Read Narrative Discourse by Gérard Genette Jane E. Lewin Jonathan Culler Online


Gerard Genette, a critic of international stature, here builds a systematic theory of narrative upon an analysis of the writings of Marcel Proust, particularly Remembrance of Things Past. Adopting what is essentially a structuralist approach, the author identifies and names the basic constituents and techniques of narrative and illustrates them by referring to literary worGerard Genette, a critic of international stature, here builds a systematic theory of narrative upon an analysis of the writings of Marcel Proust, particularly Remembrance of Things Past. Adopting what is essentially a structuralist approach, the author identifies and names the basic constituents and techniques of narrative and illustrates them by referring to literary works in many languages....

Title : Narrative Discourse
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ISBN : 9780801492594
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 288 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Narrative Discourse Reviews

  • Dave Holmes
    2019-02-27 02:34

    Although it is not apparent from the title or description, this theoretical book on the subset of Structuralist Criticism known as Narratology, is focused on Proust's In Search of Lost Time. The author is one of the leaders in the development of Narratology and while examples are drawn from all over literature, all the significant examples are from Proust's work, particularly In Search.... I have an amateur's interest in formal literary criticism so this book interests me. But it should also interest anyone who has read Proust. In the process of defining and describing theoretical matters it identifies aspects of Proust's narrative technique that are quite interesting anyone who has made the effort to Read Proust. I have only yet read the Introduction and First chapter but have learned of three foreign trips the narrator in In Search made to foreign countries (Holland, Germany, Switzerland) that are only alluded to in the text. There was a section of "microanalysis" where the author took first a brief passage from Jean Santeuil then a longer passage from Sodom and Gommorah , divides each passage into the different periods of time referenced (7 and 12 respectively) and shows how Proust seamlessly weaves together the narrative present (now) with various points in the past (once) without the reader even being aware of what a dazzling display of narrative brilliance lies within what appears to be just another "wordy" Proustian passage. At the macro level of analysis, Genette breaks down Swann' Way and identifies 7 beginning sentences spread across the entire volume. Genette shows how each of these beginnings relate to insomnia or involuntary memory. Each portion of text begun eventually returns to its point of origin before the next beginning, and this pattern is repeated until the Seventh beginning near the End of Swann's Way, launches the narrative forward to carry the story to completion in Time Regained. If such issues interest you this book is worth investigating. I do not find it dry, but it does require time to pause and consider terminology, differences (sometimes subtle) in terms and categories, and how examples relate to theory.

  • Robyn
    2019-03-10 02:47

    I haven't rated any theory as five stars in a while. Not since my initial infatuation with it. (Now we're like an old married couple.) Some of those stars there are for this being a book you need to know if you want to do narrative theory, and the rest of those stars are just because I love Genette's style, that is, his style both on the page and in his head.Two main style things: Turns of phrase -- he keeps it interesting and even informal in places. Funniest bit: "capital erotic habits." Capital! Just capital, I say! (I know this is a translation, but the thought is there even in the French.) Evidence of painful, painstaking thinking -- Holy shit, footnotes! He ANGUISHES over choosing terms, for instance. To paraphrase: "Here's the etymologies on all these parts of the term, and here's why it doesn't quite work, and OH I regret that I even need to coin a term at all, but I do!"I'd like to do this better justice, but the book is on my desk at the office, because it's in use for paper-writing.A note: While Genette is the author of the most famous (in America) two books on narrative theory, that's hardly what he's interested in. He's done so much other work on everything but.

  • Ярослава
    2019-03-16 01:40

    Іще одна класика, яку знаєш через осмос, але не конче добираєшся прочитати.Значна частина мови, якою ми говоримо про літературу (якщо симпатизуємо наратології) - це мова, яку винайшов Женетт. Звісно, в густині термінології є якийсь елемент сорому гуманітарних наук перед природничими (ми, мовляв, також маємо строгі визначення і строгий метод!) - але, on the plus side, hair-splitting терміни звертають увагу на текстові розрізнення/проблеми, які незле враховувати при аналізі, але дослідники, що не мають для цього окремих термінів, можуть і оминути увагою. (Ну, скажімо, може видатися недоцільним говорити про "інтрадієгетичного гетеродієгетичного оповідача", якщо можна сказати щось на кшталт "оповідь від першої особи, оповідач не є частиною сюжету" - але це звертає увагу читача на те, що оповідач у оповіді від першої особи, який участь у сюжеті бере й не бере - це різні текстові звірі й наративні стратегії.)Крім того, "Наративний дискурс" - блискучий приклад того, як з прозою можна працювати не менш тонко, аніж з поезією (зазвичай прозу аналізують тематично, приділяючи тому, як вона зроблена, значно менше уваги, і я вічно шукаю зразків добрих аналізів прози - ну і от Женетт, безперечно, це пропонує).

  • Hilary
    2019-03-25 03:48

    Ok, again, four stars and "I Liked it!" seem like weird categories for academic texts, but. This guy is brilliant. Honestly, he coined most of the terms--ok, not MOST, but a whole bunch--associated with structuralist narratology and manages to explain them in a way that a peon like myself can understand. Ok, so this is translated from French, but still. He does use Marcel Proust's "Remembrance of Things Past" as his case study text, so once he defines a term, he shows how it works mainly using that novel. I skimmed those sections since a) I have not read it, and b) I will never, ever teach it. Again, a lot of the language I wish I had when I taught high school comes from this guy. Must be nice. When do I get to coin terms? :)

  • Nikolay Dyulgerov
    2019-03-18 03:26

    I cannot comment on the book's merit in the field of literary theory, although it seems considerable, to say the least. But for the average reader it seems to me that it offers a range of valuable insights about subtle characteristics of the narrative that, if you pay proper attention to them, can certainly enrich the reading experience.It could also undoubtedly be of great help to translators with the analytical tools it proposes.

