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An Evaluation of the Voice Concept(s) in Theories of Literary Fiction: Suggestions by Patron, Walsh, and Genette
Örebro University, School of Humanities, Education and Social Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1267-0031
2018 (English)In: From Narrative to Narrativity: Half a Century of Narratology / [ed] Milosavljević Milić, Snežana; Jovanović, Jelena; Bojanić Ćirković, Mirjana, Niš, Serbia: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš , 2018, p. 163-172Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

If we are to use narratology as a "toolbox", as some scholars propose, we must test the value of the tools. In this paper I present an understanding of voice based on literary functions in Angela Carter’s "The Loves of Lady Purple", and then I evaluate three notions of voice in narratology. First out are the critical approaches of Sylvie Patron, who wants to abandon the term "voice" completely because of its many incongruent meanings, and Richard Walsh, who pragmatically reformulates the popular Genettean definitions according to his theory of the rhetoric of fictionality. Lastly I discuss how Genette himself would tamper with Carter’s short story. While Patron may be too harsh in her conclusion, Walsh and Genette seem to be able to accommodate voice in "Lady Purple" when they talk about ideology, at least partly. On the negative side, they both miss adequate notions of style.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Niš, Serbia: Faculty of Philosophy, University of Niš , 2018. p. 163-172
Keywords [en]
Angela Carter, discourse narratology, ideology, rhetoric of fictionality, style, voice
National Category
General Literature Studies
Research subject
Literature
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-65798ISBN: 978-86-7379-470-9 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:oru-65798DiVA, id: diva2:1190547
Available from: 2018-03-14 Created: 2018-03-14 Last updated: 2019-09-24Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. The Difference Approach to Narrative Fiction: A Recurring Critique of Narratology and Its Implications for the Study of Novels and Short Stories
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Difference Approach to Narrative Fiction: A Recurring Critique of Narratology and Its Implications for the Study of Novels and Short Stories
2019 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The aim of this thesis is to advance the critical examination of narratology, or the study of storytelling. I analyze four versions of a critique of the dominant theory of narrative fiction in narratology and discuss this critique’s methodological implications. The critics, Sylvie Patron, Lars-Åke Skalin, Richard Walsh, and the proponents of unnatural narratology have, I suggest, similar understandings of narratology’s handling of works like novels and short stories as well as similar alternative approaches. I situate the critique among relevant theories of fiction and salient aspects of narratology, and conclude that the most radical critics have a difference approach to narrative fiction. This means treating this literary practice as following another rule system for creating meaning than other kinds of storytelling. These critics seem to base their reasoning on their readerly intuitions about how novels and short stories function; yet their approach also lends itself to, for instance, discussions on how such works afford life visions or worldviews. In contrast to this approach, I describe narratology, in the critics’ view, as having a sameness approach that treats narrative fiction as a subtype of “narrative” in the sense of the communication of events by a narrator.

The three opening articles of the thesis comprise a metadiscussion of the critique. I here describe, in part with Greger Andersson, the critics’ ideas, characterize the critique as a whole, and speculate about why it has had no apparent effect on narratology. The two latter articles utilize the difference approach in analyses of Angela Carter’s “The Loves of Lady Purple” and Sara Stridsberg’s Drömfakulteten (The Faculty of Dreams) while discussing narratological concepts and issues. Future studies might continue this discussion or inquire further about, for example, the relations between different narrative practices or what role different intuitions about narrative fiction play in descriptions and analyses.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Örebro: Örebro University, 2019. p. 129
Series
Örebro Studies in Literary History and Criticism, ISSN 1650-5840 ; 13
Keywords
Angela Carter, narrative fiction, narrative theory, narratology, Sylvie Patron, Lars-Åke Skalin, Sara Stridsberg, unnatural narratology, Richard Walsh
National Category
General Literature Studies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:oru:diva-75851 (URN)978-91-7529-297-7 (ISBN)
Public defence
2019-10-18, Örebro universitet, Forumhuset, Hörsal F, Fakultetsgatan 1, Örebro, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2019-08-23 Created: 2019-08-23 Last updated: 2019-10-10Bibliographically approved

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