Saturday, December 06, 2014

'Narrative turn', otro paso de tuerca



Hanna Meretoja

The Narrative Turn in Fiction and Theory: The Crisis and Return of Storytelling from Robbe-Grillet to Tournier
Palgrave Macmillan (Palgrave Studies in Modern European Literature), Basingstoke, 2014, 304 pp.
ISBN: 9781137401052

 
The Narrative Turn in Fiction and Theory relates the recent theoretical surge of interest in narrative to the revival of storytelling in fiction, particularly perceptible in France, where the preceding crisis of storytelling was exceptionally intense. It analyses the philosophical and historical underpinnings of the postwar crisis and return of storytelling, and shows how fiction explored ideas integral to the ongoing discussion of the significance of narrative for human existence, in advance of their theoretical articulation. While the nouveaux romanciers and postwar intellectuals believed that narratives violently impose order on the disorder of experience, the return of storytelling entails critical reflection on the ethical potential and dangers in our inevitable entanglement in cultural narratives.
Hanna Meretoja contributes to contemporary narrative studies by developing a narrative hermeneutics which envisages storytelling as a process of reinterpreting experiences in a dialogical relation to cultural models of narrative sense-making. By bringing theory and fiction of the narrative turn into a dialogue, she proposes a framework for a historically sensitive study of the philosophical (ontological, epistemological, ethical, aesthetic) dimensions of different conceptions of narrative and suggests how to tie more intimately narrative theory to the study of narrative in literary history.

 

1. Introduction
PART I
2. Textual Labyrinths: Robbe-Grillet's Antinarrative Formalism
3. The Epistemology and Ontology of Antinarrativism
4. Ethics of Antinarrativity in the Post-War Context
PART II
5. Re-Engagement with the World: Towards an Aesthetics of Dialogical Intertextuality
6. Narrative Hermeneutics and Dialogical Subjectivity
7. Ethics of Storytelling: History, Power, Otherness
8. Conclusion
Bibliography
Index

 

Hanna Meretoja is Professor of Comparative Literature at the University of Tampere, Finland, Adjunct Professor and Research Fellow at the University of Turku, Finland, Visiting Professor at the American University of Paris, France, (2013-14) and leads the research project The Ethics of Storytelling and the Experience of History in Contemporary Arts (Emil Aaltonen Foundation, Finland, 2013-15). She has co-edited several books and published articles on forums such as New Literary History.


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