Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method



Gerard Genette, “Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method”
Cornell University Press | 1983 | ISBN: 0801492599 | 288 pages | File type: PDF | 7.86 mb

Gerard Genette builds a systematic theory of narrative upon an anlaysis of the writings of Marcel Proust, particularly ‘Remembrance of Things Past.’

Adopting what is essentially a structuralist approach, the author identifies and names the basic constituents and techniques of narrative and illustrates them by referring to literary works in many languages.

This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to look seriously at narrative theory. Genette’s analysis of the construction of time in narrative discourse is the still the model for theorists writing since then. Such categories as order, frequency, and duration in the narrative presentation of story-time show how narrative decisions on the part of authors can have dramatically different rhetorical effects. Genette views these narrative strategies as a form of rhetorical figuration and gives them terms drawn from classical rhetoric (e.g., “prolepsis” for a flashing forward, “analepsis” for a flashback).

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