No habrá una sola cosa que no sea una nube. Lo son las catedrales de vasta piedra y bíblicos cristales que el tiempo allanará. Lo es la Odisea, que cambia como el mar. Algo hay distinto cada vez que la abrimos. El reflejo de tu cara ya es otro en el espejo y en el día es un dudoso laberinto. Somos los que se van. La numerosa nube que se deshace en el poniente es nuestra imagen. Incesantemente la rosa se convierte en otra rosa. Eres nube, eres mar, eres olvido. Eres también aquellos que has perdido.
Me citan en una entrevista a Larissa Muravieva, sobre el proyecto Open Narratology que está llevando adelante en Rusia con un grupo interdisciplinar: «Otkrytaya narratologiya»: kak i zachem izuchat' istorii, kotorymi my zhivem. (Narratología abierta: cómo y por qué estudiar las historias con las que vivimos). Aquí está la entrevista, en la web Culture in the City de Nizhny-Novgorod:
OPEN narratology: La narratología es la ciencia de las historias con las que vivimos. "Open Narratology" es un nuevo formato para la comunicación científica. Se trata de un proyecto interdisciplinar, en el que los especialistas en teoría narrativa pueden publicar sus ideas, proyectos y estudios.
El trabajo al que alude la entrevista, sobre los fotoblogs, apareció en el libro Semiosphere of Narratology, coeditado con Ludmila Tataru, también miembro destacado de este proyecto sobre "narratología abierta".
From The Penguin Shakespeare Dictionary, ed. Sandra Clark.
Macbeth[Full title, The Tragedy of Macbeth]A tragedy by Shakespeare, probably written in 1605 or 1606. It was seen by Simon *Forman at the *Globe theatre on 20 April 1611, but is almost certain to have been first produced several years earlier. It was printed in the 1623 first folio, but there is some probability that cuts were made from the stage manuscript. The Hecate scenes, including the Witches' songs, are probably *Middleton's. In the Restoration period *Davenant made it into an opera. The play followed in the wake of the Gunpowder Plot, and there are various topical references especially in the Porter scene (II.iii). Shakespeare's main source was Holinshed's Chronicles, probably in the 1587 edition that he used elsewhere, although he may also have seen illustrations from the 1577 edition. He used Holinshed not only for the account of Macbeth's life but also for the story of the murder of King Duff by Donwald, and for the description of ancient Scottish life and customs. Shakespeare altered Holinshed's account of Macbeth's life in a number of ways; the involvement of Banquo, supposedly King James's ancestor, was omitted and Banquo's character generally whitewashed, while Macbeth was made more villainous. Holinshed's Duncan was a weak and unsatisfactory monarch whom Macbeth assassinated with the help of friends, and after the murder Macbeth ruled in a just and beneficient way for ten years before he was overcome by guilt and proceeded to further crimes. Holinshed's account of the murder of King Duff in fact bears more resemblance to the murder of Duncan in Shakespeare's play, although the subsequent career of Duff's murderer, Donwald, does not parallel Macbeth's. Holinshed describes Duff as a good king and Donwald as a kinsman whom he especially trusted; Donwald, urged on by his wife, secretly murdered Duff by cutting his throat while Duff was a guest in his home. After Duff's murder monstrous events took place in the kingdom. There were a number of other chronicles of Scottish history available to Shakespeare. He probably did not use William Stewart's The Buik of the Chronicles of Scotland which was available in manuscript in King James's private library, although this has been disputed, but he may well have seen the Rerum Scoticarum Historia (1582) by George Buchanan, which contains a Macbeth very similar in character to Shakespeare's and also describes the remorse felt by a royal murderer, King Kenneth, in much fuller terms than Holinshed. John Leslie's De Origine Scotorum (1578) supplied a Macbeth who killed Duncan without any assistance from Banquo, and Shakespeare may have seen this, although this, like Buchanan's work, was only available in Latin. James's interests were a significant consideration in the composition of Macbeth, and Shakespeare's may well have read some of James's own work for it, especially the Daemonologie (1597), which could have provided him for the treatment of the Witches. The chronicle sources for Macbeth provided Shakespeare with very little dialogue and few detailed encounters; htese he may have derived from some of *Seneca's tragedies. Medea or Agamemnon may have suggested ideas for the characterization of Lady Macbeth, and both of these had been traslated by John Studley. The atmosphere of concentrated evil is particularly Senecan and recalls Shakespeare's own earlier works, the poem The Rape of Lucrece, and Richard III. Finally, as might seem appropriate in a tragedy of damnation, Shakespeare draws heavily on the Bible.
Duncan, King of Scotland
Malcolm, son of Duncan
Donaldbain, son of Duncan
Macbeth, general of the army
Banquo, general of the army
Macduff, Scottish nobleman
Lennox, Scottish nobleman
Ross, Scottish nobleman
Menteith, Scottish nobleman
Angus, Scottish nobleman
Caithness, Scottish nobleman
Fleance, son of Banquo
Siward, Earl of Northumberland, general of the English forces
Young Siward, his son
Seyton, officer to Macbeth
Boy, son to Macduff
An English Doctor
A Scottish Doctor
An Old Man
Gentlewoman to Lady Macbeth
Hecate, and Three Witches
Lords, Gentlemen, Officers, Soldiers, Murderers, Attendantes, and Messengers
The Ghost of Banquo, and other Apparitions
The Story. Macbeth and Banquo, Scottish generals, are returning from a victorious campaign when they meet upon the heath three Witches who hail them, prophesying that Macbeth will be Thane of Cawdor and King hereafter, and that Banquo will beget kings. Part of the prophecy is immediately fufilled when a messenger announces that Duncan, King of Scotland, has promoted Macbeth to Thane of Cawdor. Lady Macbeth, having learned of the Witches, plays upon her husband, already tempted by dreams of royal power, to kill the King, who falls into their hands when he arrives for a visit at the castle of Macbeth. But when the murder is done, Macbeth is completely unnerved. Lady Macbeth returns to Duncan's room with the daggers that Macbeth has neglected to leave behind. Into the scene of horror comes the sound of knocking at the gate. The murder is discovered, and Macbeth puts the grooms to death to conceal his action. Duncan's sons, Malcolm and Donaldbain, flee from Scotland, and Macbeth is crowned. He then hires murderers to kill Banquo and his son, Fleance, but the latter escapes. At a banquet given by Macbeth, the ghost of Banquo appears to him. Macbeth returns to consult with the Witches, who show him apparitions that tell him to beware Macduff, that "none of woman born / Shall harm Macbeth," and that he shall be safe until "Birnam Wood to hight Dunsinane Hill / Shall come" (IVi). However, he is then also shown a procession of future kings, all descendants of Banquo. Macduff, meanwhile, has goen to England to raise an army with Malcolm to defeat Macbeth and there learns that his wife and children have been killed at the order of Macbeth. Macbeth, preparing to meet the invading army, learns of lady Macbeth's death. His response is that "She should have died hereafter" (V.v). The army advances, bearing branches cut from Birnam Wood for concealment, and Macduff who was "from his mother's womb / Untimely ripped (V.vii) kills Macbeth. malcolm is crowned King of Scotland.
Una búsqueda en concordancias de las obras de Shakespeare referida a terminología sobre fenómenos astronómicos excepcionales no proporciona pruebas concluyentes de que reaccionase de manera específica a las dos supernovas visibles durante su vida, aunque sí hay diversas alusiones a cometas y meteoritos, normalmente tomados como símbolos de la excepcionalidad en asuntos humanos. Al menos una de estas referencias puede tener un sentido autobiográfico, con Shakespeare presentándose como la 'estrella de los poetas' a la que aludiría Ben Jonson.
'Like a Comet I Was Wonder'd at': Shakespeare and Supernovas
A concordance search of Shakespeare's works for exceptional astronomical phenomena does not yield any evidence of his reacting specifically to the two supernovas visible during his lifetime, although there are a number of allusions to comets and meteors, usually taken as symbols of the exceptional in human affairs. At least one of these references may have an autobiographical import, with Shakespeare reflecting on himself as the 'star of poets' Ben Jonson would allude to.
Comentamos un pasaje de las Historias de Polibio (Libro V, 30.8-333) en el que se echa de ver la consciencia que este historiador griego tiene de la lógica de la narratividad, y de las implicaciones teóricas que tiene la dinámica de la retrospección para un proyecto como el suyo, la composición de una historia universal.
A commentary of a passage of Polybius' Histories (Book V, 30.8-33) which evinces this Greek historian's consciousness of the logic of narrativity, and of the theoretical implications of the dynamics of retrospection for his project of a universal history.
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3 Keywords: History, Historiography, Historians, Polybius, Greek literature, Greek historians, Retrospection, Narrativity, Narrative, Hindsight
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
WORDSWORTH, William (1770-1850), born at Cockermouth, Cumbria, the son of an attorney; he attended (with Mary Hutchinson, his future wife) the infants' school in Penrith and, from 1779 to 1787, Hawkshead Grammar School. His mother died in 1778, his father in 1783, losses recorded in *The Prelude, which describes the mixed joys and terrors of his country boyhood with a peculiar intensity. He attended St John's College, Cambridge, but disliked the academic course. In 1790 he went on a walking tour of France, the Alps, and Italy, and returned to France late in 1791, to spend a year there; during this period he was fired by a passionate belief in the French Revolution and republican ideals, and also fell in love with the daughter of a surgeon at Blois, Annette Vallon, who bore him a daughter (See E. Legouis, William Wordsworth and Annette Vallon, 1922). (This love affair is reflected in 'Vaudracour and Julia', composed ?1804, published 1820, and incorporated somewhat anomalously in Book IX of The Prelude.) After his return to England he published in 1793 two poems in heroic couplets, An Evening Walk and Descriptive Sketches, both conventional attempts at the *picturesque and the *sublime, the latter describing the Alps. In this year he also wrote (but did not publish) a Letter to the Bishop of Llandaff (see WATSON, R.) in support of the French Republic. England's declaration of war against France shocked him deeply, but the institution of the Terror marked the beginning of his disillusion with the French Revolution, a period of depression reflected in his verse drama *The Borderers (composed 1796-7, pub. 1842) and in 'Guilt and Sorrow' (composed 1791-4, pub in part in 1798 as 'The Female Vagrant'). In 1795 he received a legacy of £900 from his friend Raisley Calvert, intended to enable him to pursue his vocation as a poet, which also allowed him to be reunited with his sisster Dorothy (above); they settled first at Racedown in Dorset, then at Alfoxden in Somerset, where they had charge of the son of their friend Basil *Montagu. The latter move (aided by T. *Poole) was influenced by a desire to be near *Coleridge, then living at Nether Stowey, whom Wordsworth had met in 1795. This was a period of intense creativity for both poets, which produced the *Lyrical Ballads (1798), a landmark in the history of English *Romanticism (See ANCIENT MARINER; IDIOT BOY, THE; TINTERN ABBEY.) The winter of 1798-9 was spent in Goslar in Germany, where Wordsworth wrote sections of what was to be The Prelude and the enigmatic *'Lucy' poems. In 1799 he and Dorothy settled in Dove Cottage, Grasmere; to the next year belong 'The Recluse', Book I (later *The Excursion), 'The Brothers', *'Michael', and many of the poems included in the 1800 edition of the Lyrical Ballads (which, with its provocative preface on *poetic diction, aroused much criticism). In 1802 Wordsworth and Dorothy visited Annette Vallon in France, and later that year William married Mary Hutchison, his financial position having been improved by the repayment of a debt on the death of Lord Lonsdale. In the same year he composed *'Resolution and Independence', and began his ode on *'Intimations of Immortality from Recollections of Early Childhood', both of which appeared in Poems in Two Volumes (1807), along with many of his most celebrated lyrics. To the same period belong the birth of five children (of whom the eldest, John, was born in 1803), travels with Dorothy and Coleridge, and new friendships, notably with Sir W. *Scott, Sir G. *Beaumont, and *De Quincey. Wordsworth's domestic happiness was overcast by the death of his sailor brother John in 1805 (which inspired several poems, including 'Elegiac Stanzas Suggested by a Picture of Peele Castle', 1807), the early deaths of two of his children (one of which inspired his sonnet 'Surprised by joy', 1815), and the physical deterioration of Coleridge, from whom he was for some time estranged, and with whom he was never entirely reconciled. But his productivity continued, and his popularity gradually increased. The Excursion was published in 1814, The White Doe of Rylstone and two volumes of Miscellaneous Poems in 1815, and *Peter Bell and *The Waggoner in 1819. In 1813 he had been appointed stamp distributor for Westmorland, a post which brought him some £400 a year, and in the same year moved from Allan Bank (where he had lived from 1808) to Rydal Mount, Ambleside, where he lived the rest of his life. The great work of his early and middle years was now over, and Wordsworth slowly settled into the role of patriotic, conservative public man, abandoning the radical politics and idealism of his youth. Much of the best of his later work was mildly topographical, inspired by his love of travel; it records journeys to Scotland, along the river Duddon, to the Continent, etc. He was left a legacy by Sir George Beaumont in 1827, and in 1842 received a Civil List pension of £300 a year; in 1843 he succeeded *Southey as *poet Laureate. He died at Rydal Mount, after the publication of a finally revised text of his works (6 vols, 1849-50), and The Prelude was published posthumously in 1850. His prose works include an essay, Concerning the Relations of Great Britain, Spain and Portugal . . . as Affected by the Convention of Cintra (1809), castigating the supine English policy, and A Description of the Scenery of the Lakes in the North of England, written in 1810 as an introduction to Wilkinson's Select Views of Cumberland.
De Quincey wrote of Wordsworth in 1835, 'Up to 1820 the name of Wordsworth was trampled underfoot; from 1820 to 1830 it was militant; from 1830 to 1835 it has been triumphant.' Early attacks in the *Edinburgh Review and by the anonymous author of a parody, The Simpliciad (1808), were followed by criticism and satire by the second generation of Romantics; *Byron and *Shelley mocked him as 'simple' and 'dull', *Keats distrusted what he called the *'egotistical sublime', and *Hazlitt, and later *Browning, deplored him as *'The Lost Leader', who had abandoned his early radical faith. But these doubts were counterbalanced by the enormous and lasting popularity of much of his work, which was regarded by writers such as M. *Arnold and J. S. *Mill with almost religious veneration, as an expression in an age of doubt of the transcendent in nature and the good in man. A great innovator, he permanently enlarged the range of English poetry, both in subject matter and in treatment (a distinction he would not himself have accepted).
Wordsworth's Poetical and Prose Works, together with Dorothy Wordsworth's Journals, ed. W. Knight, appeared in 1896, and his Poetical Works (ed. E. de Selincourt and H. Darbishire, 5 vols.) in 1930-9 and 1952-4. Letters of the Wordsworth Family 1787-1855 were edited by W. Knight in 1907, and Letters of William and Dorothy Wordsworth (ed. de Selincourt) appeared in 1935-9. His biography by M. Moorman was published in 1968 (2 vols), and a long-lost collection of letters between Mary and William appeared as The Love Letters of William and Mary Wordsworth, ed. B. Darlington (1982). See also Stephen Gill, William Wordsworth (1989).
From the History Today Companion to British History:
LOCKE, JOHN (1632-1704), philosopher. Son of an ATTORNEY who had fought on the PARLIAMENTARIAN SIDE in the CIVIL WARS, Locke both studied and taught at OXFORD UNIVERSITY. IN 1667, he became attached to the household of Anthony Ashley COOPER, 1st Earl of Shaftesbury, henceforth his political patron. Holding minor office when Shaftesbury was in power, Locke went to France when the Earl was out of favour (1676-9), and to Holland when the exposure of the RYE HOUSE PLOT shattered his circle. The GLORIOUS REVOLUTION allowed him to come back to England in 1689, and from 1696 he once more played a part in public life, serving as one of the most active members of the newly founded BOARD OF TRADE.
