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Fictions of Discourse By Patrick O'Neill

Fictions of Discourse
by Patrick O'Neill

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O'Neill investigates the extent to which narrative discourse subverts the story it tells in foregrounding its own performance.
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Fictions of Discourse Summary


Fictions of Discourse: Reading Narrative Theory by Patrick O'Neill

The fundamental principle upon which contemporary narratology is constructed is that narrative is an essentially divided endeavour, involving the story ('what really happened') and the discourse ('how what happened is presented'). For traditional criticism, the primary task of narrative discourse is essentially to convey the story as transparently as possible. Patrick O'Neill investigates the extent to which narrative discourse also contains the counter-tendency not to tell the story, indeed to subvert the story it tells in foregrounding its own performance. The systemic implications of this perspective for narrative and for narrative theory are examined within the conceptual framework provided by classical French narratology. O'Neill ultimately attempts both to expand and to problematize the structural model of narrative proposed by this centrally important tradition of narrative theory. O'Neill describes narrative as functioning in terms of four interacting levels: story, narrative text, narration, and textuality. Using a range of examples from Homer to modern European fiction, he discusses traditional narrative categories such as voice, focalization, character, and setting, and reinscribes them within the contextual space of author and reader to bring out narrative's potential for ambiguity and unreliability. He also discusses the implications of translation for narrative theory.

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Fictions of Discourse Reviews


'O'Neill's book is to be recommended as an introduction to the fascinating questions of narrative theory.' -- Andrew Hadfield TLS

About Patrick O'Neill


Patrick O'Neill is a professor emeritus in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures at Queen's University.

Additional information

GOR010094389
Fictions of Discourse: Reading Narrative Theory by Patrick O'Neill
Patrick O'Neill
Theory / Culture
Used - Very Good
Paperback
University of Toronto Press
1996-06-28
190
0802079482
9780802079480
N/A
Book picture is for illustrative purposes only, actual binding, cover or edition may vary.
This is a used book - there is no escaping the fact it has been read by someone else and it will show signs of wear and previous use. Overall we expect it to be in very good condition, but if you are not entirely satisfied please get in touch with us.