08 literary narrative fiction
Skip this Video
Download Presentation
08 Literary Narrative Fiction

Loading in 2 Seconds...

play fullscreen
1 / 58

08 Literary Narrative Fiction - PowerPoint PPT Presentation

  • Uploaded on

08 Literary Narrative Fiction. History, Genres, Analysis. Narratives. Personal, political, historical, legal, medical narratives: narrative’s power to capture certain truths and experiences in special ways

I am the owner, or an agent authorized to act on behalf of the owner, of the copyrighted work described.
Download Presentation

PowerPoint Slideshow about '08 Literary Narrative Fiction' - bary

An Image/Link below is provided (as is) to download presentation

Download Policy: Content on the Website is provided to you AS IS for your information and personal use and may not be sold / licensed / shared on other websites without getting consent from its author.While downloading, if for some reason you are not able to download a presentation, the publisher may have deleted the file from their server.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - E N D - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Presentation Transcript
08 literary narrative fiction

08 Literary Narrative Fiction

History, Genres, Analysis


Personal, political, historical, legal, medical narratives: narrative’s power to capture certain truths and experiences in special ways

- unlike other modes of explanation and analysis such as statistics, descriptions, summaries, or reasoning via conceptual abstractions

the spectrum of fiction
The spectrum of fiction

fact – fiction – truth?

History Realism Romance Fantasy

Realism vs romance:

a matter of perception vs a matter of vision

two principal ways fiction can be related to life

Realism Romance

literary narrative fiction
Literary narrative fiction

literature: art of language

kinds of Iiterature: poetry,


narrative fiction

prose: from Latin prosa or proversaoratio

=‘straightforward discourse’

M. Jourdain: I've been speaking in PROSE all along!

Moliere (1622-1673), Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

literary conventions
Literary conventions

an agreement between artist and audience as to

the significance of features appearing in a work of art

knowledge of conventions = literary competence

narrative: tells of real or imagined events;

tells a story

fiction: an imagined creation in verse/prose/drama

story: (imagined) events or happenings,

involving a conflict

plot: arrangement of action → structure

literary narrative fictional
Literary, narrative, fictional:

distinct features, do not presuppose each other

  • Where do we place lyric poetry?

Marie-Laure Ryan, Possible Worlds, Artificial Intelligence, and Narrative Theory.Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana UP, 1991

the history of fiction
The history of fiction
  • Ian Watt, The Rise of the Novel: Studies in Defoe, Richardson and Fielding (1957)
  • Dale Spender, Mothers of the Novel (1988)
  • Margaret Anne Doody, The True Story of the Novel (1996)
novel in j a cuddon dictionary of literary terms and literary theory london penguin 1999
NovelIn: J. A. Cuddon: Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory. London: Penguin, 1999

Derived from Italian novella, 'tale, piece of news‘

applied to a wide variety of writings

only common attribute is that they are extended pieces of prose fiction

The length of novels varies greatly

when is a novel not a novel or a long short-story or a short novel or a novella?

Fewer and fewer rules

in contemporary practice a novel is between 60-70.000 words and, say, 200.000.

cuddon novel

The actual term 'novel' has had a variety of meanings and

implications at different stages.

From roughly the 15th to the 18th c. its meaning tended to

derive from the Italian novella and the Spanish novela (the

French term nouvelle, is closely related)

The term (oftenused in a plural sense) denoted short stories or

tales of the kindone finds in Boccaccio's Decameron (c. 1349

51).Nowadays we would classify all the contents of these as

short stories.

cuddon novel novelty
CuddonNovel /novelty

The term denoted a prose narrative about characters and their

actions in what was recognizably everyday life and usually in the

present, with the emphasis on things being 'new' or a 'novelty'.

It was used in contradistinction to 'romance'.

In the 19th c.the concept of 'novel' was enlarged.

cuddon novel1

A form of story or prose narrative containing

characters, actionand incident and, perhaps, a


cuddon novel2

The form - susceptible to change and


Pliable andadaptable to a seemingly endless

variety oftopic and themes

A wide range of sub-species or categories.

cuddon novel3

The subject matter of the novel eludes classification.

A number of these classifications shade off into each other.