His writings, published only after 1689 although much was written earlier, include three Letters advocating religious toleration (1689, 1690, 1692); Two Treatises of Government &1680), a classic exposition both of the right to resist misgovernment and limit its activities, and of the right to hold private property; and An Essay on Human Understanding (1690), a book which was to be hailed as seminal by thinkers of the ENLIGHTENMENT for its advocacy of the primacy of human experience in the perception of truth. Some Thoughts Concerning Education (1693) and The Reasonableness of Christianity (1695) followed; the latter became a key text for LATITUDINARIANS and DEISTS (although Locke himself disapproved of the description 'Deist'). Like HOBBES, Locke began his analyisis with man in a state of nature; otherwise there is little resemblance in their political theory. For Hobbes, the state of nature is so terrifying that men willingly accept the arbitrary rule of an all-powerful sovereign; for Locke, the state of nature has sufficient inconveniences to persuade men to join together and to entrust limited powers (defined in terms of executive, federative, and legislative functions) to a government to act for the common good. What make Locke's Two Treatises appear subersive to his more conservative readers, then and later, was his justification of the subject's right to resisteance should the ruler (or governing authority) violate the trust invested in him. And Locke seems to have been well aware of the work's radical thrust; not only did he publish it anonymously, but he also consistently denied authorship, though frequently taxed with it, until his death. His political ideas were to have a considerable influence on the American colonists in their breach with Britain (see SIDNEY, ALGERNON).
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
LOCKE, John (1632-1704), born at Wrington, Somerset, educated at Westminster and Christ Church. He held various academic posts at that university, and became physician to the household of the first earl of *Shaftesbury in 1667. He held official positions and subsequently lived at Oxford, then fled to Holland in 1683 as a consequence of Shaftesbury's plotting for Monmouth; how far he was himself involved is not certain. In 1687 he joined William of Orange at Rotterdam; on his return to England he became commissioner of appeals and member of the council of trade. His last years were spent in Essex in the home of Sir Francis and Lady Mashm, the latter being the daughter of Ralph Cudworth, one of the *Cambridge Platonists.
Locke's principal philosophical work is the *Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1690), a work which led J. S. *Mill to call him the 'unquestioned founder of the analytic philosophy of mind'. always critical of 'enthusiasm', he was originally opposed to freedom of religion, and never supported Catholic emancipation; but in his maturity he defended the rights of the Dissenters on both moral and economic grounds. He published three Letters on Toleration between 1689 and 1692; a fourth was left unfinished at his death. His defence of simple biblical religion in The Reasonableness of Christianity, without resort to creed or tradition, led to a charge of *Socinianism, which Locke replied to in two Vindications (1695, 1697). He was also involved in an extensive pamphlet war with Edward Stillingfleet (1696-8) over the alleged compatibility of his Essay with Socinianism and *Deism.
Locke published in 1690 two Treatises of Government designed to combat the theory of the divine right of kings. He finds the origin of the civil state in a contract. The 'legislative', or government, 'being only a fiduciary power to act for certain ends, there remains still in the people the supreme power to remove or alter the legislative when they find the legislative act contrary to the trust reposed in them'. Throughout, Locke in his theory of the 'Original Contract' opposes absolutism; the first Treatise is specifically an attack on Sir Robert Filmer's Patriarcha. Although Locke in his early manuscripts was closer to *Hobbes's authoritarianism and continues to share with Hobbes the view that civil obligations are founded in contract, he strongly rejected Hobbes's view that the sovereign is above the law and no party to the contract. He published a volume on education in 1693, and on the rate of interest and the value of money in 1692 and 1695. The first edition of his collected works appeared in 1714. A full critical edition of his works, including eight volumes of correspondence, was launched in 1975.
Locke's writings had an immense influence on the literature of succeeding generations, and he was very widely read; his Thoughts Concerning Education, which are concerned with practical advice on the upbringing of 'sons of gentlemen', were given to *Richardson's Pamela by Mr. B—, and to his son by *Chesterfield, and their influence is seen in *Rousseau's *Émile; his view of the child's mind as a tabula rasa, and his distinctions between wit and judgement, were the subject of much discussion during the *Augustan age. The anit-philosophy jokes of the *Scriblerus Club demonstrate the currency of his ideas; *Addison was his champion in many essays. But perhaps his greatest impact was on *Sterne, who quotes him frequently in *Tristram Shandy, and who was deeply interested in his theories of the random association of ideas, of the measuring of time, of the nature of sensation, etc. On this subject, see Kenneth MacLean, John Locke and English Literature of the Eighteenth Century (1936).
An Essay Concerning Human Understanding (1975), ed. Peter H. Nidditch; A Paraphrase and Notes on the Epistles of St Paul, ed. Arthur W. Wainwright (2 vols, 1987); The Correspondence of John Locke, ed. E. S. de Beer (8 vols, 1976-89). (See also RESTORATION).
Ni tiniebla ni caos. La tiniebla Requiere ojos que ven, como el sonido Y el silencio requieren el oído, Y el espejo, la forma que lo puebla. Ni el espacio ni el tiempo. Ni siquiera Una divinidad que premedita El silencio anterior a la primera Noche del tiempo, que será infinita. El gran río de Heráclito el Oscuro Su curso misterioso no ha emprendido, Que del pasado fluye hacia el futuro, Que del olvido fluye hacia el olvido. Algo que ya padece. Algo que implora. Después la historia universal. Ahora.
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
BLAKE, William (1757-1827), the third son of a London hosier. He did not go to school but was apprenticed to James Basire, engraver to the Society of *Antiquaries, and then became a student at the *Royal Academy. From 1779 he was employed as an engraver by the bookseller J. *Johnson, and in 1780 met *Fuseli and *Flaxman, the latter a follower of *Swedenborg, whose mysticism deeply influenced Blake. In 1782 he married Catherine Boucher, the daughter of a market-gardener; their childless marriage was a lasting communion. Flaxman at this period introduced him to the progressive intellectual circle of the Revd A. S. Mathew and his wife (which included Mrs *Barbauld, H. *More, and Mrs. E. *Montagu), and Mathew and Flaxman financed the publication of Blake's first volume, Poetical Sketches (1783). In 1784, with help from Mrs Mathew, he set up a print shop at 27 Broad Street, and about the same period (although not for publication) wrote the satirical *An Island in the Moon. He engraved and published his *Songs of Innoncence in 1789, and also The Book of Thel, both works which manifest the early phases of his highly distinctive mystic vision, and in which he embarks on the evolution of his personal mythology; years later (in *Jerusalem) he was to state, through the character Los, 'I must create a System, or be enslaved by another Man's', words which have been taken by some to apply to his own need to escape from the feeters of 18th-cent. versification, as well as from the materialist philosophy (as he conceived it) of the *Enlightenment, and a Puritanical or repressive interpretation of Christianity. The Book of Thel presents the maiden Thel lamenting transience and mutability by the banks of the river of Adona; she is answered by the lily, the cloud, the worm, and the clod who assure her that 'He, who loves the lowly' cherishes even the meanest; but this relatively conventional wisdom is challenged by a final vision in which Thel visits the house of Clay, sees the couches of the dead, and hears 'a voice of sorrow' breathe a characteristically Blakean protest against hypocrisy and restraint—'Why a tender curb upon the youthful, burning boy? Why a tender little curtain of flesh upon the bed of our desire?'—a message which sends Thel back 'with a shriek' to the vales of Har. The ambiguity of this much-interpreted poem heralds the increasing complexity of his other works which include Tiriel (written 1789, pub. 1874), introducing the theme of the blind tyrannic father, 'the king of rotten wood, and of the bones of death', which reappears in different forms in many poems; *The Marriage of Heaven and Hell (engraved c. 1790-3), his principal prose work, a book of paradoxical aphorisms; and the revolutionary works The French Revolution (1791); America: A Prophecy (1793); and isions of the Daughters of Albion (1793), in which he develops his attitude of revolt against authority, combining political fervour (he had met *Paine at Johnson's) and visionary ecstasy; Urizen, the deviser of moral codes (described as 'the stony law' of the Decalogue) and *Orc, the Promethean arch-rebel, emerge as principal characters in a cosmology that some scholars have related to that of *Gnosticism. By this time Blake had already established his poetic range; the long, flowing lines and violent energy of the verse combine with phrases of terse and aphoristic clarity and moments of great lyric tenderness, and he was once more to demonstrate his command of the lyric in Songs of Experience (1794) which includes 'Tyger! Tyger! burning bright', 'O Rose thou art sick', and other of his more accessible pieces.
Meanwhile the Blakes had moved to Lambeth in 1790; there he continued to engrave his own works and to write, evolving his mythology further in The Book of *Urizen (1794); *Europe: A Prophecy (1794); The Song of *Los (1795); The Book of Ahania (1795); The Book of Los (1795); and The Four Zoas (originally entitled Vala, written and revised 1797-1804), and also working for the booksellers. In 1800 he moved to Felpham, Sussex, where he lived for three years, working for his friend and patron *Hayley, , and working on *Milton (1804-8); in 1803 he was charged at Chichester with high treason for having 'uttered seditious and treasonable expressions, such as "D—n the King, d—n all his subjects . . . "', but was acquitted. In the same year he returned to London, to work on Milton and Jerusalem: The Emanation of the Giant Albion (written and etched, 1804-20). In 1805 he was commissioned by Cromek to produce a set of drawings for R. *Blair's poem The Grave, but Cromek defaulted on the contract, and Blake earned neither the money nor the public esteem he had hoped for, and found his designs engraved and weakened by another hand. This was symptomatic of the disappointment of his later years, when he appears to have relinquished expectations of being widely understood, and quarreled even with some of the circle of friends who supported him. Both his poetry and his art had failed to find a sympathetic audience, and a lifetime of hard work had not brought him riches or even much comfort. His last years were passed in obscurity, although he continued to attract the interest and admiration of younger artists, and a commission in 1821 from the painter John Linnell produced his well-known illustrations for the Book of Job, published in 1826. (It was Linnell who introduced Blake to Samuel *Palmer in 1824.) A later poem, 'The Everlasting Gospel', written about 1818, shows undiminished power and attack; it presents Blake's own version of Jesus, in a manner that recalls the paradoxes of The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, attacking the conventional 'Creeping Jesus', gentle, humble, and chaste, and stressing his rebellious nature, his forgiveness of the woman taken in adultery, his reversing of the stony law of Moses, praising 'the Naked Human Form divine', and sexuality as the measn whereby 'the Soul Expands its wing', and elevating forgiveness above the 'Moral Virtues'.
At Blake's death, general opinion held that he had been, if gifted, insane. *Wordsworth's verdict, according to C. *Robinson, was that 'The was no doubt that this poor man was mad, but there is something in the madness of this man which interests me more than the sanity of Lord Byron and Walter Scott', a view in some measure echoed by *Ruskin, who found his manner 'diseased and wild' but his mind 'great and wise'. It was not until A. *Gilchrist's biography of 1863 (significantly describing Blake as 'Pictor Ignotus') that interest began to grow. This was followed by an appreciation by *Swinburne (1868) and by W. M. *Rossetti's edition of 1874, which added new poems to the canon and established his reputation, at least as a lyric poet; his rediscovered engravings considerably influenced the development of *art nouveau. In 1893 *Yeats, a devoted admirer, produced with E. J. Ellis a three-volume edition, with a memoir and an interpretation of the mythology, and the 20th cent. saw an enormous increase in interest. The bibliographical studies and editions of G. *Keynes, culminating in The Complete Writings of William Blake (1966, 2nd edn), have added gratly to knowledge both of the man and his works, revealing him not only as an apocalyptic visionary but also as a writer of ribald and witty epigrams, a critic of spirit and originality, and an independent thinker who found his own way of resisting the orthodoxies of his age, and whose hostile response to the narrow vision and the materialism (as he conceived it) of his bêtes noires Joshua *Reynolds, *Locke, and I. *Newton was far from demented, but in part a prophetic warning of the dangers of as world perceived as mechanism, with man as a mere cog in an industrial revolution. There have been many interpretative studies, relating his work to traditional Christianity, to the *Neoplatonic and Swedenborgian traditions, to Jungian *archetypes and to *Freudian and *Marxist theory; the Prophetic Books, once dismissed as incoherent, are now claimed by many as works of integrity as well as profundity. Recently, Blake has had a particularly marked influence on the *Beat Generation and the English poets of the *underground movement, hailed by both as a liberator; *Auden earlier acclaimed him ('New Year Letter', 1941) as 'Self-educated Blake . . .' who 'Spoke to Isaiah in the Strand / And heard inside each mortal thing / Its holy emanation sing'.
See also the Blake Books (19777) by G. E. Bentley Jnr, including annotated catalogues of his writings and scholarly books about him; The Complete Poetry and Prose of William Blake, ed. D. V. Erdman (1965, 1988); Blake's Illuminated Books, 6 vols. (1991-5), gen. ed. D. Bindman; and J. Viscomi, Blake and the Idea of the Book (1993), an authoritative account of Blake's graphic process; The William Blake ARchive: http://jefferson.village.virginia.edu/blake (ed.M. Eaves, R. Essick, J. Viscomi). There is a life by P. *Ackroyd, (1995).
Analizamos la novela de William Gibson Zero History (2010) en relación a los conceptos de control de la información y de 'topsight' o perspectiva dominante en la era de Internet. Prestamos especial atención a la función reflexiva metafictional de la perspectiva dominante, y a su papel en la construcción estética de la novela en tanto que artefacto perspectivístico.
Un MacGuffin a escala inmensa: Zero History, de William Gibson
A MacGuffin of Ultimate Scale: William Gibson's Zero History
An analysis of William Gibson's novel 'Zero History' (2010) with reference to the concepts of informational control and topsight in the age of the Internet. Special attention is paid to the metafictional reflexive function of topsight, and to its role in the aesthetic construction of the novel as a perspectival artifact. Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4
Keywords: Information, Internet, William Gibson, Literature, Novel, Data mining, Topsight, Metafiction, Aesthetic construction, Narratology
Drama (drā·ma). Also 6 drame, 7 dramma. [a. late L. drāma drama, play (Ausonius), a. Gr. dramadeed, action, play, esp. tragedy, n. of action from dran to do, act, perform. In earliest use in form drame as in Fr. (1707 in Hatz-Darm.).] 1.A composition in prose or verse, adapted to be acted upon a stage, in which a story is related by means of dialogue and action, and is represented with accompanying gesture, costume, and scenery, as in real life; a play. 1515 BARCLAY Eglogues iv. (1570) Cvj/I Such rascolde drames promoted by Thais, Bacchus, Licoris, or yet by Thestalis. 1616 B. JONSON Epigr. cxii , I cannot for the stage a drama lay, Tragic or comic. 1636 HEYWOOD Loves Mistresse Ded., Neither are Dramma's of this nature so despicable. 1641 MILTON Ch. Govt. II. introd. The Scripture also affords us a divine pastoral drama in the song of Solomon. 1670 LASSELS Voy. Italy I (1698) 140 (Stanf.) The several Opera's or Musical Dramata are acted and sung. 1795 MASSON Ch. Mus. I. 24 Their Tragic Dramas . . . being usually accompanied by Instruments. 1852 HALLAM Lit. Ess. E. European Mus., i, 24 The Orfeo of Politian . . . the earliest represented drama, not of a religious nature, in a modern language. 2. With the: The dramatic branch of literature; the dramatic art. 1661 Middleton's Mayor of Queenborough Pref. Wks. (Bullen) II. 3 His drollery yields to none the English drama did ever produce. 1711 ADDISON Spect. No. 13 ¶ 5 The received rules of the Drama. 1727 POPE, etc. Art of Sinking xvi. Wks. 1757 Vi. 219 (Stanf.) The Drama, which makes so great and so lucrative a part of Poetry. 1857 H. REED, Lect. Brit. Poets viii. 284 The true philosophy of the drama as an imaginative imitation of life. 1861 M. PATTISON Ess. I. 46 The lover of the Elizabethan drama. 3.A series of actions or course of events having a unity like that of a drama, and leading to a final catastrophe or consummation. a1714 J. SHARP Serm. I. xiii. (R.), It helps to adorn the great drama and contrivances of God's providence. 1775 MASON Gray Gray's poems 2 That peculiar part which he acted in the varied Drama of Society. 1796 BURKE Regic. Peace i. Wks. VIII. 78 The awful drama of Providence now acting on the moral theatre of the world. 1876 E. MELLOR Priesth. ii, 58 That great drama which was to culminate in the death of Christ.
