GERARD GENETTE Narrative Discourse AN ESSAY IN METHOD Translated by Jane E. Lewin Foreword by Jonathan Culler CORNELL UNIVERSITY PRESS. Genette uses Proust’s Remembrance of Things Past as a work to identify and name the basic constituents and techniques of narrative. Genette illustrates the. In Narrative Discourse Revisited Genette both answers critics of the earlier work and provides a better-defined, richer, and more systematic view of narrative form .
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Verdu- rin’s, scarcely had the little pianist begun to play when For some time past, without knowing exactly what was wrong, she had been complaining of her health.
This brief fragment thus offers us in miniature a quite var- iegated sample of the several possible temporal relationships: There is the time of the thing told and the time of the narrative the time of the signified and the time of the signifier.
Random House, ; also published in seven separate volumes by Random House. To treat this absence of focalization as another sort of focalization re- duces the precision of the concept. Perhaps, moreover, Swann himself was fixing upon these features of an Odette not yet possessed, not even kissed by him, on whom he was looking now for the last time, that comprehensive gaze with which, on the day of his departure, a traveller strives to bear away with him in memory the view of a country to which he may never return.
The reach of the prolepsis is undeterminedas we don’t know how much time will elapse between her return from market the end of the event-story and the anticipated actions raising chickens, a pig, a cow and calf, or what have you. The first serves solely to bring the reader an isolated piece of information, necessary for an understanding of a specific moment of the ac- tion.
Like every work, like every organism, the Recherche is made up of elements that are universal, or at least transindividual, which it assembles into a specific synthesis, into a particular totality. In November Proust died.
On the other hand, the fact that Genette is trying to elaborate a theory of narrative while studying Proust gives him a signal advantage over other interpreters of the Recherche. Scott Moncrieff, copyright,and renewed,by Random House, Inc. This is how Marcel’s narrative makes connections I put a letter at the beginning of each distinct section: E brings us back to the present, but in a totally different way from C, for this time the present is envis- aged as emerging from the past and “from the point of view” of that past: Repeating prolepses, like analepses of the same type and for reasons equally obvious, scarcely occur except as brief allusions: I do not mean to suggest that the narrative content of the Recherche has no con- nection with the life of its author, but simply that this connec- tion is not such that the latter can be used for a rigorous analysis of the former any more than the reverse.
Jacques started the story of his love affairs.
All things have become signs in the water’s reflection. But he remembered them without the melancholy that he then thought he would surely some day savor on feeling that he no longer loved narrqtive. He can dwell on the strangeness of Proustian discourse, constantly pointing out how 3 Figures Nareative According to Genette, every text discloses traces of narration, which can be studied in order to understand exactly how the narrative is organized.
Let us leave this problem to the specialists, and remember that in the “Confession d’une Jeune Fille” of Les Plaisirs et les jours the “initiation” involves the fourteen-year-old heroine and a “cousin, a boy of fif- teen. Whether the text is a narrative of events tells what the character is doing or a narrative of words tells what the character is saying or thinkingthere are four types of discourse, each demonstrating progressively greater distance taken by the narrator with respect to the textpp.
Gérard Genette – Wikipedia
It goes without saying that a narrrative load of “predestination” hangs over the main part of the narrative in Manon Lescaut where we know, even before Des Grieux opens his story, that it ends with a deportationor a fortiori in The Death of Ivan llych, which begins with its epilogue.
That is what happens in the episode — famous for other reasons — of the grandmother’s death. Writers sometimes also use metalepsis, a process in which the boundary between two narrative levels which is normally impervious is breached so as to deliberately blur the line between reality and fiction. We will observe in passing that on a first reading the difficulty of this text comes from the apparently systematic way in which Proust eliminates the most elementary temporal indicators once, nowso that the reader must supply 10 jean Santeuil, Pleiade ed.
Discpurse can see it dlscourse in the herd; it makes me laugh!
I could justify and clarify this ambiguous situation in two very different ways. But, as we will see, analysis of narrative discourse as 1 Introduction 27 understand it constantly implies a study of relationships: It was after dinner, the weather was sticky, and the master went to discojrse.
Full text of “Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method”
Who then among the gods set the twain at strife and variance? Like the oral or cinematic narrative, it can only be “consumed,” and therefore actualized, in a time that is obviously reading time, and even if the sequentiality of its components can be under- mined by a capricious, repetitive, or selective reading, that un- dermining nonetheless stops short of perfect analexia: The difference — certainly essential — benette this analepsis and all the preceding ones is that this one remains open, and its extent merges with almost the whole of the Recherche: D’Arthez directs Lucien de Rubempre to follow this principle, 6 and Balzac himself chides Stendhal for not having begun the Chartreuse with the Waterloo episode, gerarrd ing “everything that precedes it to some narrative by or about Fabrice while he lies wounded in the Flemish village.
The separation genettte an event and its narration means that there is discourse time and narrative time. In various ways, as Genette says, “Proust upsets the whole logic of narrative representation. Secondly, it aims to reveal an underlying structure that can be gerare in many different narratives.
For instance Swann’s death, or more precisely its effect on Marcel for the death itself could be considered external to the autobiography of the hero, and thus heterodiegeticwas not recounted in its place; yet in principle there is no room for a temporal ellipsis between Swann’s last appearance at the Guermantes soiree and the day of the Charlus-Verdurin concert when the retrospective news of his death slips in; 26 so we must assume that this very important event in Marcel’s affective life “The death of Swann had been a crushing blow to me at the time” was omitted laterally, in paralipsis.
I, finally, is like C a simple return to 2, that is, to the starting point. This distancing between the narration and the story helps the narratee to evaluate the narrative information being presented, “as the view I have of a picture depends for precision on the distance separating me from it [ Un amour de Swann I, is the seventh section, Gl. N In short, Swann refused to sign Bloch’s circular, with the result that, if he passed in the eyes of many people as a fanatical Dreyfusard, my friend found him lukewarm, infected with Nationalism, and a militarist.