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Crossing Borders

The Interrelation of Fact and Fiction in Historical Works, Travel Tales, Autobiography and Reportage

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Maureen A. Ramsden

In the twentieth century, the boundaries between different literary genres started to be questioned, raising a discussion about the various narrative modes of factual and fictional discourses.
Moving on from the limited traditional studies of genre definitions, this book argues that the borders between these two types of discourse depend on complex issues of epistemology, literary traditions and social and political constraints. This study attempts a systematic and specific analysis of how literary works, and in particular documentary ones, where the borders are more difficult to define, can be classified as factual or fictional. The book deals with several areas of discourse, including history, travel tales, autobiography and reportage, and opens up perspectives on the very different ways in which documentary works make use of the inescapable presence of both factual and fictional elements.

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Primary Works Balzac, Honoré de, Les Chouans, published under the title Le Dernier Chouan, 1829, and as Les Chouans, 1834 (Paris: Gallimard, Folio, 1972). Chabrol, J. P., “Istanbul, juillet, 1962,” Portes d’Embarquement (Paris: Plon, 1983), pp. 27–44. Kessel, J., Le Temps de l’espérance, Reportages 1919–1929, “Sous l’Arc de Triomphe,” in Vol. I Témoin parmi les hommes (Paris: Les Editions mondiales, 1956). Malraux, A., L’Espoir (Paris: Gallimard, Folio, 1937). Michelet, J., Histoire de la révolution française, 2 vols. (1847, rpt. Paris: Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléïade, 1952). Proust, M., A la recherche du temps perdu 1913–27, rpt. 4 vols. (Paris: Gallimard, Bibliothèque de la Pléïade, 1987–1989). Sartre, J-P., Les Mots (Paris: Gallimard, Folio, 1964). Secondary Works Abel, L., “It Isn’t True and It Doesn’t Rhyme: Our New Criticism,” Encounter 55, 1 ( July 1978), pp. 33–57. Adams, P. G., Travel Literature and the Evolution of the Novel (Lexington: University of Kentucky Press, 1983). Altheide, D. L., Creating Reality: How T.V. News Distorts Events (Beverley Hills: Sage Publications, 1976). Ankersmit, F. R., Narrative Logic: A Semantic Analysis of the Historian’s Language (The Hague: Martinus Nijhoff, 1983). Anon. Le Progrès de Lyon ( January, 1938). 166 Bibliography Atkinson, G., The Extraordinary Voyage in French Literature before 1700 (New York: Columbia University Press, 1920). Auerbach, E., Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Europe, trans. Wil- lard R. Trask (Berne, 1946, rpt. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953). Axthelm, P. M., The Modern...

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