Second-Person Narrative: A Bibliography

By Fludernik, Monika | Style, Winter 1994 | Go to article overview

Second-Person Narrative: A Bibliography


Fludernik, Monika, Style


This bibliography contains all second-person texts and criticism that I have been able to verify personally. In some cases I have included items on the basis of reliable commentary by others. I would like to thank all colleagues who have helped me in the process of compiling this bibliography. Pride of place on that list goes to Irene Kacandes, whom I met at Harvard in 1987-88 while she was writing her dissertation on second-person fiction and who generously supplied me with an initial list of texts and criticism. Since then I have profited from the kindness and generosity of Isabella de Campo, Werner Helmich, Uri Margolin, Reingard M. Nischik, Brian Richardson, Dennis Schofield, and Ursula Wiest. To them all I tender a most grateful thank-you for their selfless cooperation. Special thanks go to Markus Schaffauer for help with the Spanish texts quoted by Gnutzmann.

The bibliography has four different sections:

A. a list of those second-person texts that meet my requirements as explained in my "Introduction" to the special issue of Style on second-person narrative, Volume 28, no. 3 (Fall 1994). The second-person pronoun refers to a fictional protagonist;

B. a list of texts noted in the literature as being second-person texts but that do not correspond to my definition. I mention these for fairness sake and in order to save others the task of reading these works, believing them to be texts that I had overlooked or been unaware of only to be disappointed in the expectation of these texts' belonging to group A;

C. a very short list of a few films with second-person voice-over that I have found mentioned or seen myself. This is a very incomplete section, but will (I hope) serve as a stimulant for further research;

D. a list of criticism on the second person and address in general, on second-person narrative, and on second-person uses in poetry;

Works of poetry have not been included in section A of the bibliography, but some of the contexts in which the second person shows up in poetry are incipiently narrative. It is for this reason that I have included discussions of the use of the second person in poetry in section D.

Annotations to the entries in section A contain the following information:

(1) the extent of the use of the second-person pronoun in reference to the protagonist (information provided only for novels);

(2) remarks on the use of tenses or other pronouns in these works ("past tense" referring to the use of the past tense in reference to narrative events of the story, "present-tense narration" to the use of the present tense for plot events);

(3) remarks on the presence or absence of a narrator figure or a prominent address function.

Comments on Spanish texts for which I had no access to a translation rely on help I have received from Markus Schaffauer (Freiburg) who kindly cooperated with me in the last stages of compiling this bibliography. My annotations describe the impression I gained from the description that I received of the use of the second person, and they may therefore be incorrect. I hope that this issue will inspire many Spanish scholars to dedicate themselves to a more reliable analysis.

Out of fairness to other approaches and models no categorization is provided in terms of my own typology. Annotations are kept to a minimum. For this reason texts that are discussed in detail in the essays that appeared in the special issue of Style on second-person narrative (Volume 28, no. 3, Fall 1993) are not given any annotations.

Lacunae in this bibliography are as follows. Some works that are supposedly second-person narratives proved to be untraceable to me from Europe. Where I believe that these texts are very difficult to find, I have included them nevertheless in the hope that somebody else may be luckier than I. I have, however, excluded much literature that was mentioned to me and about whose quality as second-person texts I have remained doubtful. …

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