Dramatic (drămæ·tik), a. (sb.) [ad. late L. drāmatic-us, a. Gr. dramatikós pertaining to drama, f. drama, drámat- DRAMA: (cf. F. dramatique).] 1. Of, pertaining to, or connected with the, or a, drama.; dealing with or employing the forms of the drama. 1589 PUTTENHAM, Eng. Poesie I. xv. (Arb) 49 Foure sundry fromes of Poesie Drammatick.. to wit, the Satyre, olde Comedie, new Comedie, and Tragedie. c1680 J. AUBREY in Shaks. C. Praise 383 He began early to make essayes at Dramatique Poetry. 1791 BURKE Corr. (1844) III. 196, I have never written any dramatic piece whatsoever. 1824 W. IRVING T. Trav. I. 280 The dramatic corps, 1885 MABEL COLLINS Prettiest Woman vviii, She played the part of the dramatic critic. 2.Characteristic of, or appropriate to, the drama; often connoting animated action or striking presentation, as in a play; theatrical. 1725 POPE Odyss. Postscr. The whole structure of that work (Iliad) is dramatick and full of action. 1778 FOOTE Trip Calais Wks. III 1799 II.378 There seems to be a kind of dramatic justice in the change of your two situations. 1855 BRIMLEY, Ess., Tennyson, 9 That dramatic unity demanded in works of art. 1878 LECKY, Eng. in 18th Cent. (1883) I. 176 The destruction of a great and ancient institution is an eminently dramatic thing. B. sb. † 1. A dramatic poet; a dramatist. Obs. 1646 G. DANIEL, Poems, Wks. 1878 I. 30 Hee was, of English Drammatickes, the Prince. a1680 BUTLER Rem. (1759) I. 164 No longer shall Dramatics be confin'd To draw true Images of all Mankind. a1741 GRAY Lett. Wks. 1884 II. 209 Put me the following lines into the tongue of our modern dramatics. 2. pl. Dramatic compositions or representations; the drama. 1684 W. WINSTANLEYEngl. Worthies. Shaks 345-7 In all his writings hath an unvulgar Style, as well in his... Poems, as in his Drammaaticks. 1711 SHAFETSB. Charac.(1737) I. 265 We read epicks and dramaticks, as we do satirs and lampoons. 1880 C. KEENE Let. in G. S. Layard Life X. (1892) 308 The prevaliling mania for dramatics.
Drama·tical,a (sb). [f. as prec. + -AL.] — DRAMATIC a. I. (Now rare.) 1640 G. WATTS tr. Bacon's Adv. Learn. ii. (R). Dramaticall, or representative [poesy] is as it were, a visible history. a 1652 J SMITH Sel. Disc. , VI, iv (1821) 221 The whole dramatical series of things. 1711 ADDISON Spect. No. 101 §7 A Dramatical performance written in a language which they did not understand. 1854Fraser's Mag. I 591 Fletcher was the dramatical parent of Congreve. † Bsb. pl. = DRAMATICS sb. Obs. rare c.1826 MOIR in Wilson's Wks. (1855) I. 198 Then bid Bryan Procter beat To dramaticals retreat.
Drama·tically, adv. [f. prec. + LY2.] a. In a dramatic manner; from a dramatic point of view. b. With dramatic or theatrical effect. a. 1652 J. SMITH Sel. Disc. vi 192 The outward frame of things dramatically set forth. 1759 STERNE Tr. Shandy II. viii. 57 This plea, tho' it might save me dramatically, will damn me biographically. 1836 9 DICKENS Sk. Boz (C. D. ed) 200 He stalked dramatically to bed.
Dramaticism (drămæ·tisiz'm). [f. DRAMATIC a. + -ISM] Dramatic character or quality. 1878 T. SINCLAIR Mount 80 More than its dramaticism and epicism. 1890 Athenaeum 6 Dec. 775/2 The dramaticism frequet among Nineteenth-Century writers of blank verse.
Dramaticle, -icule. Also erron. -ucle. [f. L. drāma, drāmat- with dim. suffix.] A miniature or insignificant drama. [1792 T. TWINING Recreat. & Stud. (1882) 168 His two printed dialogues, or dramacles] 1813 Examiner 15 Mar. 171/1 This admired dramatucle (if we may be allowed such a diminutive). 1851 Beddoe's Poems Mem. 15 'Olympian Revels', and other dramaticles published published in the 'London Magazine' of 1823. 1865 CARLYLE Fredk. Gt. IV. 252 Court-shows, dramaticules, transparencies.
Dra·matism. [f. as DRAMATIST + -ISM] Dramatization, dramatized form. 1884 Autobiog. Dissenting 122 could no longer amuse his flock with the dramatism of devotion.
|| Dramatis personae (dræmă·tis p∂rsōn·ni) Abbreviated dram. pers. [L.; —persons of a drama.] The characters of a drama or play; the actors in a drama. lit. or fig. 1730 FIELDING Temple Beaut. I. vi. Wks. 1882 VIII. 177 There is (to give you a short Dramatis Personae) my worthy uncle [etc.] 1806 J. JAY Corr. & Pub. Papers (1893) IV. 308 Whether this distant nation is to appear among the dramatis personae cannot now be known. 1821 BYRON Diary 13 Jan., Sketched the outline and Dram. Pers. of a . . tragedy. 1895Law Times XCIX. 547/I His dramatis personæ included a low attorney.
Dramatist (dræ·mătist). [f. Gr. drama, dramat- DRAMA + -IST: cf. F. dramatiste (1787 in Hatz-.Darm.).] A writer or composer of dramas or dramatic poetry; a play-wright. (Also fig.) 1678 CUDWORTH Intell. Syst. 879 They . . . impatiently cry out against the Dramatist, and presently condemn the Plot. 1748 YOUNG Nt. Th. IX. 348 To see the mighty Dramatist's last Act . . in glory rising o'er the rest. a1862 BUCKLE Misc. Wks. (1872) I. 483 In every country the dramatists have preceded the metaphysicians.
Dramatization (dræ·măt∂izēi§∂n). [f. next + ATION.] The action of dramatizing; conversion into drama; a dramatized version. 1796 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Rev. XIX. 482. The variegated list of his dramatizations. 1846 DICKENS Lett. (1880) I. 165. I really am bothered . . by this confounded dramatization of the Christmas book. 1875 MAINE Hist. Inst. ix. 253 A dramatisation of the origin of Justice.
Dramatize (dræ·măt∂iz), v. [f. as DRAMATIST + IZE] 1.trans. To convert into a drama; to put into dramatic form, adapt for representation on the stage. 1780-83 [See DRAMATIZED]. 1810 SCOTT Fam. Lett. 22 Dec., They are busy dramatizing The Lady of the Lake here and in Dublin. 1884 Law Times 27 Sept. 358/2 The play 'Called Back,' dramatized from the novel of that name. b. obsol. To write dramas. 1814 Sortes Horatianae 125 Scrawl, dramatize . . do what ye will. 2. To describe or represent dramatically. 1823 ADOLPHUS in Lockhart Scott Aug., To exert the talent of dramatizing and . . representing in his own person the incidents he told of. 1894 HOWELLS in Harper's Mag. Feb. 383 The men continue to dramatize a struggle on the floor below. 3. intr. (for pass). To admit of dramatization. 1819 SCOTT Fam. Let. 15 June. The present set . . will not dramatize. 1836New Monthly Mag. XLVII 235 The story would dramatize admirably. 4. trans. To influence by the drama, nonce-use. 1799Morn. Chron. in Spirit Pub. Jrnls. (1800) III. 154 Some might take their station in the theatre, and dramatize the audience into loyalty. Hence Dra·matizedppl.a.Dra·matizing vbl. sb. and ppl. a.; also Dra·matizable a. (Webster, 1864); Dra·matizer, one who dramatizes. 1780-83 W. TOOKE Russia (Webster 1828) A dramatized extract from the history of the Old and New Testaments. 1833Westm. Rev. XVIII, 226 The dramatist of Cooper's 'Pilot'. a1834 LAMB Char. Dram. Writers. Rowley Wks. 530 Our delicacy . . forbids the dramatizing of distress. 1862 MERIVALE Rom. Emp. (1865, V. xii. 99 The dramatized histories of the English bard. 1875 EMERSON Lett. & Soc. Aims Wks. (Bohn) III. 221 A sort of dramatizing talent.
Dramaturge (dræ·măt∂:rdy) [a F. dramaturge (1787), ad Gr. dramatourgos composer of drama, f. drama, dramato- DRAMA + -ergein to work, -ergos working, worker]. —DRAMATURGIST [1859Times 17 Nov. 8/2 Schiller was starving on a salary of 200 dollars per annum, which he received for his services as 'dramaturg' or literary manager.] 1870 Athenaeum 12 Mar. 366 M. Sardou . . that indefatigable dramaturge. 1882 SYMONDS Animi Figura 118 Fate is the dramaturge, necessity Allots the parts.
Dramatu·rgic,a. [f. Gr. dramatourg-os (see prec.) + -IC] Pertaining to dramaturgy; dramatic, histrionic, theatrical. [1831 BEDDOES Let. Jan. in Poems p. xcvi So much for my dramaturgic ideas on playbills. 1845 CARLYLE Cromwell 1871] I. 158 Some form [of worship] not grown dramaturgic to us, but still awfully symbolical for us. 1883Mag. of Art June 315/1 That lack of dramaturgic science. SO Dramatu·rgicala.
Dra·maturgist [f. as prec. + -IST] A composer of a drama; a play-wright. 1825 CARLYLE Schiller II (1845) 63 Notwithstanding . . all the vaunting of dramaturgists. 1843 — Past & Pr. II, ii The World Dramaturgist has written, Exeunt.
Dra·maturgy [mod. ad Gr. dramatourgía composition of dramas : cf. F. dramaturgie (17th c.), Ger. dramaturgie.] 1. Dramatic composition; the dramatic art. 1801 W. TAYLOR in Monthly Mag. XII 224. Lessing's Dramaturgy. 1805Ibid. XX. 41 Lessing .. published a weekly paper, entitled the Hamburg Dramaturgy. 1885 Sat. Rev. 28 Mar. 419/2 The immortal Mac-Flecknoe, in which the 'Nursery' and its dramaturgy are annotated. 2. Dramatic or theatrical acting. 1837 CARLYLE Diam Neckl. Misc. Ess. 1888 V, 184 Let her .. give her past Dramaturgy the fit aspect to Monseigneur and others. 1858 —Fredk. Gr. (1865) I. I. iii. 22 Sublime dramaturgy, which we call his Majesty's Government, costs so much.
Me escribe esta carta el robot de la SSRN diciéndome que este servidor tiene un artículo en el Top Ten de literatura de este servidor.
Dear Jose Angel Garcia Landa: Your paper, "SCIENCE AND LITERATURE: SOME CRITICAL PARAMETERS", was recently listed on SSRN’s Top Ten download list for: CSN: Literature (Sub-Topic). As of 20 November 2015, your paper has been downloaded 164 times. You may view the abstract and download statistics at: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1591114. Top Ten Lists are updated on a daily basis. Click the following link(s) to view the Top Ten list for: CSN: Literature (Sub-Topic) Top Ten. Click the following link(s) to view all the papers in: CSN: Literature (Sub-Topic) All Papers.
Como se aprecia por el pantallazo, de hecho tengo en ese Top Ten no un artículo, sino dos. Cierto es que también tiene dos Mark Turner, modelo a seguir, y cierto también que los tiene mejor ubicados que yo. Pero hey, de mi país o de mi continente, ahí estoy yo.
Y también es de celebrar que tengo otro pequeño Top Ten aquí, en "más de lo mío": en el servidor de Historia Literaria y Teoría Literaria de la SSRN:
Son esos pequeños logros que según algunos son la sal misma de la vida y mantienen la dopamina excitada. Para grandes logros, pregúntenle a Pablo Iglesias, the overreacher.
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
SHERIDAN,Richard Brinsley (1751-1816), the son of Thomas Sheridan, an Irish actor-manager, and Mrs Frances *Sheridan. Richard learned early that as a livelihood the theatre was both precarious and ungentlemanly. He was sent to Harrow School, where he was unhappy and regarded as a dunce. in Bath, however, where he joined his family in 1770, he was at once at home. His skit, written for the local paper, on the opening of the New Assembly Rooms was considered good enough to be published as a separate pamphlet. He fell in love with Eliza Linley, a beautiful and accomplished young singer, with whom he eloped to France and entered into an invalid form of marriage contract, and on whose behalf he fought two farcical duels with her overbearing admirer Captain Matthews. Sheridan's angry father sent him to London to study law, but eventually the fathers withdrew their opposition and in 1773 he was lawfully married to Eliza. Very short of money, he decided to try his hand at a plyay, and in a very few weeks wrote *The Rivals, which was produced at Covent Garden in 1775. It was highly successful and established Sheridan in the fashionable society he sought. The Rivals was followed in a few months by the farce *St Patrick's Day, again a success; and in theautumn by *The Duenna, an operatic play which delighted its audiences. In 1776 Sheridan, with partners, bought *Garrick's half-share in the *Drury Lane Theatre and became its manager. Early in 1777 appeared *A Trip to Scarborough, loosely based on Vanbrugh's *The Relapse, and this again was a success. In March of that year Sheridan was elected a memeber of the *Club, on the proposal of Dr. *Johnson. Meanwhile he was working hard and long on *The School for Scandal, which was produced, with Garrick's help and with a brilliant cast, in May. The play was universally acclaimed, and all doors, from those of the duchess of Devonshire and lady Melbourne downwards, were open to the dramatist—whose personal expenses rose accordingly. Although The School for Scandal had 73 performances between 1777 and 1789 and made a profit of £15,000, Sheridan's financial anxieties, which were to dog him to the end of his life, became even more acute. In 1779 he became the sole proprietor of Drury Lane, and began to live far beyond his means. Although he seems to have been a sympathetic and creative producer, he found the business side of management increasingly irksome. In 1779 he produced his new play *The Critic, based on *The Rehearsal by Buckingham; once again he enjoyed a huge success, and the world regarded him as the true heir of Garrick. But it was not what he wanted. He had grown up with a positive dislike of the theatre, and he declared he never saw a play if he could help it. He wished to shine only in politics, but he had neither the correct family connections nor the financial stability. He became the friend and ally of *Fox and in 1780 won the seat at Stafford. After only two years as an MP he became the under-secretary for foreign affairs, but he neglected his office work, both as a politician and as the manager of Drury Lane. Fortunately his father had secured both Mrs *Siddons and J. P. *Kemble, who brought the required audiences to the theatre. In 1783 he became secretary to the treasury and established his reputation as a brilliant orator in the House of Comons. In 1787 *Burke persuaded him into supporting the impeachment of *Hastings,and his eloquent speeech of over five hours on the Begums of Oude ensured that he was made manager of the trial. He was by now confirmed an intimate friend of the prince regent and other royal figures. Eliza died in 1792, and in the same year the Drury Lane Theatre was declared unsafe and had to be demolished. Sheridan raised £150,000 for a new theatre with apparent ease, but he was plunging himself yet deepr into debt, and payments to his actors became more uncertain than ever. In 1795 he married Esther Ogle. All though these years he was speaking eloquently in the House and hoping for eventual political advancement. *Pizarro, adapted by Sheridan from *Kotzebue, was performed in 1799 and was sucessful enough to bring a brief reprieve, but in 1802 the theatre funds were impounded and the bankers put in charge. Enormous sums were owing to the landlord, the architect, the actors, and stage staff. Although he was still speaking daily at the Commons, Sheridan's friendship with Fox was fading, and when Grenville formed the 'ministry of all the talents' in 1806 Sheridan was offered only the treasureship to the navy, without cabinet rank. The money which came with his appointment to a post with the duchy of Cornwall was soon spent. In 1809 the new Drury Lane was destroyed by fire, the debts became crushing, and Sheridan was excluded from all aspects of management. In 1811 he lost his seat at Stafford, and in 1813 he was arrested for debt. Friends rallied, but he and his wife became ill. His house was discovered to be filthy and denuded of almost all furnishings. He died in July 1816 and was given a fine funeral, with four lords as pall-bearers. He wished to be remembered as a man of politics and to be buried net to Fox, but he was laid near Garrick instead. He is remembered chiefly as the author of two superb comedies, but his speeches and letters have also been published. The standard edition of the plays is The Plays and Poems of Sheridan, ed. R. C. Rhodes (3 vols., 1928): see also Harlequin Sheridan (1933), a life by R. C. Rhodes. The Letters were edited by C. Price (3 vols., 1966).
