essay on Narratology.docx - STORIES INTERWOVEN FOR THE WILDEST DREAMS NARRATOLOGY IN JEANETTE WINTERSON\u2019S THE PASSION Universidad de Zaragoza In the

essay on Narratology.docx - STORIES INTERWOVEN FOR THE...

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STORIES INTERWOVEN FOR THE WILDEST DREAMS: NARRATOLOGY IN JEANETTE WINTERSON’S THE PASSION Universidad de Zaragoza In the past four decades, the study of narratology has become an important aspect of literary analysis. Narratology is a term popularized by some structuralist critics such as Gérard Genette in the seventies. In 1972, Genette published his seminal work called Narrative discourse: an Essay in Method in which concepts such as order and anachronies, narrative levels, homodiegetic and heterodiegetic narrators and focalization or metadiegetic narrative, among others, are discussed. In the eighties, Mieke Bal (1985: 3-6) defined narratology as the theory of narrative texts and she defended it as a reasonable basis for further study of narrative texts based on a three-layer distinction: text, story and fabula. In the nineties, Susana Onega and José Angel García Landa (1996) argued that narratology had become a multi-disciplinary study of narrative which negotiates and incorporates the insights of many critical discourses that involve narrative forms of representation like gender studies, psychoanalysis and reader- response criticism . Regarding The Passion ’s structure and genre, it would be important to revise concepts like Northrop Frye’s (1957) romance structure and Linda Hutcheon’s (1988) definition of historiographic metafiction. The aim of this paper is to adopt the theoretical framework mentioned above in order to carry out a narratological analysis of Jeanette Winterson’s The Passion . Thus, the paper analyzes the transformation of the narrative level of the fabula into the levels of the story and text paying special attention to narratological formal aspects such as the narrative order, time, space, point of view, embedded texts and metafiction. I would like to argue “how” and “why” the novel employs all these narrative techniques in order to design the symbol of infinity ‘∞’ in its complex narrative arrangement. When examining narrative levels in literary works, different critics have used different names for the same concepts and the same names for different concepts. Genette (1980: 27) calls ‘story’ to the signified or narrative content, what Bal calls ‘fabula’. He also uses the word ‘narrative’ for the signifier, statement, discourse or narrative text itself, what Bal calls ‘story’ and also Genette uses the term ‘narrating’ for the producing narrative action and, by extension, the whole of the real or fictional situation in which that action takes place, what Bal calls ‘narrative text’. Therefore, 1
terminology can be difficult to understand sometimes, and in this paper, I adopt Bal’s three-level model of fabula, story and text, explained as follows: A text will is a finite, structured whole composed of language signs. A narrative text is a text in which an agent relates a narrative. A story is a fabula that is presented in a certain manner. A fabula is a series of logically and chronologically related events that are caused or experienced by actors. (1985:5)

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