temporal transfer takes place at such a point by referring to the
objective compositional elements that may produce it.
[ . . . ]
ERNEST SCHANZER, The Problem Plays of Shakespeare ( London, 1966), chap. 2.
MALCOLM COWLEY, ed., The Portable Faulkner ( New York, 1954), pp. 7-8.
Ibid., p. 8. Cowley, significantly enough, adds in the same sentence that these
inconsistencies are 'afterthoughts rather than oversights.'
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,
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
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
Tomashevski, 'Thématique,' pp. 268-9.
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.
ANTHONY TROLLOPE, Is He Poperjoy?, chap. 1.
A. A. MENDILOW, Time and the Novel ( London, 1952), p. 73.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: Narratology:An Introduction.
Contributors: Susana Onega - Editor, Jose Angel Garcia Landa - Editor.
Place of publication: London.
Publication year: 1996.
Page number: 114.
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