Show Less
Restricted access

The Return of the Narrative: the Call for the Novel- Le retour à la narration : le désir du roman

Sabine van Wesemael and Suze van der Poll

This study focuses on the return of the narrative as applied by literary historians. Through the 1980s, criticism on the hermetic nature of many postmodern texts grew louder and louder: novelists expressed the wish to restore the bonds between the reader and the texts as well as between the texts and the extra-literary reality. Many fiction writers have grown tired of formalism and restore the conventions of realism, though not using them in a passive manner. Literary historians dealing with the post-postmodern or late postmodern European novel agree that conventional techniques are being adopted in new manners, and that all 20th century tendencies that criticized and tried to overcome 19th century realism do leave their traces on the contemporary novel: it might be a matter of hybrid forms combining realism and postmodernism.
Cette étude porte sur la notion, souvent avancée par des commentateurs du roman contemporain, du retour à la narration. Le romancier contemporain s’opposerait à l’hermétisme du roman postmoderne et désirerait rétablir le lien entre le texte et son lecteur et entre la littérature et la réalité extralittéraire. Les écrivains se lassent du formalisme et reprennent les conventions du réalisme sans toutefois les appliquer passivement ; l’auteur actuel n’envisage pas de restaurer une forme traditionnelle, mais de réécrire au second degré certains modèles romanesques afin de mieux représenter le monde contemporain. Le roman contemporain serait donc une forme hybride qui combine des tendances réalistes et postmodernes.
Show Summary Details
Restricted access



Bibliographic Information published by the Deutsche Nationalbibliothek The Deutsche Nationalbibliothek lists this publication in the Deutsche Nationalbibliografie; detailed bibliographic data is available in the internet at

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data The return of the narrative = : the call for the novel : Le retour à la narration : Le désir du roman / Sabine van Wesemael ; Suze van der Poll (eds./éds.). pages cm Volume includes English and French of the entire piece. ISBN 978-3-631-65210-7 (Print) — ISBN 978-3-653-05343-2 (E-Book) 1. European fiction—History and criticism. 2. Narration (Rhetoric) 3. Reader-response criticism. 4. Books and reading—Europe. I. Wesemael, Sabine van, editor. II. Poll, Suze van der, editor. III. Return of the narrative. English IV. Return of the narrative. French V. Title: Retour à la narration. PN3491.R48 2015 809.3'04—dc23


Cover Images for Cover Collage with kind permission of: Kiepenheuer&Witsch: Christian Kracht Imperium. Köln, 2012 Nan A. Talese/ /Doubleday: Ian McEwan Solar. New York, 2010 Maclehose press: Vasili Grossman The Road. London, 2011 (Designer: James Nunn) Oktober Forlag: Karl Ove Knausgård Min Kamp VI. Oslo, 2011 Arbeiderspers: Houellebecq, Lanzarote. Amsterdam, 2001 Arbeiderspers: Houellebecq, Mogelijkheid van een eiland. Amsterdam, 2005

ISBN 978-3-631-65210-7 (Print) E-ISBN 978-3-653-05343-2 (E-Book) DOI 10.3726/978-3-653-05343-2

You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.

This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.

Do you have any questions? Contact us.

Or login to access all content.