to have my sympathy. This book is a dioroughly stimulatingjourney around fiction.
Stanzel believes that what is central to fictional narrative is die mediation of die story, that is, who teUs it and how. That leads him to propose three categories which enable die mediation of a fiction to be described. They are person, perspective, and mode. Person is the category which accounts for die nar- rator: who he or she is, and whedier the narrator inhabits die same world in which die characters exist and die story happens.
Each of diese categories in turn has a small number of exponents. The category mode has two. For perspective it is a matter of internal and exter- nal perspective. The three major categories and dieir primary distinctions are arranged by Stanzel in a diagram around a circle which he calls "The Typological Circle. On die odier hand, "die narrative situations are conceived as ideal types" p. This seeming contradiction comes about in part because Stanzel tries, often very successfully, to deal with requirements which he himself feels to be contradictory: "It is clear that no systematization of narrative forms can meet both the requirements of dieory and interpretation equally — die demands of conceptual order and consistency, on die one hand, and the suitability of texts and applicability in interpretation, on die odier" p.
But notwidistanding this, there is a very full and informative discussion of die interaction of aU the categories since die categories always interact. First-person narrators may be distant from the action uiey relate or near to and involved in it. They may teU die story from an internal or external perspective. Thus die diree major categories provide a rich taxonomy for describing narrative and narratives. This taxonomy is one of die great strenguis of Stanzel's work, since he does both provide a dieory and exemplify it extensively.
Throughout die work there are detailed analyses of die narrative structure of small quoted passages as well as whole novels.
These support Stanzel's dieory and are revealing in diemselves. They also provide a compendium for all those who are interested in die nature of narrative fiction. Many of diem seem good candidates for typical or ar- chetypical status and could be used by anyone constructing a dieory of nar- rative, since die analysis is both clear and acute. It is this familiarity and respect for narratives which leads Stanzel to insist that his major categories have fuzzy edges. This is because he feels mat many fictions or even sections of fiction do not exacdy fit his categories.
But that is not a prob- lem for die dieory if its edges are left sharp. The theory provides descriptive categories for sentences, paragraphs, and chapters, as well as whole books. And if a whole book is not consistendy one diing or anodier, mat is not die fault of the uieory or the book. The theory is responsible for predicting die possible kinds of fiction — and it is revealing and makes interesting predictions even widi sharp edges. Related Papers. By Natalya Bekhta. An Introduction to Narratology.
By tjak basori. By Richard Walsh. A Companion To Narrative Theory. Unnatural voices. By Brian Richardson. Download pdf. Remember me on this computer. Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link. Need an account?
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Franz Karl Stanzel
Franz Stanzel set out to derive a comprehensive typology of all conceivable narrative structures. Stanzel writes:. A reflector character thinks, feels and perceives. An illusion of im-mediacy is created. In fact, all narration is first-person because there is always a narrator between the reader and the story.
Franz Karl Stanzel born 4 August is an Austrian literary theorist , specialised in English literature. In he was offered a position as professor Ordinariat in Erlangen. In he succeeded Koziol in Graz. Since the s Stanzel worked on an analytical topology for the description of the narrative mode , also often called "narrative situation" or "point of view" of narrative texts.