For example, psychological novel is a term which embraces

many books; proletarian, propaganda and thesis novels tend to

have much in common; the picaresque narrative is often a novel

of adventure; a saga novel may also be a regional novel.

cuddon novel4

The origins of the genre are obscure

but in the time of the XIIth Dynasty Middle

Kingdom (c. 1200BC) Egyptians were writing

fiction of a kind which one woulddescribe as a

novel today

cuddon novel5

From Classical times

Daphnis and Chloe (2nd c. BC) by Longus

The Golden Ass (2nd c. AD) by Apuleius

Satyricon (1st c. AD) of Petronius Arbiter

Most of these are concerned with loveand contain the

rudiments of novels as we understand themtoday

cuddon novel6

Oriental prose fiction

Arabian Nights‘ Entertainments, or The Thousand and One

Nights, 10th c. the collection, collected and established as a

group of stories probably by an Egyptian professional story-teller

at some time between the 14th and 16th c.

Became known in Europe early in the 18th c., since when they

have had a considerable influence.

cuddon novel7

Collections of novella or short tales

Italy -

Giovanni Boccaccio’s Decameron(1349–52, revised 1370–1371)

had much influence on Geoffrey Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales (late 14th c.)

Matteo Bandello’s Le Novelle (written between 1510and 1560)

France -

Marguerite of Navarre‘Heptaméron (published in 1558)

These were integrated short stories but important as they were

in prose

In their method of narration and in their creation and

development ofcharacter they are forerunners of the modern


cuddon novel8

Until the 14th c. most of the literature of entertainment (and the

novel is usually intended as an entertainment) was confined to

narrative verse, particularly the epic and the romance.

Romance eventually yielded the word roman, which is the term

for novel in most European languages.

In some ways the novel is a descendant of the medieval

romances, which, in the first place, like the epic, were written in

verse and then in prose (e.g. Malory's Morte D'Arthur, 1485).

Verse narratives had been supplanted by prose narratives by the

end of the 17th c.

cuddon novel9

Spain - was ahead of the rest of Europe in the development of

thenovel form.

Cervantes's DonQuixote de la Mancha (1605, 1615)satirized

chivalry anda number of the earlier novels

In France Rabelais'sGargantua (1534) and Pantagruel (1532)

can beclassed as novels of phantasy, or mythopoeic

cuddon novel10

England, end of the 15th c., extended prose narrative:

John Lyly's Euphues (in two parts, 1578 and 1580

Sir Philip Sidney's pastoral romance Arcadia (1590).

1719 – Daniel Defoe published his story of adventure Robinson

Crusoe, one in a long tradition of desert island fiction

Defoe's other two main contributions to the novel form were

Moll Flanders (1722), a sociological novel, and AJournal of the

PlagueYear (1722) – a reconstruction and thus a piece of

historical fiction

books on fiction
Bookson Fiction

Booth, Wayne: The Rhetoric of Fiction. Second edition. London: Penguin, 1991 (1983)

Lodge, David: The Art of Fiction. London: Penguin, 1992

Rimmon-Kenan, Shlomith: Narrative Fiction: Contemporary Poetics. London and New York: Methuen, 1983

sub genres

Integrated short stories

Arabian Nights' Entertainments, or The Thousand and One Nights,

Boccaccio: Decameron

James Joyce: Dubliners

sub genres1


any sort of stroy of chivalry or of love

Cervantes: Don Quixote (1605-1615)

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (14th c.)

Thomas Malory: Le Morte D’Arthur (15th c.)

Pastoral romance

Longus: Daphnis and Chloe (2nd c. A.D.)

Philip Sidney: Arcadia (1590)


Thomas Hardy: Tess of the d’Urbevilles (1891), Jude the Obscure (1895)

sub genres2

Picaresque novel

tells the life of a knave or a picaroon who is the servant of severel masters

Daniel Defoe: Moll Flanders (1722)

Henry Fielding: Jonathan Wild (1743)

sub genres3

Novel of adventure / desert island novel

(related to te picaresque novel and the romance)

Daniel Defoe: Robinson Crusoe (1719)

R.L. Stevenson: Treasure Island (1883)

Mark Twain: Tom Sawyer (1876)

Huckleberry Finn (1885)

James Fenimore Cooper: The Last of the Mohicans (1826)

sub genres4

Gothic novel

a type of romance, popular from the 1760s until the 1820s, has terror and cruelty as main themes, impact on the ghost story and the horror story

Horace Walpole: The Castle of Otranto (1764

Ann Radcliffe: Mysteries of Udolpho (1794)

Mary Shelley: Frankenstein (1818)

Jane Austen: Northanger Abbey (1818)

Charles Dickens: Great Expectations (1861)

R. L. Stevenson: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde (1886)

Dracula, doppelgänger

sub genres5

Epistolary novel

in the form of letters, popular in the 18th c.