From George Saintsbury’s Short History of English Literature (1907):
(From BOOK VIII - THE AUGUSTAN AGES )
CHAPTER IV: QUEEN ANNE PROSE
Swift—His life—His verse—His prose—His quality and achievement—The Essayists—Steele—His plays—Addison’s life—His miscellaneous work—His and Steele’s Essays—Bentley—Middleton—Arbuthnot—Atterbury—Bolingbroke—Butler and other divines—Shaftesbury—Mandeville—Berkeley—Excellence of his style—Defoe.
JOHN DUNTON, the eccentric bookseller mentioned at the close of the last chapter, refers to a certain "scoffing Tubman," with whose identity neither he, extensive and peculiar as was his knowledge of literary London, nor almost any one else, was then acquainted. The reference is, of course, to the Tale of a Tub, published anonymously in 1704—the first great book, either in prose or verse, of the eighteenth century, and in more ways than one the herald and champion of its special achievements in literature. Jonathan Swift,1 its author, one of the very greatest names in English literature, was, like his connections Dryden and Herrick, a plant of no very early development. He had been born as far back as 1667, and his earlier literary productions had been confined to wretched Pindaric odes, some of them contributed to Dunton’s own papers, and drawing down upon him that traditional and variously quoted sentence of his great relative, "Cousin Swift, you will never be a [Pindaric] poet," which is said to have occasioned certain ill-natured retorts on Dryden later. Swift’s origin, like his character and genius, was purely English, but an accident caused him to be born in Dublin, and other accidents brought about his education in Ireland. His father died before his birth, and his mother was very poor: but his paternal uncle paid for his education at Kilkenny Grammar School and Trinity College, Dublin. He entered Trinity very early, in 1682, and seems to have been neither happy nor successful there, though there may have been less disgrace than has sometimes been thought in his graduation speciali gratia, and not by the ordinary way of right, in 1686.
He was still under twenty, and for some years found no better connection than a secretaryship in the house of his distant connection, Sir William Temple. In 1694 he went to Ireland, was ordained, and received a small living, but in two years returned to Temple, in whose house he met "Stella," Esther Johnson, his lifelong friend and, as seems most probable, latterly his wife. Temple died in 1699, leaving Swift a small legacy and his literary executorship. He once more returned to Ireland, acted as secretary to Lord-Deputy Berkeley, received some more small preferments, though not such as he wanted, and spent the first decade of the century at Laracor, his chief benefice, and London, where he was a sort of agent for the Archbishop of Dublin. He had all this time been a kind of Whig in politics, but with a strong dislike to Whig anti-clericalism and some other differences; and about 1710 he joined the new Tory party under Harley and St. John, and carried on vigorous war against the Whigs in The Examiner, though he did not break personal friendship with Addison and others. His inestimable services during the four last years of Queen Anne were rewarded only with the Deanery of Dublin—it is said owing to the Queen’s pious horror of the Tale of a Tub. Swift lived chiefly in Dublin, but with occasional visits to his friends in England, for more than thirty years longer, and the events of his life, the contests of "Vanessa" and "Stella" for his hand, or at least his heart, his interference with Irish politics, his bodily sufferings, and the end which, after five terrible years of madness, painful or lethargic, came in October 1745, are always interesting and sometimes mysterious. But we cannot dwell on them here, though they have more to do with his actual literary characteristics than is often the case. His dependency in youth, his long sojourn in lettered leisure, though in bitterness of spirit, with a household the master of which was a dilettante but a distinctly remarkable man of letters, his suppressed but evidently ardent affections, his disappointment when at last he reached fame and the chance of power, and his long residence, with failing health, in a country which he hated—all these things must be taken into account, though cautiously, in considering his work.
His verse This [His work] is of very great bulk, and in parts of rather uncertain genuineness, for Swift was strangely careless of literary reputation, published for the most part anonymously, and, intense as is his idiosyncrasy, contrived to impress it on one or two of his intimate friends, notably on Arbuthnot. It consists of both verse and prose, but the former is rarely poetry and is at its best in easy vers de société, such as Cadenus and Vanessa (the record of his passion or fancy for Esther Vanhomrigh), "Vanbrugh’s House," the pieces to Harley and others, and above all, the lines on his own death; or else in sheer burlesque or grotesque, where he has seldom been equalled, as in the famous "Mrs. Harris’s Petition," and a hundred trifles, long and short, of the same general kind. Poetry, in the strict and rare sense, Swift seldom or never touches; his chief example of it—an example not absolutely authenticated, seeing that we only possess it as quoted by Lord Chesterfield—is a magnificent fragment about the Last Judgment. Here, and perhaps only here in verse, his characteristic indignation rises to poetic heat. Elsewhere he is infinitely ingenious and humorous in fanciful whim, and, sometimes at least, infinitely happy in expression of it, the pains which, do doubt partly owing to Temple’s influence and example, he spent upon correct prose-writing being here extended and reflected in verse. For Swift, although not pedantically, or in the sense of manuals of composition, a correct writer, is so in the higher and better sense to a very unusual degree; and we know that he was better sense to a very unusual degree; and we know that he was so deliberately. Several passages, especially one in the Tatler,2 express his views on the point, and his dislike at once of the other luxuriance which it was impossible for a man of his time to relish, and of the inroad of slovenly colloquialism which we have noticed in the last chapter.
Yet if Swift had been, like his patron, and perhaps in some sort exemplar, Temple, nothing more, or little more, than a master of form in prose, his prosition in literature would be very different from that which he actually holds. His first published prose piece, the Dissenssions of Athens and Rome (an application, according to the way of the times, to contempoarary politics), contains, except in point of style, nothing very noticeable. But the anonymous volume of 1704 is compact of very different stuff. The Battle of the Books, a contribution to the "Ancient and Modern" debate on Temple’s side and in Temple’s honour, is not supreme, though very clever, admirably written and arranged, and such as no Englishman recently living, save Butler and Dryden, could have written, while Butler would have done it with more clumsiness of form, and Dryden with less lightness of fancy. The Tale of a Tub has supremacy. It may be peremptorily asserted that irreligion is neither intended nor involved in it. For nearly two centuries the ferocious controversies, first between Rome and Protestantism, then between different bodies of Protestants, had entirely blinded men to the extreme danger that the rough handling which they bestowed upon their enemies would recoil on the religion which underlay those enemies’ beliefs as well as their own. Adn this, as well as the other danger of the excessive condemnation of "enthusiasm," was not seen till long after Swift’s death. But the satire on Peter (Rome), Jack (Calvinism, or rather the extremer Protestant sects generally), and Martin (Lutheranism and Anglicanism) displays an all-pervading irony of thought, and a felicity of expressing that irony, which had never been seen in English prose before. The irony, it must be added, goes, as far as things human are concerned, very deep and very wide, and its zigzag glances at politics, philosophy, manners, the hopes and desires and pursuits and pleasures and pains of man, leave very little unscathed. There is a famous and not necessarily false story that Swift, in his sad latter days, once exclaimed, in reference to the Tale, "What a genius I had when I wrote that book!" The exclamation, if made, was amply justified. The Tale of a Tub is one of the very greatest books of the world, one of those in which a great drift of universal thought receives consummate literary form.
The decade of his Whiggery (or, as it has been more accurately described, of his neutral state with Whig leanings) saw no great bulk of work, but some exquisite examples of this same irony in a lighter kind. This was the time of the charming Argument against Abolishing Christianity (1708) and of Swift’s contributions to the Tatler, which periodical indeed owed him a great deal more than the mere borrowing of the nom de guerre—Isaac Bickerstaffe—which he had used in a seris of ingenious persecutions of the almanack-maker, Partridge. The shorter period of Tory domination was very much more prolific in bulk of work, but except in the wonderful Journal to Stella (1710-13), which was never intended for any eye but hers (and the faithful "Dingley’s"), the literary interest is a littel inferior. The Examiners are of extraordinary force and vigour; the Remarks on the Barrier Treaty (1712), the Public Spirit of the Whigs (1714), and above all the Conduct of the Allies (1711), which Johnson so strangely decried, are masterly specimens of the political pamphlet. The largest work of this time, the History of the Four Last Years of Queen Anne, is sometimes regarded as doubtfully genuine, though there is no conclusive reason for ruling it out.
His very greatest prose work, however, dates from the last thirty years of his life, and especially from the third, fourth and firth lustres of this time, for the last was darkened by his final agony, and in the first decade he was too marked a man to venture on writing what might have brought upon him the exile of Atterbury or the prison of Harley and Prior. He began at once, however, a curious kind of Irish patriotism, which was in fact nothing but an English Fronde. In 1724 some jobbery about a new copper coinage in Ireland gave him a subject, and he availed himself of this in the Drapier’s Letters with almost miraculous skill; while two years later came the greatest of all his books, greater for method, range, and quiet mastery than even the Tale, that is to say Gulliver’s Travels. The short but consummate Modest Proposal for eating Irish children, the pair to the Argument against Abolishing Christianity, as a short example of the Swiftian irony, came in 1729; and the chief of his important works later were the delightful Polite Conversation (1738), probably written or at least begun much earlier, in which the ways and speeches of ordinary good society are reproduced with infinite humour and spirit, and the Directions to Servants, almost as witty, but more marked with Swift’s ugliest fault, a coarseness of idea and language, which seems rather the result of positive and individual disease than the survival of Restoration license.
His quality and achievement
There is no doubt that on the whole Swift’s peculiar powers, temper, and style are shown in his one generally known book as well as anywhere else. The absence of the fresher, more whimsical, and perhaps even deeper, irony and pessimism of the Tale of a Tub, and the loss of self-control indicated in the savage misanthropy of the Hoyhnhnms finale, are compensated by a more methodical and intelligible scheme, by the charm of narrative, by range and variety of subject, and by the abundance of little lively touches which that narrative suggests and facilitates. The mere question of the originality of the scheme is, as usual, one of the very slightest importance. Swift had predecessors, if he had not patterns, in Lucian and in scores of other writers down to and beyond Cyrano de Bergerac. The idea, indeed, of combining the interest and novelty of foreign travel with an obvious satire on "travellers’ tales," and a somewhat less obvious one on the follies, vices, and contrasted foibles of mankind, is not beyond tthe range of an extremely moderate intellect, and could never be regarded as the property or copyright even of the greatest. It is the astonishing vigour and variety of Swift’s dealing with this public stuff that craves notice: and twenty times the space here available would be too little to do justice to that. The versatility with which the picture—it can hardly even at its worst be called the caricature—of mankind is adjusted to the different meridians of the little people the giants, the pedants, the unhappy inmortals, and the horses—the dexterous relief of the satirists’ lash with the mere tickling of the humourist—the wonderful prodigality of power and the more wonderful economy of words and mere decorations—all these things deserve the most careful study, and the most careful study will not in the least intefere with, but will only enhance, the perpetual enjoyment of them.
It only remains to point out very briefly the suitableness of the style to the work. Swift’s style is extremely unadorned, though the unfailing spirit of irony prevents it from being, exept to the most poor and unhappy tastes, in the very least degree flat. Though not free from grammatical licenses, it is on the whole corret enough, and is perfectly straightforward and clear. There may be a very different meaning lurking by way of innuendo behind Swift’s literal and grammatical sense, but that sense itself can never be mistaken. Further, he has—unless he deliberately assumes them as the costumes of a part he is playing—absolutely no distinguishing tricks or manners, no catchwords, and in especial no unusual phrases or vocables either imitated or invented. In objecting to neologisms, as he did very strongly, he was perhaps critically in the wrong; for a language which ceases to grow dies. But, like some, though by no means all, similar objectors, he has justified his theory by his practice. In fact, if intellectual genius and literary art be taken together, no prose-writer, who is a prose-writer mainly, is Swift’s superior, and a man might be hard put to it to say who among such writers in the plainer English can be pronounced his equal.
It has been sid that it is hard to settle the credit of the invention of the Queen Anne Essay, in which the characteristic of the later Augustan period was chiefly shown. For years before it appeared, the essay-writers, from Bacon to Temple on the one hand, and the journalists, of whom the most remarkable were mentioned at the close of the last chapter, on the other, had been bearing down nearr and nearer to this particular point. The actual starting is usually assigned to the Review of a greater than any of these journalists, Daniel Defoe, who will, however, find a more suitable place later in this chapter. And it is noteworthy that Swift, whose fertility in ideas was no less remarkable than the nonchalance with which he abandoned them or sugggested them to his friends, was most intimate with Steele and Addison just at the time of the appearance of the Tatler, lent it a nom de guerre, wrote for it, and may in different metaphors be said to have given it inspiration, atmosphere, motive power, launch. But it was undoubtedly set agoing under the management of another person, Steele, and he need not be deprived of the honour.
Richard Steele was born in Dublin in March 1672, but he had little to do with Ireland afterwards. His school was the Charterhouse, and from it he went to Merton College at Oxford, where he was postmaster. But though he made some stay at the University he took no degree, and left it for the army, beginning as a cadet or gentlemen volunteer in the second Life Guards, whence he passed as an ensign to the Coldstreams and as a captain to Lucas’s foot. He became Gazetteer in 1707, and a little later engaged, with more zeal than discretion, in Whig politics, being expelled from the House of Commons in the turbulent last years of Anne. The success of the Hanoverians restored him to fortune, or the chance of it, and he was knighted and made patentee of Drury Lane. But he was always a spendthrift and a speculator, and in his later years he had to retire to an estate which his second wife (an heiress in Wales as the first had been in the West Indies) had brougth him near Caermarthen. He died there in 1729. His letters and even his regular works tell us a great deal about his personality, which, especially as contrasted with that of Addison, has occasioned much writing.
Steele’s desertion of the University for the army might not seem to argue a devotion to the Muses. But he began3 while still a soldier by a book of devotion, The Christian Hero (1701), and it was not in him, whatever it might have been in another, at all inconsistent to turn to play-writing, in which occupation he observed, though not excessively, the warnings of Jeremy Collier. The Tatler (1709) opened his true vein, and in it, in the Spectator, in the Guardian, in the Englishman, Lover, and other periodicals, he displayed a faculty for miscellany more engaging, though much less accomplished, than Addison’s own. In the political articles of this series, and still more in his political pamphlets, he is at his worst, for he had no argumentative faculty, and was utterly at the mercy of such an opponent as Swift. The Conscious Lovers, his most famous play, was late (1722) and is distinguished, amid the poor plays between Farquhar and Sheriden, for its mixture of briskness and amiability. There was a third ingredient, sentimentality, which is indeed sufficiently prominent in Steele’s earlier comedies, The Funeral (1701), The Lying Lover (1703), and The Tender Husband (1705), and by no means absent from his essays. But, with a little allowance, it adds to these latter a charm which, though it may be less perceptible to later generations than it was to those who had sickened at the ineffable brutality of the time immediately preceding, can still be felt.
Of the plays, though all endeavor to carry out Collier’s principles, The Conscious Lovers is the only one which deserves Fielding’s raillery, through Parson Adams, as to its being "as good as a sermon," which Hazlitt has rather unfairly extended to all. Even The Conscious Lovers contains, in the scenes between Tom and Phyllis, pictures of flirtation belowstaires shich, with all Steele’s tenderness and good feeling, have nearly as much vivacity as any between the most brazen varlets and baggages of the Restoration dramatists. The Lying Lover, an adaptation of Le Menteur, is of no great merit, perhaps because it also has a slight tendency to sermonising. But The Funeral, though very unnatural in plot and decidedly unequal in character, contains a famous passage of farcical comedy between an undertaker and his mates, and a good though rascally lawyer. The most uniformly amusing of the four is The Tender Husband, though the appropriateness of the title is open to question. The pair of innocents, the romantic heiress Biddy Tipkin and the clumsy heir Humphry Gubbin, are really diverting, and in the first case to no small extent original; while they have furnished hints to no less successors than Fielding, Goldsmith, Sheridan, and Miss Austen. The lawyer and the gallant are also distinctly good, and the aunt has again furnished hints for Mrs. Malaprop, as Biddy has for Lydia. Steele, who always confessed, and probably as a rule exaggerated, his debts to Addison, acknowledges them here; and there is a certain Addisonian tone about some of the humours, though Steele was quite able to have supplied them. Fond as he was of the theatre, however, and familiar with it, he had little notion of constructing a play, and his morals constantly tripped up his art. The essay, not the drama, was his real field.
