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Disputable Core Concepts of Narrative Theory

Göran Rossholm and Christer Johansson

The present volume is a contribution to the theory of narrative by scholars from various disciplines, mainly scholars from Comparative Literature but also contributors from Philosophy, Psychology and the languages. The essays focus on central terms and concepts in narrative theory over the last forty years. Established narratological concepts, such as narrative, narrator, story, fiction, character, narrative (un)reliability and point of view, but also relational concepts motivated by the expansion of narratology, such as narrative and non-verbal media, narrative and personal identity and narrative and literary genre, are themes dealt with.
In addition to presenting a critical examination of the core concepts of narrative theory, the volume is a demonstration of the vigour of contemporary Nordic narrative theory. The authors work at universities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and they all belong to the Nordic Network of Narrative Studies.

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MARKKU LEHTIMÄKI - Imagist Narrative: The Everyday and the Aesthetic in Hemingway’s Fiction 347

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MARKKU LEHTIMÄKI Imagist Narrative: The Everyday and the Aesthetic in Hemingway’s Fiction There were pools of water in the courtyard. There were dead leaves on the paving of the courtyard. It rained hard. (CS, 20) Dan Shen (2005, 144), referring to Gérard Genette, writes that some narrative texts have elements of “descriptive pause”: this means sce- nic description from the perspective of an external narrator, a de- scription that takes up textual space but does not take up story time. Shen’s textual example is a paragraph from an untitled mini-narrative by Ernest Hemingway, written in 1925. It is a kind of frozen image with a certain lyrical intensity, rhyming and repetition. Through line- breaking it could be re-organized, and read, as a short imagist poem in which there is no clear human perception present. In its seeming simplicity, this fragment of a fragment still contains a certain aesthetic vision typical of its author. In the following, I will employ the concept of imagist narrative to refer to narrative texts that are constructed on the basis of imagist poetics and its sense of the everyday. What this also means is that I am not speaking of the aesthetics of the everyday – material objects, ar- chitecture, the natural environment – but of the sense of the everyday in the aesthetics of poetry and fiction (cf. Saito 2007, 2–8). In my defi- nition, imagist narrative combines elements of narrative with elements of imagist poetry. While a narrative, by definition, represents a...

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