Samuel Richardson: Pamela (1740) and Clarissa

Harlowe (1747, 1748)

Tobias Smollett: Humphrey Clinker (1771)

sub genres6

Sentimental novel / novel of sentimentality

popular in the 18th c., distresses of the virtuous

Samuel Richardson: Pamela (1740)

Oliver Goldsmith: The Vicar of Wakefield (1766)

Sentimentality in fiction

Laurence Sterne: A Sentimental Journey (1768)

sub genres7

Historical novel

a form of fictional narrative which reconstructs history imaginatively

Walter Scott: Waverly (1814)

William Makepeace Thackeray: Vanity Fair (1847-48)

Robert Graves: I, Claudius (1934)

William Golding: Rites of Passage (1980)

sub genres8

Documentary novel

based on documentary evidence in the shape of newspapee article, etc.

Truman Capote: In Cold Blood (1966)

Graham Greene: The Quiet American (1955)

sub genres9

Key novel

actual persons are presented under fictitious names

Aldous Huxley: Point Counter Point (1928) (D. H. Lawrence)

sub genres10

Thesis / sociological / propaganda novel

treats of a social, political, religious problem

Harriet Beecher Stowe: Uncle Tom’s Cabin (1852)

The condition of England novel /regional novel

Charles Dickens: Hard Times (1854)

Charlotte Brontë: Shirley (1849)

sub genres11


[gr. Ou + topos = no place and eutopia = place where all is well]

Thomas More: Utopia (1516)

George Orwell: Nineteen Eighty-Four (1949)

Jonathan Swift: Gulliver’s Travels (1726, 1735)

William Golding: Lord of the Flies (1954)

Anti-utopia, dystopia

Science fiction

Phantasy or fantasy

sub genres12

Campus novel

has a university campus as setting

Mary McCarthy: The Groves of Academe (1952)

Kingsley Amis: Lucky Jim (1954)

David Lodge: Changing Places (1975)

sub genres13

The saga / chronicle novel

narrative about the life of a large family

John Galsworthy: Forsyte Saga (1906-1921)

sub genres14

Time novel

employs stream of consciousness technique, time is used as a theme

James Joyce: Ulysses (1922)

Marcel Proust: A la recherche du temps perdu (1913-1927)

sub genres15

Psychological novel

concerned with emotional, mental lives of the characters

Virginia Woolf: Mrs Dalloway (1925)

building blocks of narrative
Building blocks of narrative
  • types of character (»roles)
  • types of event
  • types of lack and restoration
  • types of getting from beginning to end

(How do you know it is the end of the story?)

  • types of setting
  • types of narrator

characterization:round vs flat characters

E.M. Forster, Aspects of the Novel

stereotypes: characters based on conscious or unconscious cultural assumptions that sex, age, ethnic or national identification, occupation, marital status and so on, are predictably accompanied by certain character traits, actions, even values

arrangement of events
Arrangement of events
  • with a particular kind of beginning and ending orientation, closure, coda
  • usually told for a purpose
  • typically about change:

situation A changes to situation B

lack leads to restoration


structure: connecting elements,



selection, connection, ordering of information leading to a recognition

moving to illuminate the beginning

by the ending


The space where the narrative takes place:

rural setting, urban setting,

nature scenes, country houses etc.

Settings often echo or emphasize other features:

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)

Yorkshire moors

Wuthering Heights↔Thrushcross Grange


harsh, rough warm, soft, civilised

space and time
Space and Time

James Joyce, Ulysses (1922)


16 June 1904

Virginia Woolf, Mrs Dalloway (1925)


a single day in June,

after WWI

narrator narration
Narrator, narration

narrator:one who tells a story within/outside

the space and time of story

Who tells the story?

