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A Structuralist-generative Model of Literary Narrative

The Theory and Practice of Analyzing Fiction- Including an Essay by Stephan-Alexander Ditze


Volker Schulz

This study fills three of the most serious gaps in narrative theory and analysis of fiction. Firstly, it provides the long overdue, first genuinely comprehensive model of literary narrative («fiction»). Its «structuralist-generative» nature allows to integrate the findings of most major theorists of the twentieth century. The model is explained in detail and illustrated by a fold-out chart. Secondly, in contrast to structuralist narrative theory, the model is not a mere inventory of the various «units» of which a work of fiction consists. Rather, it elucidates the dynamic interplay of the literary narrative’s various content «components» and discourse «aspects» which convey its thematic idea. Thirdly, the feasibility of the model is extensively demonstrated by the (selective) analysis of several short stories, a novella and a novel. – In the appendix, a student paper shows the model’s heuristic-«didactic» power at the level of advanced literary studies.
Contents: Introduction: A Critical History of Narrative Theory (Narratology) – A Structuralist-generative Model of Literary Narrative as a Frame of Reference for the Systematic Analysis of Individual Works of Fiction – «Deep Structure Signals» in Fiction – W.O. Hendricks’ Structuralist Analysis of Ambrose Bierce’s Oil of Dog James Joyce: The Boarding House Angus Wilson: More Friend Than Lodger Graham Greene: Travels with my Aunt David Herbert Lawrence: Odour of Chrysanthemums Appendix: A Student Essay.