Narratology: An Introduction

By Susana Onega ; Jose Angel Garcia Landa | Go to book overview

temporal transfer takes place at such a point by referring to the objective compositional elements that may produce it. [ . . . ]


Notes
1.
See ERNEST SCHANZER, The Problem Plays of Shakespeare ( London, 1966), chap. 2.
2.
MALCOLM COWLEY, ed., The Portable Faulkner ( New York, 1954), pp. 7-8.
3.
Ibid., p. 8. Cowley, significantly enough, adds in the same sentence that these inconsistencies are 'afterthoughts rather than oversights.'
4.
GUSTAV FREYTAG, Technique of the Drama, trans. Elias J. MacEwan ( Chicago, 1908; first published 1863), pp. 114-15.
5.
See especially BORIS TOMASHEVSKI'S "'Thématique,'" in Théorie de la littérature, ed. Tzvetan Todorov ( Paris, 1965), pp. 240-2; part of this essay has been reprinted in Russian Formalist Criticism: Four Essays, ed. Lee T. Lemon and Marion J. Reis ( Lincoln, Nebr., 1965). Strangely enough, Tomashevsky himself gives but an indifferent account of exposition, neither fully exploiting the terms he himself suggests nor taking into account the complex of time-problems involved (e.g., the fictive present).

Historically, as I have argued elsewhere, the distinction between fabula and sujet is already implicit in the Aristotelian view of 'whole' as against 'mythos' ( "'Elements of Tragedy and the Concept of Plot in Tragedy: On the Methodology of Constituting a Generic Whole,'" Hasifrut 4 [ 1973]: 23-69); and it was later formulated in the prevalent Renaissance and Neo-classical opposition of the 'natural order' (employed by historians) and the 'artificial order' (distinctive of literary art). There is no doubt that in the hands of the Russian Formalists some of the practical implications of this fundamental distinction were brought out more impressively than ever before; and that is why I am using fabula and sujet here rather than the more ancient terminology or, as is the fashion nowadays, some new terminology of my own. But I should perhaps warn the reader that in view of various theoretical and methodological weaknesses from which I believe the Formalist position(s) on this issue suffer, my account of these terms significantly diverges from theirs at a number of points. I should be held responsible only for the distinctions as explicitly defined in this chapter and further developed and demonstrated throughout the argument.

6.
This conception of 'motif' must be sharply distinguished from that of many folklorists and literary critics, who refer by this term to a recurrent, and sometimes migratory, thematic unit, often reducible to smaller units (e.g., the victory of the Cinderella or the son's quest for his father). As used here, motif primarily designates an irreducible narrative unit, which may or may not recur. Cf. Tomashevski, 'Thématique,' pp. 268-9.
7.
The reader may of course find this contextually determined scale false or stereotyped or trivial -- that is, not compatible with what he or any other reader holds intrinsically significant in life or art or both. But this is already a question of evaluation, which should not affect the interpretative procedure leading him to the normative conclusion.
8.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE, Is He Poperjoy?, chap. 1.
9.
A. A. MENDILOW, Time and the Novel ( London, 1952), p. 73.

-114-

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