To whom?



narration: narrative perspective: point of view

author ≠ author's persona (mask) ≠ narrator

(Samuel Clemens vs Mark Twain)

narrator narration narrative
Narrator, narration, narrative
  • account of a sequence of connected events
  • told by a narrator

what happened vs how it is told


Narration - rearranges the order of events

e.g., flashback:

historical time vs narrated order

- sets up relations between events

e.g., cause and effect

narrative perspective
Narrative perspective
  • viewing aspect: focus

like a movie camera:

choosing, framing, emphasizing, distorting limited/unlimited (omniscient narrator)

stand back: dramatic focus

  • verbal aspect: voice
point of view
Point of view
  • visual perspective
  • ideological framework
  • basic types of narration: 1st person (I-narration)

3rdperson (they-narration)

e.g., 'window' on text:

seems objective

internal vs external

restricted knowledge vs unrestricted knowledge

(seemed, looked as if)

  • texts with instability of point of view: watch out for WHO experiences and WHAT is experienced
  • external focalization: unidentified narrator
  • character focalization: a character experiences

focalizer: the one who is looking

focalized: what is being focussed on

expression and construction of types of consciousness and self-consciousness

Shifting narrative viewpoints, several narrators:

Emily Brontë, Wuthering Heights (1847)


The study of narrative in literature

Early examples in the 20th century:

Vladimir Propp (Russian Formalist)

Morphology of the Folktale (1928)

Claude Lévi-Strauss (French Structuralist)

Anthropologie Structurale (1958) (myths)

Gérard Genette

Narrative Discourse (1972)

g rard genette s system
Gérard Genette’s system

Based on the distinction between story and plot (fabula and syuzhet in Russian formalism)

- récit (the chronological order of events

in a text or narrative)

- histoire (the sequence in which events actually occur)

- narration (the act of narrating)

(Gérard Genette, Narrative Discourse, 1972)

genette s system
Genette’s system

narrative: the result of the interaction of

its component levels

3 basic kinds of narrator:

- narrator is absent from his own narrative

((‘heterodiegetic narrator’))

- narrator is inside his narrative (1st person) ((‘homodiegetic narrator’))

- narrator is inside his narrative and also main character ((‘autodiegetic narrator’))

roland barthes 1915 1980
Roland Barthes (1915-1980)

France: from structuralism to poststructuralism

attempt to describe narrative as a formal system based on the model of a grammar

‘The death of the Author’ (essay from 1967)

(against the concept of the author as a way

of forcing a meaning onto a text)

S/Z (1970) a critical reading of Balzac’s Sarrasine

text open to interpretation


What can you notice about the following excerpts? (Can you guess the period, the author, the work?)

How is the weather defining the beginning of the book in Chapter 1?

What do we find out about the narrator from the way Mrs Fairfax is introduced in Ch 12?

How is the introduction of the people in Moor House different in Ch 30?

Do you notice anything special about the way the last chapter, Ch 38 begins?

chapter 1
Chapter 1

There was no possibility of taking a walk that day. We had been wandering, indeed, in the leafless shrubbery an hour in the morning; but since dinner (Mrs Reed, when there was no company, dined early), the cold winter wind had brought with it clouds so sombre, and a rain so penetrating, that further outdoor exercise was now out of the question.

(Penguin Classics edition, p 39)

chapter 12
Chapter 12

The promise of a smooth career, which my first calm introduction to Thornfield Hall seemed to pledge, was not belied on a longer acquaintance with the place and its inmates. Mrs. Fairfax turned out to be what she appeared, a placid-tempered, kind-natured woman, of competent education and average intelligence. My pupil was a lovely child; who had been spoilt and indulged (140)

chapter 30
Chapter 30

The more I knew of the inmates of Moor House, the better I liked them. In a few days I have so far recovered my health that I could sit up all day, and walk out sometimes. I could join with Diana and Mary in all their occupations, converse with them as much as they wished, and aid them when and where they would allow me. There was a reviving pleasure in this intercourse, of a kind now tasted by me for the first time – the pleasure arising from perfect congeniality of tastes, sentiments, and principles. (376)

chapter 38
Chapter 38

Reader, I married him. A quiet wedding we had: he and I, the parson and clerk, were alone present. When we got back from church, I went into the kitchen of the manor house, where Mary was cooking the dinner, and John cleaning the knives, and I said –

‘Mary, I have been married to Mr Rochester this morning.’ (474)