Show Less
Restricted access

Text as Contract

The Nature and Function of Narrative Discourse in the "Erzählungen</I> of Heinrich von Kleist


Tim Mehigan

Kleist's narratives convey a strong sense of structure, while describing the ubiquity of disorder in the imaginary world. A narrative paradigm, the contract, is advanced to analyse this interplay of pattern and disorder. The contract, it is argued, characterizes the relationships between the figures of the stories and stands for the broader concept of the written word as a guarantor of meaning - that is, as the medium between poet and reader. This study, then, must reflect on the possibility of legitimate communication - and of interpretation - in narrative.
Contents: Kant Crisis as a Crisis of Language - The Fall as «Sprachversehen» - The Deconstruction of the Narrative World - Towards a Narrative Construct.