The almost inextricable entanglement of the work of Steele with Addison’s, and the close connection of the two in life, have always occasioned a set of comparison, not to the advantage of one, now to that of the other, in literary history; and there is probably more loss than gain in the endeavour to separate them sternly. We may therefore best give Addison’s life, and such short sketch of his books as is possible now, and then consider together the work, still in parts not very clearly attributable to one more than to the other, which gives them, and must always give them, an exalted place in English literature.
Joseph Addison4 was born, like Steele, in 1672, but in May instead of March. His father, Lancelot Addison, was a divine of parts and position, who became Dean of Lichfield. His mother’s name was Jane Gulston. After experience of some country schools, at one of which he is said to have shared in a "barring-out," he, like Steele, went to the Charterhouse and then to Oxford, where he was first at Queen’s then at Magdalen, holding a demyship, taking his Master’s degree in 1693, and being elected to a Fellowship in 1697, at the latter college, where "Addison’s Walk" preserves his name. He made early acquaintance with Dryden, but adopted Whig politics; and, by the influence of Montague, obtained in 1699 a travelling pension of £300 a year. He discharged the obligation loyally, remaining four years abroad, visiting most parts of the Continent, and preparing, if not finishing, his only prose works of bulk, the Remarks on Italy (1704) and the Dialogues on Medals, not published till later. But when he came back in 1703, Halifax was out of favour, his pension was stopped, and, having broken off his University career by his failure to take orders, he was for some time in doubtful prospects. But his poem of The Campaign, in which he celebrated Blenheim (1704), with one fine passage and a good deal of platitude, gained high reputation in the dearth of poetical accomplishment, and the short summer of favour for men of letters, which followed Dryden’s death; and he was made a Commissioner of Excise.
This was the first of a long series of appointments, official and diplomatic, which was not, thanks to Swift, entirely interrupted even during the Tory triumph, and which enabled Addison, who had been in 1703 nearly penniless, to lay out, in 1711, £10,000 on an estate in Warwickshire. It culminated in 1717, after the Hanoverian triumph, by his being appointed Secretary of State, which office he held but a short time, resigning it for a large pension. He had a year before married the Countess Dowager of Warwick, and he died of dropsy at Holland House in 1719, aged only forty-seven. His character has been discussed, not with acrimony, for no one can dislike Addison, but with some heat. He had none of the numerous foibles of which Steele was guilty, except a rather too great devotion to wine. But the famous and magnificent "Character of Atticus," by Pope, is generally supposed by all but partisans to be at best a poisoned dart, which hit true. His correct morality —the Bohemian philosopher Mandeville called him "a parson in a tie-wig"—has been set down to cold-bloodedness, and there has even been noticeable dissension about the relative amount of literary genius in him and in Steele.
His miscellaneous work
As noticed already, Addison’s literary work outside periodicals is by no means small. His early Latin poems are very clever, and very happy in their artificial way. Of his English verse nothing has survived, except his really beautiful hymns, where the combination of sincere religious feelings (of the sincerity of Addison’s religion there is absolutely no doubt, though it was of a kind now out of fashion) and of critical restraint produced things of real, though modest and quiet, excellence. "The Lord my pasture shall prepare," "The spacious firmament on high," and "How are thy servants blest! O Lord," may lack the mystical inspiration of the greatest hymns, but their cheerful piety, their graceful use of images, which, though common, are never mean, their finish and even, for the time, their fervour make them singularly pleasant. The man who wrote them may have had foibles and shortcomings, but he can have had no very grave faults, as the authors of more hysterical and glowing compositions easily might.
The two principal prose works are little read now, but they are worth reading. They show respectable learning (with limitations admitted by such a well-qualified and well-affected critic as Macaulay), they are excellent examples (though not so excellent as the Essays) of Addison’s justly famous prose, and they exhibit, in the opening of the Medals and in all the descriptive passages of the Italy, the curious insensibility of the time to natural beauty, or else its almost more curious inability to express what it felt, save in the merest generalities and commonplaces.
The three plays at least indicate Addison’s possession, though in a much less degree, of his master Dryden’s general faculty of literary craftsmanship. The opera of Rosamond is, indeed, clearly modelled on Dryden in its serious parts, but is no great success there. The lighter and more whimsical quality of Addison’s humour enabled him to do better in the farcical passages, which, especially in the speeches of Sir Trusty, sometimes have a singularly modern and almost Gilbertian quality to them. The comedy of The Drummer, where a Wiltshire tradition is used to make a play on a theme not entirely different from Steele’s Funeral (in each a husband is thought to be dead when he is not), contains, like Steele’s own pieces, some smart "words," but no very good dramatic situation or handling. It is, also like Steele’s, an attempt to write Restoration drama in the fear of Jeremy Collier. Cato, the most famous, is at this time of day by far the least interesting. Its universally known stock-pieces give almost all that it has of merit in versification and style; as a drama it has an uninteresting plot, wooden characters, and a great absence of life and idiosyncrasy.
His and Steele’s Essays
It is very different when we turn to the Essays. The so-called Essay which Steele launched in the Tatler, which was taken up and perfected in the Spectator, which had numerous immediate followers, and a succession of the greatest importance at intervals throughout the century, and which at once expressed and influenced the tone and thought of that century after a fashion rarely paralleled, was not originally started in quite the form which it soon assumed, and never, for the greater part of a hundred years, wholly lost. Naturally enough, Steele at first endeavoured to make it a newspaper, as well as a miscellany and review. But by degrees, and before very long, news was dropped, and comment, in the form of special essays, of "letters to the editor," sometimes real, oftener manufactured, of tales and articles of all the various kinds which have subsisted with no such great change till the present day, reigned alone. As Addison’s hand prevailed—though literature, religion, and even politics now and then, the theatre very often, and other things were not neglected—the main feature of the two papers, and especially of the Spectator, became a kind of light but distinctlyfirm censorship of manners, especially the part of them nearest to morals, and of morals, especially the part of them nearest to manners. Steele, always zealous and always generous, but a little wanting in criticism, not infrequently diverged into sentimentality. Addison’s tendency, though he, too, was unflinchingly on virtue’s side, was rather towards a very mellow and not unindulgent but still quite distinctly cynical cynicism—a smile too demure ever to be a grin, but sometimes, except on religious subjects, faintly and distantly approaching a sneer. This appears even in the most elaborate and kindly of the imaginative creations of the double series, Sir Roger de Coverley, whom Steele indeed seems to have invented, but whom Addison adopted, perfected, and (some, perhaps without reason, say) even killed out of kindness, lest a less delicate touch should take the bloom out of him. This great creation, which comes nearer than anything out of prose fiction or drama to the masterpieces of the novelists and dramatists, is accompanied by others hardly less masterly; while Addison is constantly, and Steele not seldom, has sketches or touches as perfect in their way, though less elaborate. It is scarcely too much to say that these papers, and especially the Spectator, taught the eighteenth century ho it should, and especially how it should not, behave in public places, from churches to theatres; what books it should like, and how it should like them; how it should treat its lovers, mistresses, husbands, wives, parents, and friends; that it might politely sneer at operas, and must not take any art except literature too seriously; that a moderate and refined devotion to the Protestant religion and the Hanoverian succession was the duty, though not the whole duty, of a gentleman.It is still a little astonishing to find with what docility the century obeyed and learnt its lesson. Addison died a little before, Steele not much after, its first quarter closed; et in the lighter work of sixty or seventy years later we shall find, with the slightest differences of external fashion, the laws of the Spectator held still by "the town" with hardly a murmur, by the country without the slightest hesitation. In particular, those papers taught the century how to write; and the lesson was accepted on this point with almost more unhesitating obedience than on any other. The magnificent eulogy of Johnson, who had himself deviated not a little, though perhaps unconsciously, from Addisonian practice, would have been disputed by hardly any one who reached manhood in England between the Peace of Utrecht and the French Revolution; and, abating its exclusiveness a little, it remains true still.
Steele, though he has some rarer flights than his friend, is much less correct, and much less polished; while, though he had started with equal chances, his rambling life had stored him with far less learning than Addison possessed. The latter, while he never reached the massive strength and fiery force of Swift, did even more than Swift himself to lift English prose out of the rut, or rather quagmire, of colloquialism and slovenliness in which, as we have seen, it was sinking. He could even though he rarely did, rise to a certain solemnity—caught, it may be, from Temple, who must have had much influence on him. But, like Temple’s, though with a more modern, as well as a more varied and completely polished, touch, his style was chiefly devoted to the "middle" subjects and manners. He very rarely attempts sheer whimsical fooling. But he can treat all the subjects that come within the purview and interests of a well-bred man of this world, who by no means forgets the next, in a style quite inimitable in its golden mediocrity—well-informed, without being in the least pedantic; moral, without direct preaching (unless he gives forewarning); slightly superior, but with no provoking condescensioin in it; polite, without being frivolous or finicking; neat, but not overdressed; easy, but, as Johnson justly states, never familiar in any offensive degree. It is easier to feel enthusiasm about Steele, who had so much, than about Addison, who at any rate shows so little; and on the character, the genius, the originality, of the two there may always be room for dispute. But it seems incredible that any one should deny to Addison the credit of being by far the greater artist, and of having brought his own rather special, rather limited, but peculiar and admirable division of art to a perfection seldom elsewhere attained in letters. These three greatest writers were surrounded by others hardly less than great. Arbuthnot, Atterbury, Bentley, Bolingbroke, Mandeville, the younger Shaftesbury, Berkeley, Butler, Middleton, were all either actual contributors to the great periodical series, or intimately connected with those who wrote these, or (which is of equal importance to us) at any rate exponents of the extremely plain prose style, which required the exquisite concinnity of Addison, the volcanic and Titanic force and fire of Swift, or the more than Attic stateliness and grace of Berkeley, to sabe it from being too plain. The order in which they are to be mentioned is unimportant, and few can have more than very brief space, but none must pass unnoticed.
Richard Bentley, a very great classical scholar, and no mean writer of English, was a Yorkshire man, born in 1662, and educated at Wakefield. He went early to St. John’s College, Cambridge, was taken as a private tutor into the household of Stillingfleet, took orders not very early, was made King’s Librarian in 1694, engaged, and was completely victorious, in the Ancient and Modern Controversy, especially in reference to the Epistles of Phalaris; was made Master of Trinity in 1699, and passed nearly the whole of his more than forty years of mastership, till his death in 1742, in a desperate struggle with his college, wherein, if his adversaries were unscrupulous, he was no less so, while the right was on the whole rather against him, though his bull-dog tenacity has won most commentators on the matter to his side. There is at any rate no doubt of his learning, his logical power, and his very real, though gruff and horseplayful, humour. To merely English literature he stands6 in two very different relations. His almost incredibly absurd emendations on Milton would, if the thing were not totally alien from the spirit of the man, seem like a designed parody on classical scholarship itself. But his writing, especially in the famous Phalaris dissertation, and in the remarks of the Deist Collins, is extraordinarily vigorous and vivid. His birth-date, probably even more than a design to avoid the reproach of pedantry, made him colloquial, homely, and familiar down to the very level from which Swift and Addison tried to lift, and to a great extent succeeded in lifting prose; but his native force and his wide learning save him, though sometimes with difficulty, from the merely vulgar.
Conyers Middleton, Bentley’s most deadly enemy, was, like Bentley, a Yorkshireman, but was much younger, having been born at Richmond in 1683. He went to Trinity young, and was not only a Fellow thereof, but connected throughout his life with Cambridge, by his tenure of the offices of University Librarian from 1722 onwards, and Woodwardian Professor of Geology for a time. He was a man of property, was thrice married, and held several livings till his death in 1750, though his orthodoxy was, in his own times and afterwards, seriously impugned.
This does not concern us here, though it may be observed that Middleton may be cleared from anything but a rather advanced stage of the latitudinarianism and dislike of "enthusiasm" which was generally felt by the men of his time, and which invited—indeed necessitated—the Evangelical and Methodist revolt. So, too, we need not busy ourselves much with the question whether he directly plagiarised, or only rather breely borrowed from the Scotch Latinist, Bellenden, in his longest and most famous prose work, the Life of Cicero (1741). Besides this, he wrote two controversial works of length—ostensibly directed against Popery, certainly against extreme supernaturalism, and, as his enemies will have it, covertly against Christianity—entitled A Letter from Rome, showing an exact Conformity between Popery and Paganism (1729), and A Free Inquiry into the Miraculous Powers which are supposed to have existed in the Christian Church (1748); with a large number of small pamphlets on a variety of subjects, in treating which he showed wide culture and intelligence. His place here, however, is that of the most distinguished representative of the absolutely plain style—not colloquial and vernacular like Bentley’s, but on the other hand attempting none of the graces which Addison and Berkeley in their different ways achieved—a style more like the plainer Latin or French styles than like anything else in English.
John Arbuthnot,8 the "moon" of Swift, born 1667, came of the noble family of that name in Kincardineshire, but went to Oxford, and spent all the latter part of his life in London, where he was physician to Queen Anne, a strong Tory, and an intimate friend of Swift and Pope. He died in 1735, much respected and beloved. Arbuthnot’s literary fate, or rather the position which he deliberately chose, was peculiar. It is very difficult to identify much of his work, and what seems certainly his (especially the famous History of John Bull and The Memoirs of Scriblerus) is exceedingly like Swift, and was pretty certainly produced in concert with that strange genius, who, unlike some animals, never took colour from his surroundings, but always gave them his own. It is, however, high enough praise that Arbuthnot, at the best of his variable work, is not inferior to anything but the very best of Swift. There is the same fertility and the same unerringness of irony; and, if we can distinguish, it is only that a half or wholly good-natured amusement takes the place of Swift’s indignation.
Francis Atterbury,9 born in Buckinghamshire in 1672, a distinguished Christ Church man, who, after being head of his house, obtained the bishopric of Rochester and the Deanery of Westminster in succession to Sprat, was the divine and scholar of the extreme Tory party, as Arbuthnot was their man of science. He has been accused not merely of conspiring after the Hanoverian succession, but of denying it, and sailing too near perjury in this denial. Of this there is no sufficient proof, and we must remember that the political ethics of the age were extremely accomodating. He was at any rate attained, and banished (in 1723) to France, where he died nine years later. A brilliant and popular preacher, a pleasant letter-writer, a most dangerous controversialist and debater, and a good critic (though he made the usual mistakes of his age about poetry before Waller), Atterbury wrote in a style not very unlike Addison’s, though inferior to it.
The huge contemporary fame of Henry St. John, Viscount Bolingbroke,10 and its rapid and lasting decline after his death, are among the commonplaces of literary history. He was born in 1678, passed through Eton and Christ Church, entered Parliament very early, was Secretary for War at six-and-twenty, climbed with Harley to power, and contrived to edge his companion "out," but remained "in" himself only a few days, fled to the Continent, returned to England and recovered his estates, but not his seat in Parliament, in 1723, organised and carried out the English Fronde against Walpole, and died in 1751. His career—for he was as famous for "wildness" as for success—was one of those which specially appeal to the vulgar, and are not uninteresting even to unvulgar tastes. He was beyond question one of the greatest orators of his day, and he was extravagantly praised by his friends, who happened to include the chief poet and the greatest prose writer of the time. Yet hardly any one who for generations has opened the not few volumes of his works has closed them without more or less than profound disappointment. Bolinbroke, more than any other English writer, is a rhetorician pure and simple; and it was his misfortune, first, that the subjects of his rhetoric were not the great and perennial subjects, but puny ephemeral forms of them—the partisan and personal politics of his day, the singularly shallow form of infidelity called Deism, and the like—and, secondly, that his time deprived him of many, if not most, of the rhetorician’s most telling weapons. The Letter to Windham (1716), a sort of apologia, and the Ideal of a Patriot King (1749) exhibit him at his best.
