Narratology: An Introduction

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

anagrammatic play function as the sole forming model of the 'fiction.' [. . .]

Joyce foregrounding of language in Finnegans Wake is perhaps the real forbear of the nouveau nouveau romancier's creation of 'fiction' in the space between words. In the early Roussel, language begets language which begets a verisimilar narrative 'fiction.' In Joyce, as in Ricardou, language begets language which is the 'fiction.' The difficulty in reading these texts bears witness to the increased demands made on the reader. The creative dynamism and the delight in infinite interpretative possibilities that once were the property of the writer are now shared by the reader in the process of concretizing the text he is reading. In overt narcissism this new role is taught; it is thematized. In the covert form, it is actualized.

This mirroring in reverse of the creative process again raised the important issue regarding the limits of the novel genre. At what stage does auto-representation become anti-representation? [. . .]

The decentralizing of the traditional realistic interest of fiction, away from the story told to the story telling, to the functioning of language and of larger diegetic structures, is important to the nouveau nouveau roman. Language becomes material with which to work, the object of certain transforming operations which give it meaning. There is a self-conscious recognition of the multiple contextual significances yielded by textual selection and organization. As such, this "new new novel' can remain within the novel genre, since these are the very operations or processes that form the link between reading and writing -- that is, between life and art, reality and fiction -- that seems to be a minimal requirement for a mimetic genre. [. . .]


Notes
1.
"'La Population des miroirs,'" Poétique 22 ( 1975): 212.
2.
Problèmes du nouveau roman ( Paris: Seuil, 1967), pp. 12, 54; and Pour une théorie du nouveau roman ( Paris: Seuil, 1971), pp. 105, 107, 156. See also "'Penser la littérature aujourd'hui,'" Marche Romane 21 nos. 1-2 ( 1971): 7-17.
3.
"'Disparition élocutoire'" in Leonardo Sdascia, Actes relatifs à la mort de Raymond Roussel ( Paris: L'Herne, 1972), pp. 7-30.
4.
Cf. JONATHAN CULLER, Structuralist Poetics ( London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975), p. 153, and ROBERT SCHOLESre romance modes in "'Metafiction,'" Iowa Review 1 (Fall 1970): 103. See the author's "'Parody Without Ridicule: Observations on Modern Literary Parody,'" Canadian Review of Comparative Literature 5 no. 2 (Spring 1978): 201-11.

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