  • Samet
    2019-03-02 03:30

    Edebi metinleri yapısal olarak değerlendirme açısından değerli bir çalışma; Proust üzerinden ve hatta Proust'un gelmiş geçmiş en zor metinlerinden biri olan Kayıp Zamanın İzinde üzerinde çalışması ve fikirlerini bu esere uygulaması açısından hakkı olan değeri görmesi gereken eser. Edebi eserlerin sadece tematik olarak değerlendirilmeyeceğine güzel bir kanıt. Anlatı ve anlatının yapı taşları.

  • Kriangkrai Vathanalaoha
    2019-03-25 02:30

    For people who loves to inspect any fictions' narrative structure, you may not miss this valuable volume. This book explores how we can understand narrators' attitude as well as their "focalization" by his methods. One of the most important biblical works for linguistic, stylistics, rhetoric students to place it on their shelves.

  • Justin Evans
    2019-03-26 08:34

    I was pleasantly surprised by this one. A friend recommended it, and, despite my scepticism, I picked it up. He said it had been very useful for his work on Robert Musil, and I can see why. I think there are two ways of reading this. I'm not sure it's so helpful to read it as Genette seems to have intended: a description of the conditions which make narrative possible. This structuralist project has always seemed a little dubious to me, although I'm very fond of philosophical explanations of the conditions for pretty much everything. On the other hand, if you read it as an analysis of one of the more complex narratives we have (the examples are mainly from Proust), it's very good. The terminology is absolutely horrific (prolepsis, analepsis, prolipsis, anachrony...), but the concepts are actually quite clear. I can imagine using them in a classroom to help students understand the way an author tells her story. Can't ask for more than that. As good as the tools are, the book itself gets a little grating towards the end. Genette launches into a defense of Proust against what he perceives as a bias towards Henry James-esque narrative techniques (that is, a bias against the first person, against autobiographical forms, and so on.) That's all well and good, since Proust is a great author and it's silly to claim that he's not because he writes in the first person. On the other hand, Proust wasn't perfect. He made mistakes. Genette does a great job analysing those mistakes... and then claims that they are evidence of Proust 'transgressing' or 'subverting' narrative conventions. The problem is, he's just 'transgressing' or 'subverting' the conventions that Genette has described. The argument becomes circular: the data supporting the conventions are found in the book which is also meant to be undermining those conventions. And I sure didn't get the feeling that Proust was trying to do that. So, it's a good tool-box. But be ready for some general French-literary-theoriness towards the end.

  • Dylan Suher
    2019-03-04 02:46

    I had read large parts of this book in college, and so I was aware of what a monumental achievement in narratology it was, but I had no idea that it was also a fine, sensitive study of Proust. Reading the full book again, it is clear that parts have not aged well (the analogy between narrative and grammar seems particularly weak), but it still remains an essential guide to diagramming, identifying and understanding the workings of narrative. "the scorner of the avant-garde is almost always a revolutionary despite himself (I would certainly say that that is the best way to be one if I didn't have the faint suspicion that it is the only way)"

  • Liz Cettina
    2019-03-15 02:23

    “narrative, and that alone, informs us here both of the events that it recounts and of the activity that supposedly gave birth to it. In other words, our knowledge of the two (the events and the action of writing) must be indirect, unavoidably mediated by the narrative discourse, inasmuch as the events are the very subject of that discourse and the activity of writing leaves in it traces, signs or indices that we can pick up and interpret.” rly liked this book, uses swann's way as case study so it's very fun :)

  • Joe Nelis
    2019-02-25 05:35

    Genette uses Proust to illustrate the various aspects of a narrative that impact a reader's experience, such as the narrative voice and mood and the author's manipulation of time. Fairly easy to digest, though it would have been easier had I been familiar with his tutor text. A useful grammar of narrative structure that manages to avoid being deterministic.

  • Jamila
    2019-03-09 01:35

    “The real author of the narrative is not only he who tells it, but also, and at times more, he who hears it. And who is not necessarily the one it is addressed to: there are always people off to the side.” (262)

  • Jenny
    2019-03-02 05:35

    Very technical, but really interesting. The jargon is off-putting at first, and the book requires really close reading, but the ideas are fascinating. Recommended for literature nerds like myself. Also, it made me really want to read Proust.

  • Julie Bowerman
    2019-03-02 04:41

    Easier to deal with than Foucault

  • Patrick
    2019-02-27 08:25

    Very interesting discussion of time models in narrative.

  • Lise
    2019-03-01 01:25

    A systematic theory of narrative

  • Jackie Reed
    2019-03-24 06:48

    The methodology is useful, but the terminology made my brain feel like it'd been put through a blender and pureed.

  • Julie
    2019-03-22 09:44

    Foundational to narratology.

  • Kenneth
    2019-03-22 03:50

    Imagine if you could by an owner's manual for fiction - how it works on a mechanical level. This is that book.

  • Laura
    2019-03-15 05:42

    Strict structuralism and very dry. Not recommended for beginners.

  • Alison Gresik
    2019-03-24 01:48

    Recommended by U of Calgary prof, Dr. Lorne Macdonald

  • Corey
    2019-03-12 07:42

    I know it's an important book, but I can't say it had me on the edge of my seat.