Butler and Other Divines
Benjamin Hoadly (1676-1761), a pluralist courtier, and more than doubtfully orthodox divine on the Whig side, held four sees in succession, in one at least of which he was the cause of much literature, or at least many books, by provoking the famous "Bangorian" controversy. He himself wroter clearly and well. Nor can the same praise be denied to Samuel Clarke (1675-1729) philosopher, physicist, and divine. There is more diversity of opinion about the purely literary merites, as distinguished from the unquestioned claims in religious philosophy, of Bishop Joseph Butler, who was born at Wantage in 1692, left Nonconformity for the Church, went to Oriel, became preacher at the Rolls Chapel, Rector of Stanhope, Bishop of Bristol, Dean of St. Paul’s, and, lastly, Bishop of Durham, owing these appointments to no cringing or intrigue, but to his own great learning, piety, wisdom, and churchmanship, fortunately backed by Queen Caroline’s fancy for philosophy. Butler’s Sermons, published in 1726, and his Analogy of Natural and Revealed Religion ten years later, occasionally contain aphorisms of beauty equal to their depth; but it is too much to claim "crispness and clearness" for his general style,11 which is, on the contrary, too often obscure and tough.
Anthony Ashley Cooper, Earl of Shaftesbury, the third of his names and title, the grandson of "Achitophel," and the son of the "shapeless lump" (a phrase for which he never forgave Dryden), was born in 1671. His mother was Lady Dorothy Manners. He was brought up partly by a learned lady, and partly by Locke. He was for three years at Winchester, went to no University , and travelled a good deal abroad. He sat for a short time in the House of Commons, but made no figure there or in the House of Lords, where, during nearly the whole time of his tenure of the earldom (1699-1713), politics, whether Whig or Tory, were of too rough a cast for his dilettantism. He died, after more foreign travel, in 1713. His writings, scattered and not extensive, had been collected two years before as Characteristics of Men, Manners, Opinions, Times.12 Shaftesbury was an original and almost powerful thinker and writer, spoilt by an irregular education, a sort of morbid aversion from English thought generally, an early attack of Deism, and a strong touch of affectation. Much harm has been done to him by Lamb’s description of his style as "genteel," a word in Lamb’s time and later not connoting the snobbishness which has for half a century been associated with it. "Superfine," the usual epithet, is truer; though Dr. George Cambpell, an excellent critic, was somewhat too severe13 on Shaftesbury’s Gallicisms, and his imprudent and rather amateurish engagement in the Deist controversy of the time caused him to be broken a little too ruthlessly on the wheel, adamantine in polish as in strength, of Berkeley in Alciphron. His central doctrine, that ridicule is the test of truth, as well as his style, are in reality caricatures of Addison, though the dates preclude any notion of plagiarism. He is full of suggestion, and might have been a great thinker and writer.
Shaftesbury’s superfineness and his optimism seem to have had at least a considerable share in provoking the cynical pessimism of another remarkable thinker of this time, Bernard Mandeville, or de Mandeville,14 a Dutchman, born at Dordrecht about 1670, who came early to London, attained a singular mastery in English, practised physic, and died in 1733. There is some mystery, and probably some mystification, about the origin of The Grumbling Hive, better known by its later title of The Fable of the Bees. No edition earlier than 1705 is known, but Mandeville claimed a much earlier date for it. About nine years later a reprint, in 1714, drew attention, and after yet another nine years another was "presented" by the Grand Jury of Middlesex, and fiercely denounced by men of such importance as law and Berkeley. The book, which was constantly enlarged, is in its final form a cluster of prose tractates, with a verse nucleus (the original piece) showing how vice made some bees happy, and virtue made them miserable. A good deal of other work, some certainly and some probably spurious, is attributed to Mandeville, who is the Diogenes of English philosophy. An exceedingly charitable judgment may impute to deliberate paradox, and to irritation at Shaftesbury’s airy gentility, his doctrine that private vices are public benefits; but the gusto with which he caricatures and debases everything pure and noble and of good report is, unluckily, too genuine. He thought, however, with great force and acuteness, despite his moral twist; he had a strong, fertile, and whimsical humour; and his style, plebeian as it is, may challenge comparison with the most famous literary vernaculars in English for racy individuality.
If, however, Shaftesbury has rather too much of the peacock, and Mandeville a great deal too much of the polecat, about him, no depreciatory animal comparison need be sought or feared for George Berkeley, the best-praised man of his time, and among the most deserving of praise. He was born in 1685 near Kilkenny, and was educated first, like swift and Congreve earlier, at its famous grammar school, and then at Trinity College, Dublin, where he made a long residence, and wrote his chief purely philosophical works. In 1713 he went to London , and was introduced to the wits by Swift, after which he travelled on the Continent for several years. He was made Dean of Derry in 1724, went with missionary schemes, which were defeated, to North America, but returned, in 1731, and published the admirable dialogues of Alciphron. He was made Bishop of Cloyne in 1714, and for eighteen years resided in his diocese. A few months before his death, in 1753, he had gone, in bad health, to Oxford, and he died there.
Berkeley’s principal works,15 or groups of works, are first—The Theory of Vision (1709), The Principles of Human Knowledge (1710), and the Dialogues of Hylas [Materialist] and Philonous [partisan of mind], in which, continuing the Lockian process of argument against innate ideas, he practically re-established them by a further process of destruction, and brought down on himself a great deal of very ignorant attack or banter for his supposed denial of matter. The above-mentioned Alciphron; or, the Minute Philosopher, is a series of dialogues, in which the popular infidelity of the day, whether optimist like Shaftesbury’s, pessimistical like Mandeville’s, or one-sidedly critical like that of the Deists proper, is attacked in a fashion which those who sympathise with the victims accuse of occasional unfairness, but which has extraordinay cogency as polemic, and extraordinary brilliance as literature. His last important work was Siris, and odd miscellany, advocating tar-water for the body, and administering much excellent mysticism to the soul; but he wrote some minor things, and a good many letters, diaries, etc., which were not fully published till the later years of the present century [19th].
Excellence of his style
Unusually good as a man, and unusually great as a philosopher, Berkeley would have stood in the first rank as a mere writer had his character been bad or unknown, and the matter of his writings unimportant. The charm of his style is at once so subtle and so pervading that it is extremely difficult to separate and define it. He has no mannerisms; although he is a most accomplished ironist, he does not depend upon irony for the seasoning of his style, as, in different ways, do Addison and Swift; he can give the plainest and most unadorned exposition of an abstruse, philosophical doctrine with perfect literary grace. And (as, for instance, in Lysicles’ version of Mandeville’s vices-and-benefits argument) he can saturate a long passage with satiric innuendo, never once breaking out into direct tirade or direct burlesque. He can illustrate admirably, but he is never the dupe of his illustrations. He is clearer even than Hobbes and infinitely more elegant, while his dialect and arrangement, though originally arrived at for argumentative purposes, or at least in argumentative works, are equally suited for narrative, for dialogue, for description, for almost every literary end. Were it not for the intangibleness, and therefore the inimitableness, of his style, he would be an even better general model than Addison; and, as it is, he is unquestionably the best model in English, if not in any language, for philsoophical, and indeed for argumentative, writing generally.
Daniel Defoe,16 the link between the great essayists of the earlier and the great novelists of the middle years of the eighteenth century—one of the most voluminous and problematical of English writers, as well as one of all but the greatest—a man, too, of very questionable life and character—could not be fully discussed in any compendious history of English literature. But luckily it is by no means necessary that he should be so discussed, the strictly literary lines of his work being broad and clear, and the problems both of it and of his life being such as may, without any loss, be left to the specialist. He was born, it would seem, in 1659 (not , as used to be though, 1661) in the heart of London, St. Giles’s, Cripplegate, where his father (whose name was certainly Foe) was a butcher. It is not known for what reason or cause Daniel, when more than fifty, assumed the "de," sometimes as separate particle, sometimes in composition. He was well educated, but instead of becoming a Nonconformist minister, took to trade, which at intervals and in various forms (stocking-selling, tile-making, etc.) he pursued with no great luck. He seems to have been a partaker in Monmouth’s rebellion, and was certainly a good deal abroad in the later years of the seventeenth century, but he early took to the vocation of pamphleteering, which, with journalism and novel-writing, gave his three great literary courses. The chief among the many results of this was the famous Shortest Way with the Dissenters (1702), a statement of the views of the extreme "Highflying" or High Church party, in which some have seen irony, but which really is the exact analogue in argument of his future fictions, that is to say, an imitation of what he wanted to represent so close that it looks exactly like fact. He was prosecuted, fined, pilloried, and imprisoned, but in the growing Whig temper of the nation, the piece was undoubtedly very effective.
For the greater part of the reign of Queen Anne, and at first in prison, Defoe carried on, from 1704 to 1713, his famous Review, the prototype to some extent of the great later periodicals, but written entirely by himself. Before he had been long in prison he was liberated by Harley, of whose statesmanship, shifting in method, and strangely compounded of Toryism and Whiggery in principle, Defoe became a zealous secret agent. He had a great deal to do with negotiating the Union with Scotland. Nor did Harley’s fall put an end to his engagement in subterranean branches of the public service; for it has long been known that under the House of Hanover he discharged the delicate, or indelicate, part ofa Tory journalist, secretly paid by the Whig Government to tone down and take the sting out of Mist’s Journal and other opposition papers. He lived for a good many years longer, and did his best literary work in his latest period; but at the last he experienced some unexplained revolution of fortune, and died at Moorfields, in concealment and distress, in 1731.
Of Defoe’s, in the strictest sense, innumerable works the following catalogue of the most importan may serve: —Essay on Projects (1698), an instance of the restless tendency of the time towards commercial and social improvements, and of Defoe’s own fertility; The True-Born Englishman (1701), an argument in vigorous though most unpoetical verse to clear William from the disability of his foreign origin; the Hymn to the Pillory (1703), composed on the occasion of his exhibition in that implement, still more vigorous and a little less unpoetical; the curious political satire of the Consolidator (1705); the masterly Relation of Mrs. Veal, the first instance of his wonderful "lies like truth"; Jure Divino (1706), worse verse and also worse sense than The True-Born Englishman. But the best of these is poor compared with the great group of fiction of his later years — Robinson Crusoe (1719), Duncan Campbell, Memoirs of a Cavalier, and Captain Singleton (all produced in 1720), Moll Flanders, the History of the Plague, and Colonel Jack (all in 1722), Roxana (1724), and A New Voyage Round the World (1725). Besides these, he published in his later years, as he had in his earlier, a crowd of works, small and great, political, topographical, historical, moral, and miscellaneous.
It is not of much use to discuss Defoe’s moral character, and it is sincerely to be hoped that no more revelations concerning it will turn up, inasmuch as each is more damaging than the last, except to those, who have succeeded in taking his true measure once for all. It is that of a man who, with no high, fine, or poetical sentiment to save him, shared to the full the partisan enthusiasm of his time, and its belief that all was fair in politics. His literary idiosyncrasy is more comfortable to handle. He was a man of extraordinary industry and versatility, who took an interest, subject to the limitations of his temperament, in almost everything, whose brain was wonderfully fertile, and who had a style, if not of the finest or most exquisite, singularly well suited to the multifarious duties to which he put it. Also, he could give, as hardly even Bunyan had given before him, and as nobody has since, absolute verisimilitude to fictitious presentations. He seems to have done this mainly by a certain chameleon-like faculty of assuming the atmosphere and colour of his subject, and by a cunning profusion of exactly suited and selected detail. It is enough that in Robinson Crusoe he has produced, by help of this gift, a book which is, throughout its first two parts, one of the great books of the world in its particular kind; and that parts of Moll Flanders, Captain Singleton, and Colonel Jack, at least, are not inferior. Further, the "lift" which Defoe gave to the novel was enormous. He was still dependent on adventure; he did not advance mucho, if at all, beyond the more prosaic romantic scheme. But the extraordinary verisimilitude of his action could not but show the way to the last step that remained to be taken, the final projection of character.
La polémica e innovadora concepción de la historicidad presentada por Alain Touraine (en Un nuevo paradigma), así como las nociones de historicidad más tradicionales en tanto que comprensión de la situacionalidad histórica, analizadas por Ferrater Mora y otros autores, las comparamos y relacionamos con los conceptos de cartografía narrativa y de anclaje narrativo que hemos desarrollado en diversas publicaciones sobre narratología evolucionista. La definición de estos conceptos se refina mediante el examen de sus interfaces y delimitaciones, y más en concreto por referencia a la oposición entre modos de conocimiento nomotéticos e idiográficos, así como a la oposición entre clases de acontecimientos y acontecimientos individuales.
Alain Touraine's innovative and polemical concept of historicity (in A New Paradigm), as well as the more traditional notions of historicity as the understanding of historical situatedness analyzed by Ferrater Mora and other authors, are compared and related to the notions of narrative mapping and narrative anchoring I have developed in a number of papers in evolutionary narrative. The definition of these concepts is further refined as their interface and borders are examined, in particular with reference to the opposition between nomothetic and idiographic modes of knowledge, and to the opposition between classes of events and individual events.
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 3 Keywords: Events, Eventfulness, Evolution, Narrative mapping, Narrative anchoring, Conceptual mapping, Historicity, Narrative theory
eJournal Classifications ( Date posted:November 08, 2015)
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.
BUNYAN,John (1628-1688), born at Elstow, near Bedford, the son of a brazier. He learned to read and write at the village school and was early set to his father's trade. He was drafted into the parliamentary army and was stationed at Newport Pagnell, 1644-6, an experience perhaps reflected in The Holy War. In 1659 he married his first wife, who introduced him to two religious works, Dent's Plain Man's Pathway to Heaven and Bayly's Practice of Piety; these, the Bible, the Prayer Book, and Foxe's *Actes and Monuments were his principal reading matter. In 1653 he joined a Non-conformist church in Bedford, preached there, and came into conflict with the Quakers (see under FRIENDS, SOCIETY OF), against whom he published his first writings, Some Gospel Truths Opened (1656) and A Vindication (1657). He married his second wife Elizabeth c. 1659, his first having died c. 1656 leaving four children. As an itinerant tinker who presented his Puritan mission as apostolic and placed the poor and simple above the mighty and learned, Bunyan was viewed by the Restoration authorities as a militant subversive. Arrested in Nov. 1660 for preaching without a licence, he was derided at his trial as 'a pestilent fellow', to which his wife riposted, 'Beacause he is a tinker, and a poor man, therefore he is despised and cannot have justice.' Bunyan spent most of the next 12 years in Bedford Jail. During the first half of this period he wrote nine books, including his spiritual autobiography, *Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners (1666). In 1665 appeared The Holy City, or The New Jerusalem, inspired by a passage in the Book of Revelation. In 1672 he published A Confession of my Faith, and a Reason of My Practice. After his release in 1672 he was appointed pastor at the same church, but was imprisoned again for a short period in 1677 during which he probably finished the first part of *The Pilgrim's Progress, which had been written during the latter years of the first imprisonment. The first part was published in 1678, and the second, together with the whole work, in 1684. His other principal works are The Life and Death of Mr *Badman (1680) and The Holy War (1682). Bunyan preached in many parts, his down-to-earth, humorous, and impassioned style drawing crowds of hundreds, but was not further molested. Theree are recent editions of his more important works by R. Sharrock, who also wrote a biography. See also A Turbulent, Seditious and Factious People: John Bunyan and His Church by C. *Hill (1988).
Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners,or The Brief Relation of the Exceeding Mercy of God in Christ to his Poor Servant John Bunyan (1666), a Puritan conversion narrative by *Bunyan, testifying to the focal events in his journey to assurance of salvation. Its pastoral purpose was to comfort his flock at Bedford during his imprisonment. The author bound himself to the Puritan 'plain style', for 'God did not play in convincing of me . . . I may not play in relating'. The document chronicles anguished oscillation between spiritual despair and contrite reassurance and bears witness to the inner struggle of moods ('up and down twenty times in an hour') which typified Puritan experience. External events (military service in the Civil War, marriage, etc.) are subordinate to inner and spiritual events, as Bunyan struggles against the lure of church bells, the doctrines of the *Ranters, Sabbath recreations, dancing, swearing and blaspheming—even against envy of toads and dogs as being exempt from God's wrath. It details his joining of the Bedford church, call to the ministry, and trials.
