Download Computing Action: A Narratological Approach (Narratologia) by Jan Christoph Meiser, Jan Christoph Meister PDF

By Jan Christoph Meiser, Jan Christoph Meister

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Additional info for Computing Action: A Narratological Approach (Narratologia)

Sample text

Schmid 1982:99 (my translation) Schmid’s observation provides a starting point for a discussion of the degree, if any, to which readers are able to make choices when they reconstruct action constructs in an interpretive activity which is based upon, but nonetheless transcends, the earlier designing activity of a narrator. 1 Action as Product and Construct 23 beyond those that the narrator chose to use: there are virtual alternative combinations which can be explored and compared with the actual narratorial model of the action.

One could, for example, adopt a radically positivist stance and assert that the medium itself, in most cases a text or a book, is by definition the only material entity that is a necessary prerequisite of literature about or containing an action. Yet a text or a book as such would only qualify as an actor in the metaphorical sense expressed by the German sentence Das Buch handelt von X ‘The book is about X, deals with X’, where the use of the third person singular of the verb handeln ‘to act’ results in the personification of the inanimate Buch as the subject, the acting entity.

Such omissions are therefore examples of Ingarden’s characteristic points of indeterminacy, which we perceive as challenges rather than hindrances. Rhetorical negativity is, therefore, a temporary rather than absolute phenomenon: anything that is implicitly asserted as not narratable will eventually be inferred by the reader, if not indeed narrated to him. Prince’s domains of the unnarratable and nonnarrated, which I have combined in the concept of rhetorical negativity, comprise an important part of the virtual side of diegesis.

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