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On Framing and Methodizing

From a narratological correspondence:

Dear Maria:

Thanks for the references you give me on "prosaics"; I attach a file with some titles by Gary Saul Morson, who has written on the subject too. I think his essay on "Sideshadowing and Tempics" might be interesting for the subject you mention, about authors not planning the whole of the story in advance, there's a whole theory there on "prosaics": and also, I insist too much, in his book Narrative and Freedom, which is a masterpiece of criticism, it was a revelation to me because of his treatment of narrative time. Don't let it pass you by unnoticed. Stanzel is fine in his own line; I haven't read him much since the 80s though. There's the danger with that grand model of his narrative situations that one may find him too totalizing and close off other aspects of the texts from sight, but he's all right (like Genette) as long as you take him as a source for further ideas, and not as a finished method for application. As to frame narratives and narrative frames... I think I'll just enclose a bibliography on narrative embedding. Of course the great book on "frames" as such (inside and outside literature) is Erving Goffman's Frame Theory (1974)—he uses them to explain the whole structure of human reality and action, another MUST, to my mind. In the field of literature, I would read Mieke Bal's and Dällenbach's works on narrative structure if you haven't come across them yet, and also a more recent book, William Nelles's Frameworks: Narrative Levels and Embedded Narrative.  I also write occasionally on these subjects—but I don't know whether you read Spanish; here's a blog post anyway:
http://garciala.blogia.com/2005/120702-la-realidad-flojea.php
And good luck with your seminar; I think what you say about working from the important issues you see in the texts is the right approach, theories are all right to make you see aspects you would otherwise overlook, but don't let the formal methods "methodize" the text for you!
      I'll be around if you want further conversation on these and suchlike issues. Best regards,
      JoseAngel


Jueves, 02 de Octubre de 2008 15:21. José Ángel García Landa Enlace permanente. Semiótica

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