The Pilgrim's Progress,from This World to That Which Is to Come, a prose allegory by *Bunyan. Part I published 1678 (a second edition with additions appeared in the same year, and a third in 1679), Part II 1684. The allegory takes the form of a dream by the author. In this he sees *Christian, with a burden on his back and reading in a book, from which he learns that the city in which he and his family dwell will be burned with fire. On the advice of Evangelist, Christian flees from the *City of Destruction, having failed to persuade his wife and children to accompany him. Pt I describes his pilgrimage through the *Slough of Despond, the Interpreter's House, the House Beautiful, the *Valley of Humiliation, the *Valley of the Shadow of Death, *Vanity Fair, *Doubting Casxtle, the *Delectable Mountains, the Country of *Beulah, to the *Celestial City. On the way he encounters various allegorical personages, among them Mr *Worldly Wiseman, *Faithful (who accompanies Christian on his way but is put to death in Vanity Fair), Hopeful (who next joins Christian), Giant *Despair, the foul fiend *Apollyon, and many others. Pt II relates how Christian's wife Christiana, moved by a vision, sets out with her children on the same pilgrimage, accompanied by her neighbour Mercy, despite the objections of Mrs Timorous and others. They are escorted by *Great-heart, who overcomes Giant Despair and other monsters and brings them to their destination. The work is a development of the Puritan conversion narrative (see GRACE ABOUNDING), drawing on popular literature such as *emblem books and *chapbooks, as well as *Foxe's Book of Martyrs and the Bible. It is remarkable for the beauty and simplicity of its language (Bunyan was permeated with the English of the Bible, though he was also a master of the colloquial English of his own time), the vividness and reality of the characterization, and the author's sense of humour and feeling for the world of nature. It circulated at first mainly in uneducated circles, and its wide appeal is shown by the fact that it has been translated into well over 100 languages. It became a children's classic, regarded by generations of parents as a manual of moral instruction and an aid to literacy, as well as a delightful tale. It was a seminal text in the development of the realistic novel, and Bunyan's humorously caustic development of the tradition of name symbolism influenced *Dickens, *Trollope, and *Thackeray.
The Life and Death of Mr Badman,an allegory by *Bunyan, published 1680. The allegory takes the form of a dialogue, in which Mr Wiseman relates the life of Mr Badman, recently deceased, and Mr. Attentive comments on it. The youthful Badman shows early signs of his vicious disposition. He beguiles a rich damsel into marriage and ruins her; sets up in trade and swindles his creditors by fraudulent bankruptcies and his customers by false weights; breaks his leg when coming home drunk; and displays a short-lived sickbed repentance. His wife dies of despair and Badman marries again, but his second wife is as wicked as he is and they part 'as poor as Howlets'. Finally Badman dies of a complication of diseases. The story is entertaining as well as edifying and has a place in the evolution of the English novel.
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.
The Reharsal,a farcical comedy attributed to George Villiers, second duke of *Buckingham, but probably written by him in collaboration with others, among whom are mentioned Samuel *Butler and Martin Clifford, master of the Charterhouse; printed 1672.
The play satirizes the heroic tragedies of the day, and consists of a series of parodies of passages from these, strung together in an absurd heroic plot. The author of the mock play is evidently a laureate (hence his name 'Bayes'), and *D'Avenant was probably intended; but there are also hits at *Dryden (particularly his Conquest of Granada) and his brothers-in-law, Edward and Robert Howard. Bayes takes two friends, Smith and Johnson, to see the rehearsal of his play, and the absurdity of this work (which includes the two kings of Brentford, entering hand in hand), coupled with the comments of Bayes, his instructions to the actors, and the remarks of Smith and Johnson, remains highly entertaining. Prince Pretty-man, Prince Volscius, and *Drawcansir are among the characters. It was one of the earliest of English dramatic *burlesques, and was much performed during the 18th cent., during which period the genre developed to one of its highest points in Sheridan's *The Critic. The work helped to inspire *Marvell's The Rehearsal Transpros'd (1672; Pt II, 1673).
Drawcansir, a character in Buckingham's *The Rehearsal, parodying Almanzor in *Dryden's The Conquest of Granada; he appears briefly in the last act in a mock-heroic stage battle, and according to the stage directions, 'kills 'em all on both sides'. *Carlyle, in his history of *Frederick the Great, refers to the 'terrific Drawcansir figures' of the French revolution, 'of enormous whiskerage, unlimited command of gunpowder . . . and even a certain heroism, stage-heroism'.
burlesque,from the Italian burla, ridicule, mockery, a literary composition or dramatic representation which aims at exciting laughter by the comical treatment of a serious subject or the caricature of the spirit of a serious work. Notable examples of burlesque in English literature are Butler's *Hudibras and Buckingham's *The Rehearsal.
CONTINUO Jonathan Rubin, Elisabeth Kenny, théorbe/Théorbo David Simpson. violoncelle/Cello Anne-Marie Lasla, viole de gambe/viola da Gamba Laurence Cummings, clavecin et assistant à la direction musicale/harpsichord and assistant director/ Cembalo und Assistent der musikalischen Leitung (Harpsichord Rückers, D. Jacques Way et Marc Ducornet, Paris)
JOHN DRYDEN: KING ARTHUR OR THE BRITISH WORTHY, "A Dramatick Opera"
KING ARTHUR or THE BRITISH WORTHY Semi opera in five acts
Libretto John Dryden
Premiere May or June 1691, London (Dorset Garden Theatre)
CHORUS sheperds and shepherdesses, soldiers, spirits, satyrs etc.
Time Middle Ages
ACT ONE FIRST SCENE King Arthur has secured all of his kingdom except Kent in the course of the battles with the Saxons; they are led by Oswald, who has set out to win not only his throne but his love, the blind Emmeline, daughter of Conon, Duke of Cornwall. Arthur takes leave of her for the final, decisive battle against the heathen invader.
SECOND SCENE A place of heathen worship; the three saxon gods, Woden, Thor and Freya placed on pedestals; an altar. Oswald, his magician Osmond and the earthly evil spirit Grimbald have brought victims for a sacrifice, to ensure victory in battle, and are preparing for the rites. Grimbald goes to the door, and re-enters with six Saxons in white, with swords in their hands. They range, themselves three and three in opposition to each other. The rest of the stage is filled with priests and singers.
BASS Woden, first to thee A milk-white steed, in battle won, We have sacrific'd.
CHORUS We have sacrific'd.
TENOR II Let our next oblation be To Thor, thy thund'ring son, Of such another.
CHORUS We have sacrific'd.
BASS A third (of Friesland breed was he) To Woden's wife, and to Thor's mother; And now we have aton'd all three.
CHORUS We have sacrific'd.
TENOR I & II The white horse neigh'd aloud. To Woden thanks we render, To Woden we have vow'd, To Woden, our defender.
CHORUS To Woden thanks we render, To Woden we have vow'd, To Woden, our defender.
SOPRANO The lot is cast, and Tanfan pleas'd; Of mortal cares you shall be eas'd.
CHORUS Brave souls, to be renown'd in story. Honour prizing, Death despising, Fame acquiring By expiring, Die and reap the fruit of glory.
TENOR I I call you all To Woden's Hall, Your temples round With ivy bound In goblets crown'd, And plenteous bowls of burnish'd gold, Where ye shall laugh And dance and quaff The juice that makes the Britons bold.
CHORUS To Woden's Hall all, Where in plenteous bowls of burnish'd gold, We shall laugh And dance and quaff The juice that makes the Britons bold.
The six Saxons are led off by the priests, in order to be sacrificed. Exeunt omnes. A battle supposed to be given behind the scenes, with drums, trumpets, and military shouts and excursions, after which the Britons, expressing their joy for the victory, sing this song of triumph.
TENOR II "Come if you dare," our trumpets sound. "Come if you dare," the foes rebound. We come, we come, we come, we come," Says the double, double, double beat of the thund'ring drum.
CHORUS "Come if you dare," our trumpets sound, etc.
TENOR II Now they charge on amain. Now they rally again. The Gods from above the mad labour behold, And pity mankind that will perish for gold.
CHORUS Now they charge on amain, etc.
TENOR II The fainting Saxons quit their ground, Their trumpets languish in their sound, They fly, they fly, they fly, they fly, "Victoria, Victoria," the bold Britons cry.
CHORUS The fainting Saxons quit their ground, etc.
TENOR II Now the victory's won, To the plunder we run, We return to our lasses like fortunate traders, Triumphant with spoils of the vanquish'd invaders.
CHORUS Now the victory's won, etc.
Philidel, a repentant airy spirit, reports to Merlin that Grimbald is approaching and will attempt to mislead the conquering Britons to cliffs, where they will fall to their deaths, by telling them that they are pursuing the retreating Saxons. Merlin commands Philidel, assisted by his band of spirits, to protect the Britons and counter. Grimbald's forces. Exit Merlin in this chariot. Merlin's spirits stay with Philidel. Enter Grimbald in the habit of a shepherd, followed by King Arthur, Conon, Aurelius, Albanact and soldiers, who wander at a distance in the scenes.
PHILIDEL Hither, this way, this way bend, Trust not the malicious fiend. Those are false deluding lights Wafted far and near by sprites. Trust 'em not, for they'll deceive ye, And in bogs and marshes leave ye.
CHORUS OF PHILIDEL'S SPIRITS Hither, this way, this way bend.
CHORUS OF GRIMBALD' S SPIRITS This way, hither, this way bend.
PHILIDEL If you step no longer thinking, Down you fall, a furlong sinking. 'Tis a fiend who has annoy'd ye: Name but Heav'n, and he'll avoid ye. Hither, this way.
PHILIDEL' S SPIRITS Hither, this way, this way bend.
GRIMBALD' S SPIRITS This way, hither, this way bend.
PHILIDEL' S SPIRITS Trust not the malicious fiend. Hither, this way, etc.
Conon and Albanact are persuaded not to follow Grimbald any further, but Grimbald produces fresh footprints as proof that they are following the Saxons.
GRIMBALD Let not a moon-born elf mislead ye From your prey and from your glory; To fear, alas, he has betray'd ye; Follow the flames that wave before ye, Sometimes sev'n, and sometimes one. Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry on.
GRIMBALD See, see the footsteps plain appearing. That way Oswald chose for flying. Firm is the turf and fit for bearing, Where yonder pearly dews are lying. Far he cannot hence be gone. Hurry, hurry, hurry, hurry on.
All are going to follow Grimbald.
PHILIDEL'S SPIRITS Hither, this way, this way bend.
GRIMBALD' S SPIRITS Hither, this way, this way bend.
PHILIDEL'S SPIRITS Trust not that malicious fiend. Hither, this way, etc.
They all incline to Philidel. Grimbald curses Philidel and sinks with a flash. Arthur gives thanks that the fiend has vanished.
PHILIDEL Come, follow me.
SOLOS Come, follow me, And me, and me, and me, and me.
CHORUS Come, follow me.
PHILIDEL, SOPRANO And green-sward all your way shall be.
CHORUS Come, follow me.
BASS No goblin or elf shall dare to offend ye.
CHORUS No goblin or elf shall dare to offend ye.
TWO SOPRANOS, TENOR We brethren of air You heroes will bear To the kind and the fair that attend ye.
CHORUS We brethren of air, etc.
Philidel and the spirits go off singing, with King Arthur and the rest in the middle of them. Enter Emmeline led by Matilda. Pavilion Scene. Emmeline and Matilda discuss King Arthur. Matilda entreats Emmeline to forget her cares and let a group of Kentish lads and lasses entertain her while she awaits Arthur's return. Enter shepherds and shepherdesses.
SHEPHERD How blest are shepherds, how happy their lasses, While drums and trumpets are sounding alarms. Over our lowly sheds all the storm passes And when we die, 'tis in each other's arms All the day on our herds and flocks employing, All the night on our flutes and in enjoying.
CHORUS How blest are shepherds, how happy their lasses, etc.
SHEPHERD Bright nymphs of Britain with graces attended, Let not your days without pleasure expire. Honour's but empty, and when youth is ended, All men will praise you but none will desire. Let not youth fly away without contenting; Age will come time enough for your repenting.
CHORUS Bright nymphs of Britain with graces attended, etc.
Here the men offer their flutes to the women, which they refuse.
TWO SHEPHERDESSES Shepherd, shepherd, leave decoying: Pipes are sweet on summer's day, But a little after toying, Women have the shot to pay. Here are marriage-vows for signing: Set their marks that cannot write. After that, without repining, Play, and welcome, day and night.
Here the women give the men contracts, which they accept.
CHORUS Come, shepherds, lead up a lively measure The cares of wedlock are cares of pleasure: But whether marriage bring joy or sorrow. Make sure of this day and hang tomorrow
The dance after the song, and exeunt shepherds and shepherdesses.
Second Act Tune: Air
Emmeline and Matilda are captured by Oswald, who has refused to release them during a parley with Arthur. The Britons prepare to rescue Emmeline from the Saxon fortress.
FIRST SCENE The Britons are panicked by the magic horrors that have been put around the Saxon fortress to protect it and want to retreat. Arthur, however, is prepared to attempt to penetrate them alone. Merlin advises him to wait until after the spells have been broken, but does promise to spirit him off to the captive Emmeline, and to restore her sight.
SECOND SCENE A Deep Wood
Philidel is captured by Grimbald while trying to find Emmeline, but he escapes and casts a strong spell over the evil spirit. Merlin and Arthur enter; Merlin gives Philidel a vial containing the drops that will restore Emmeline's sight and leaves to attempt to dispel the
dire enchantments in the wood. Emmeline and Matilda enter from the far end of the wood. Arthur withdraws as Philidel approaches Emmeline, sprinkling some of the water out of the vial over her eyes. Emmeline sees Arthur for the first time, and tells him that not only Oswald, but also Osmond desires her love. Airy spirits appear to congratulate her on the recovery of her sight, but then vanish when Philidel announces the approach of their foes. Emmeline and Matilda are left alone. Osmond, whom Emmeline now sees for the first time, ardently woos her and boasts how he has thrown Oswald into prison. Emmeline, frozen with terror, refuses his advances, but Osmond assures her that Love will thaw her, and demonstrates by using his magic wand to change Britain's mild clime to Iceland and farthest Thule's frost.
THE FROST SCENE
Osmond strikes the ground with his wand, the scene changes to a prospect of winter in frozen countries.
CUPID What ho! thou genius of this isle, what ho! Liest thou asleep beneath those hills of snow? Stretch out thy lazy limbs. Awake, awake! And winter from thy furry mantle shake.
COLD GENIUS What power art thou, who from below Hast made me rise unwillingly and slow From beds of everlasting snow? See'st thou not how stiff and wondrous old, Far unfit to bear the bitter cold, I can scarcely move or draw my breath? Let me, let me freeze again to death.
CUPID Thou doting fool forbear, forbear! What dost thou mean by freezing here? At Love's appearing, All the sky clearing, The stormy winds their fury spare. Winter subduing, And Spring renewing, My beams create a more glorious year. Thou doting fool, forbear, forbear! What dost thou mean by freezing here?
COLD GENIUS Great Love, I know thee now: Eldest of the gods art thou. Heav'n and earth by thee were made. Human nature is thy creature, Ev'rywhere thou art obey'd.
CUPID No part of my dominion shall he waste: To spread my sway and sing my praise E'en here I will a people raise Of kind embracing lovers, and embrac'd.
Cupid waves his wand, upon which the scene opens, discovers a prospect of ice and snow. Singers and dancers, men and women, appear.
CHORUS OF COLD PEOPLE See, see, we assemble Thy revels to hold: Tho' quiv'ring with cold We chatter and tremble.
CUPID 'Tis I, 'tis I, 'tis I that have warm'd ye. In spite of cold weather I've brought ye together. 'Tis I, 'tis I, 'tis I that have warm'd ye,
CHORUS 'Tis Love, 'tis Love, 'tis Love that has warm'd us. In spite of the weather He brought us together. 'Tis Love, 'tis Love, 'tis Love that has warm'd us.
CUPID & COLD GENIUS Sound a parley, ye fair, and surrender, Set yourselves and your lovers at ease. He's a grateful offender Who pleasure dare seize: But the whining pretender Is sure to displease. Sound a parley, ye fair, and surrender. Since the fruit of desire is possessing, 'Tis unmanly to sigh and complain. When we kneel for redressing, We move your disdain. Love was made for a blessing And not for a pain.
CHORUS 'Tis Love, 'tis Love, 'tis Love that has warm'd us, etc.
Third Act Tune: Hornpipe
A dance; after which the singers and dancers depart. Emmeline is saved from Osmond's lustful advances when the ensnared Grimbald cries out, compelling the magician to go to the rescue of his evil spirit.
FIRST SCENE Osmond learns that Merlin has broken his spells but plans to cast new spells and seduce Arthur with visions of beauty.
