Toward a Poetic Theory of Narration: Essays of S. Y. Kuroda by Sylvie Patron

By Sylvie Patron

The quantity comprises six essays through S. Y. Kuroda on narrative conception, with a considerable advent, notes, a bibliography and an index of right names. this can be the English model of a French serious version released by way of versions Armand Colin of their "Recherches" sequence in October 2012, translated from English through Cassian Braconnier, Tien Fauconnier and Sylvie purchaser, version with an creation and notes by means of Sylvie client.

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Extra resources for Toward a Poetic Theory of Narration: Essays of S. Y. Kuroda

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142, 149. See also Banfield 1981; 1982: 183–223.  96–97.  143, 144. 1 The first essay explicitly links (starting with the title) a problem of epistemology, in the sense of the theory of knowledge (the distinction between subjective knowledge, which is close to Russell’s “direct knowledge” or “knowledge by acquaintance”, and objective knowledge), a problem of grammar (the problem of psychological predicates in Japanese) and a problem of style, or literary art, or literary theory (problem of style: the distinction between reportive and nonreportive styles; problem of literary art: the problem of the omniscient narrator, or the empirical adequation of the theory of the omniscient narrator).

From their viewpoint, the essential elements to note would be the following: a linguist’s approach to problems of narrative theory (and also, as Kuroda himself suggests, of stylistics), contrasting in a number of ways with the globally non-linguistic approach put forward by “structuralist” narratologists, and specifically, in relation to the preceding element, his very rapid denouncement, from as early as 1974, of Genette’s revision or distortion, in a communicational direction, of the opposition between histoire and discours established by Benveniste; a non-taxinomical conception of narrative theory: Kuroda builds a theoretical model on the basis of a limited collection of observations and experiments, which makes it possible to account for fictional narration viewed as a particular type of linguistic performance (he does not aim to observe as much narrative or narrational data as possible to order and classify them according to various criteria); and finally, the move which I believe to be without precedent or equivalent among linguists interested in literature, to broaden his outlook from the narration of fiction, considered as a particular type of linguistic performance, to the theory of linguistic performance or language use in general.

He also replaces point-of-view narratives (understood here from the literary-historical perspective of modern fiction) within the whole range of manifestations of the use of language uniquely in its objective function. Other examples are provided by legislative texts and the “magical” use of language in traditional societies. “The reformulated theory of speech acts: Toward a theory of language use” also refers to the demonstration offered in the preceding essays that pointof-view narratives (narratives written in “the nonreportive style, a prose style quite common in modern fiction”⁷⁶) cannot be accounted for within the framework of the communicational theory of linguistic performance.

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