The Phantom Chapters of the Quijote

The Phantom Chapters of the Quijote

The Phantom Chapters of the Quijote

The Phantom Chapters of the Quijote

Excerpt

At the other margin of the gap between chapters, in the opening words, occur constructions that are counterparts of the endings that have been analyzed above. Just as the overflowing endings violate the logic of the chapter close by having a stylistic impetus that carries beyond the confines of the formal conclusion, so do these beginnings in their way violate the logic of the generic chapter opening by a style which proclaims them not to be fresh beginnings, or openings that might be termed "absolute" in the etymological sense of "free from" relationship to something else, but, on the contrary to be annexations to whatever text may have preceded. The style, alone, creates the liaison, which is not a matter of explicit back-reference.

The structure of these openings and their operation in terms of the relationship between author, text, and reader, are not, however, simply the reverse of those in the overflowing terminations, for an additional factor is involved. Every chapter, save of course the first, has a predetermined sequential relationship with the close of the anterior chapter; therefore, since the reader is possessed of memory, the structure of the chapter opening in the Quijote is psychologically predetermined too, for depending on whether the previous chapter termination is overflowing or end-stopped, the reader expects, alternatively, a continuing construction or an absolute opening. When the chapter . . .

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