Ann Banfield – professor in the Department of English at the University of California, Berkeley – is best known for her groundbreaking contributions to narrative theory. Working within the paradigm of generative linguistics, she argued that the language of fiction is characterized by two «unspeakable sentences», i.e., sentences that do not properly occur in the spoken language: the sentence of «pure narration» and the sentence of «represented speech and thought» (
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More recently, Banfield offered a major reconsideration of the novels of Virginia Woolf and modernism in light of the philosophy of knowledge developed by G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell, and appropriated by Roger Fry in his critical analyses of impressionism and post-impressionism.
The essays gathered here pay tribute to Banfield by addressing those disciplines and topics most closely related to her work, including: narrative theory and pragmatics, the philosophy of language and knowledge, generative syntax, meter and phonology, and modernism.
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2008. 482 pp.
Contents: Mieke Bal: Phantom Sentences – Sylvie Patron: On the Epistemology of Narrative Theory: Narratology and Other Theories
of Fictional Narrative – Gilles Philippe: When and Why Do We Speak of a Discourse without an Addressee – Julien Piat: « Dire
je » : Opacity of a First Person Narrative and Strategies of Reading in Beckett’s French Trilogy – Robert S. Kawashima: What
Is Narrative Perspective? A Non-historicist Answer – Daniel Heller-Roazen: Perception Everywhere – Anne-Lise François: Unspeakable
Weather, or the Rain Romantic Constatives Know – Jacqueline Guéron: Remarks on the Grammar of Unspeakable Sentences – Joseph
Emonds: Q: the One and Only Functional Head – Henri-José Deulofeu: Peripheral Constituents as Generalized «Hanging» Topics
– François Rivenc: Chomsky and the Philosophy of Language – S.-Y. Kuroda: What Is «Iambic Pentameter»? – Kristin Hanson: Some
Phonology of the Novel – Thelma Sowley: Crossing Boundaries – Garrett Caples: The Vitality of Roger Fry – Carlos Reyes: Greekjew
Is Jewgreek: Ulysses’s Irish Odyssey – Ernst Van Alphen: Describing the World Seen Without the Self: Modernism, the Impersonal
and the Traumatic – Ann Smock: Instamatic – Lazare Bitoun: The Unspeakable Table (le Garlic) – Ann Banfield: Preface to Phrases