SECOND SCENE The Wood
Arthur, having first been warned by Merlin that everything he sees is illusion, is left alone in the wood under the watchful eye of Philidel, who can reveal any evil spirits with a wave of Merlin's wand. Arthur is amazed that instead of the horrors and dangers he had expected, he hears soft music and sees a golden bridge spanning a silver stream. Though suspecting a trap, he approaches the bridge. Two sirens naked to the waist, emerge, begging him to lay aside his sword and join them.
TWO SIRENS Two daughters of this aged stream are we, And both our sea-green locks have comb'd for ye. Come bathe with us an hour or two; Come naked in, for we are so. What danger from a naked foe? Come bathe with us, come bathe, and share What pleasures in the floods appear. We'll beat the waters till they bound And circle round, and circle round.
Though sorely tempted, Arthur resists and presses on.As he is going forward, nymphs and sylvans come out from behind the trees. Dance with song, all with branches in their bands.
TENOR I How happy the lover, How easy his chain! How sweet to discover He sighs not in vain.
CHORUS How happy the lover, etc.
SYLVAN & NYMPH For love ev'ry creature Is form'd by his nature. No joys are above The pleasures of love.
CHORUS No joys are above. The pleasures of love.
THREE NYMPHS In vain are our graces, In vain are your eyes. In vain are our graces If love you despise. When age furrows faces, 'Tis too late to be wise.
THREE SYLVANS Then use the sweet blessing While now in possessing. No joys are above The pleasures of love.
THREE NYMPHS No joys are above The pleasures of love.
CHORUS No joys are above The pleasures of love.
Fourth Act Tune: Air
Arthur commands the sylvans, nymphs and sirens begone and they vanish. In an attempt to break the spells, he draws his sword and strikes a blow at the finest tree in the wood. A vision of Emmeline appears from its trunk, her arm wounded by the blow; it persuades him to lay down his sword and take her hand. Philidel rushes in, and with a touch of the wand reveals the vision to be Grimbald in disguise, Arthur then fells the tree, breaking the spells and opening a safe passage for the Britons to the Saxon fortress. Grimbald is bound up by Philidel and led out into daylight.
FIRST SCENE Osmond's spells have been broken and his spirit Grimbald captured. He decides to release Oswald from the prison in the hope that together they may at last defeat Arthur.
SECOND SCENE The Britons march on the Saxon fortress, and are met by Oswald, who proposes the war be decided in single combat with Arthur. After a very close fight, in which the two magicians are also pitted against each other, Arthur finally succeeds in disarming Oswald, but grants him his life.
A consort of trumpets within, proclaiming Arthur's victory. While they sound, Arthur and Oswald seem to confer. Arthur commands Oswald to return to Saxony with his men. Emmeline is restored to Arthur. Merlin imprisons Osmond and proclaims the triumph of British sovereignty, faith and love. Merlin waves his wand; the scene changes, and discovers the British Ocean in a storm. Aeolus in a cloud above: Four Winds hanging, etc.
AEOLUS Ye blust'ring brethren of the skies, Whose breath has ruffled all the wat'ry plain, Retire, and let Britannia rise In triumph o'er the main. Serene and calm, and void of fear, The Queen of Islands must appear.
Aeolus ascends, and the Four Winds fly off. The scene opens, and discovers a calm sea, to the end of the house. An island arises, to a soft tune; Britannia seated in the island, with fishermen at her feet, etc. The tune changes; the fisher men come ashore, and dance a while; after which, Pan and a Nereid come on the stage, and sing.
NEREID, PAN Round thy coast, fair nymph of Britain, For thy guard our waters flow: Proteus all his herd admitting On thy green to graze below: Foreign lands thy fish are tasting; Learn from thee luxurious fasting.
CHORUS Round thy coast, fair nymph of Britain, etc.
ALTO, TENOR, BASS For folded flocks, and fruitful plains, The shepherd's and the farmer's gains, Fair Britain all the world outvies; And Pan, as in Arcadia, reigns Where pleasure mix'd with profit lies. Tho' Jason's fleece was fam'd of old, The British wool is growing gold; No mines can more of wealth supply: It keeps the peasants from the cold, And takes for kings the Tyrian dye.
Enter Comus with peasants.
COMUS Your hay, it is mow'd and your corn is reap'd, Your barns will be full and your hovels heap'd. Come, boys, come, Come, boys, come, And merrily roar out our harvest home.
CHORUS OF PEASANTS Harvest home, Harvest home, And merrily roar out our harvest home.
COMUS We've cheated the parson, we'll cheat him again, For why shou'd a blockhead have one in ten? One in ten, one in ten, For why shou'd a blockhead have one in ten?
PEASANTS One in ten, one in ten, For why shou'd a blockhead have one in ten?
COMUS For prating so long, like a book-learn'd sot, Till pudding and dumpling are burnt to the pot: Burnt to pot, burnt to pot, Till pudding and dumpling are burnt to pot.
PEASANTS Burnt to pot, burnt to pot, Till pudding and dumpling are burnt to the pot.
COMUS We'll toss off our ale till we cannot stand; And heigh for the honour of old England; Old England, Old England, And heigh for the honour of old England.
PEASANTS Old England, Old England, And heigh for the honour of old England.
The dance varied into a round country-dance.
VENUS Fairest isle, all isles excelling, Seat of pleasure and of love; Venus here will choose her dwelling, And forsake her Cyprian grove. Cupid from his fav'rite nation, Care and envy will remove; Jealousy that poisons passion, And despair that dies for love. Gentle murmurs, sweet complaining, Sighs that blow the fire of love; Soft repulses, Kind disdaining, Shall be all the pains you prove. Ev'ry swain shall pay his duty, Grateful ev'ry nymph shall prove; And as these excel in beauty, Those shall be renown'd for love.
SHE You say, 'tis Love creates the pain, Of which so sadly you complain, And yet would fain engage my heart In that uneasy cruel part; But how, alas! think you that I Can bear the wounds of which you die?
HE 'Tis not my passion makes my care, But your indiff'rence gives despair: The lusty sun begets no spring Till gentle show'rs assistance bring; So Love, that scorches and destroys, Till kindness aids, can cause no joys.
SHE Love has a thousand ways to please, But more to rob us of our ease; For waking nights and careful days, Some hours of pleasure he repays; But absence soon, or jealous fears, O'erflows the joy with floods of tears.
HE But one soft moment makes amends For all the torment that attends.
BOTH Let us love, let us love and to happiness haste. Age and wisdom come too fast. Youth for loving was design'd.
HE I'll be constant, you be kind.
SHE You be constant, I'll be kind.
BOTH Heav'n can give no greater blessing Than faithful love and kind possessing.
Trumpet Tune (Warlike Consort)
The scene opens above, and discovers the Order of the Garter. Enter Honour, attended by heroes.
HONOUR Saint George, the patron of our Isle, A soldier and a saint, On this auspicious order smile, Which love and arms will plant.
CHORUS Our natives not alone appear To court the martial prize; But foreign kings adopted here Their crowns at home despise. Our Sov'reign high, 'in awful state, His honours shall bestow; and see his sceptred subjects wait On his commands below.
Notas sobre The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print, libro editado por Neil Rhodes y Jonathan Sawday (Routledge, 2000). El volumen trata sobre el desarrollo de la tecnología de la imprenta como medio estético y cognitivo en los siglos XVI y XVII, y sobre el impacto de este nuevo medio en la organización y el uso social del conocimiento, estableciendo frecuentes analogías con el desarrollo de la escritura electrónica al final del siglo XX.
Notes on The Renaissance Computer: Knowledge Technology in the First Age of Print, ed. Neil Rhodes and Jonathan Sawday (Routledge, 2000). The volume addresses the development of printing technology as an aesthetic and cognitive medium in the 16th and 17th centuries, and the impact of this new medium on the organization and social use of knowledge, finding frequent analogies in the development of electronic writing at the turn of the century.
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 88
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From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.
Samson Agonistes,a tragedy by *Milton, published 1671, in the same volume as *Paradise Regained. Its composition was traditionally assigned to 1666-70, but W. R. Parker in his biography (1968) argues that it was written much earlier, possibly as early as 1647. A closet drama never intended for the stage, it is modelled on Greek tragedy, and has been frequently compared to Prometheus Bound by *Aeschylus or Oedipus at Colonus by *Sophocles: other critics have claimed that its spirit is more Hebraic (or indeed Christian) than Hellenic. Predominantly in blank verse, it also contains passages of great metrical freedom and originality, and some rhyme. Samson Agonistes (i.e. Samson the Wrestler, or Champion) deals with the last phase of the life of Samson of the Book of Judges when he is a prisoner of the Philistines and blind, a phase which many have compared to the assumed circumstance of the blind poet himself, after the collapse of the Commonwealth and his political hopes.
Samson, in prison at Gaza, is visited by friends of his tribe (the chorus) who comfort him; then by his old father Manoa, who holds out hopes of securing his release; then by his wife *Dalila, who seeks pardon and reconciliation, but being repudiated shows herself ’a manifest Serpent’; then by Harapha, a strong man of Gath, who taunts Samson. He is finally summoned to provide amusement by feats of strenght for the philistines, who are celebrating a feast to *Dagon. He goes, and presently a messenger brings news of his final feat of strength in which he pulled down the pillars of the place where the assembly was gathered, destroying himself as well as the entire throng. The tragedy, which has many passages questioning divine providence (’Just or unjust, alike seem miserable’), ends with the chorus’s conclusion that despite human doubts, all is for the best in the ’unsearchable dispose / of highest wisdom’: its last words, ’calm of mind all passion spent’, strike a note of Aristotelian *catharsis, and the whole piece conforms to the *neo-classical doctrine of unities.
Stanley Fish on Samson Agonistes:
Heads of an answer to Fish:
- The notion of unconscious meanings, tensions in the writer’s project, unresolved conflicting intentions.... etc. have vanished from this clear-cut distinction between meaning and significance (which, incidentally, reminds me of E. D. Hirsch rather than Fish—whither Deconstruction?). But a theorization of such tensions seem to be a prime critical tool in dealing with Milton, witness e.g. the issue of Satanic parallelisms with the Parliamentarians, and the Absolutist trappings of his God in ’Paradise Lost’.
- ’9/11 terrorist bombings are out of Milton’s context, and are therefore a matter of significance, not meaning’. OK (but let me point out that discussion of significance is well within the province of the literary critic’s activity, contrary to what Fish’s closing words would seem to imply. A discussion of Milton is also a discussion of the Milton semantic complex which includes his interpretations). OK ... BUT:
- The unresolved issue of the legitimacy or legitimation of political violence, is, indeed, part of Milton’s contemporary context, as is the issue of terrorist bombings of political and ideological landmarks causing indiscriminate death. It is indeed a prominent element in the aforementioned tensions. And if 9/11 as a massacre is outside his ken, Milton was well aware of another (intended) massacre, the Fifth of September, which has some uncanny parallels to the Samson suicide bombing of the Temple of Dagon. Not as far as the suicide is concerned, perhaps, but insofar as it should have been a spectacular and symbolic massacre of infidels en masse, together with their leaders, inspired and justified by a religious rationale. Milton had written while at Cambridge a Latin exercise on the Gunpowder Plot, "In quintum Novembris, Anno aetatis 17", with appropriate Protestant glee at the discomfiture of the plotters. Now, in old age, he seems to be writing a palinode, and a justification of the political and religious violence of "thralled discontent", on second thoughts. Of course, this time God was on ’his’ side, at least on the side of that part of his brain he was aware of.
- Fish’s distinction between meaning, significance, and appropriation are therefore too neat. They are illustrative as pointers, but reality’s much more of a mess and a mesh; and intention is also a much more complex affair than he allows it to be here. Actually, the tensions and the intentions in Milton and in his poems cannot be cut off from the tensions and intentions circulating in his own context, which is not (but also is, to a certain extent) our own.
From the Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
DRYDEN, John (1631-1700), educated at Westminster School under *Busby and at Trinity College, Cambridge. He inherited a small estate, but supported himself mainly by his writing. His first major poem was the Heroique Stanza's (1658) on the death of Cromwell: he later celebrated the King's return with Astraea Redux and To His Sacred Majesty. Other poems were addressed to Sir Robert Howard, whose sister Lady Elizabeth Dryden married in 1663; the earl of *Clarendon, *Charleton, and Lady Castlemaine. He also published a long poem in quatrains, *Annus Mirabilis (1667), but most os his early writing was for the theatre and included several rhymed heroic plays, The Indian Queen (1664, in collaboration with Sir Robert Howard), The Indian Emperour (1665, which has the Mexican ruler Montezuma as subject), *Tyrannick Love (1669), and The Conquest of Granada in two parts (1670). He also wrote comedies, The Wild Gallant (1663), The Rival Ladies (1664), Sir Martin Mar-all (1667, in collaboration with the Duke of *Newcastle), *An Evening's Love (1668), and a radical adaptation of *The Tempest (1667, with *D'Avenant). He was most original, however, with his tragi-comedies, Secret Love (1667), *Marriage-à-la-mode (1672), The Assignation (1672), and a second Shakespeare adaptation, *Troilus and Cressida (1679). All these plays, together with the operatic adaptation of *Paradise Lost, under the title The State of Innocence, and Fall of Man (unperformed, pub 1667) and the immensely successful Oedipus (1678, with N. *Lee), reveal Dryden's considerable interest in philsoophical and political questions. He became *poet laureate in 1668, and historiographer royal in 1670.
Dryden constantly defended his own literarypractice. His first major critical work was *Of Dramatick Poesie (1668). Subsequent essays include A Defence of an Essay (1668)(, preface to An Evening's Love (1671), Of Heroick Plays (1672), Heads of an Answer (to *Rymer, c. 1677, pub. 1711), and The Grounds of Criticism in Tragedy, prefixed to preface to Troilus and Cressida (1679). *Aureng-Zebe was his bes rhymed heoric play. The prologue, however, denounces rhyme in serious drama, and his next tragedy, *All for Love (1678), was in blank verse. Much of Dryden's criticism was devoted to the assessment of his Elizabethan predecessors, Shakespeare, *Jonson, and *Fletcher. Despite his genuine respect for their achievement, Dryden was unsparing in his enumeration of what he perceived as their 'faults', although he frequently modified his critical views and his artistic practice. This flexibility as critic and dramatist left him vulnerable to attack. He was represented as Bayes in *The Rehearsal (1671) by *Buckingham, and physically assaulted in 1679, possibly at the instigation of *Rochester. His principal opponent was *Shadwell, whom Dryden ridiculed in *Mac Flecknoe (c. 1676, pub. 1682). Other poems in which he develops his critical principles include many witty and imaginative prologues and epilogues, and poems about, or addressed to, fellow writers and artists, notably Lee, *Roscommon, *Oldham, *Congreve, and *Kneller.
The constitutional crisis of the late 1670 and early 1680s saw Dryden's emergence as a formidable Tory polemicist. His contribution to the political debate included plays, especially *The Spanish Fryar (1680), The Duke of Guise (1682, written with Lee), and the operatic Albion and Albanius (1685); his celebrated satires *Absalom and Achitophel (1681), *The Medall (1682), and a number of lines for N. *Tate's The Second Part of Absalom and Achitophel (1682), as well as a host of partisan prologues and epilogues. His interest in religion was also heightened at this time. In *Religio Laici (1682) he offers a defence of the Anglican via media. However, following the accession of James II Dryden became a Catholic and wrote *The Hind and the Panther (1687) in suport of his new co-religionists. At the death of Charles II he attempted a Pindaric *ode, Threnodia Augustalis (1685), the first of several poems in this form, notably To the Pious Memory . . . of Mrs Anne Killigrew (1686), A Song for Saint Cecilia's Day (1687), 'An Ode, on the Death of Mr Henry Purcell' (1696), and Alexander's Feast (1697), which was later incorporated into *Fables Ancient and Modern (1700). Dryden also wroter numerous witty elegant songs for his many plays.
In 1689 he lost both his court offices and returned to the theatre. Two of his late plays, *Don Sebastian (1689) and *Amphitryon (1690), are excellent; Cleomenes (1692) is intellectually impressive; and only Love Triumphant (1694) is a failure; but Dryden was tired of the theatre and turned to the politically less compromising work of translating. His immense and splendid achievements in this field include translations of small pieces from *Theocritus and *Horace, and more substantial passages from *Homer, *Lucretius, *Persius, *Juvenal, *Ovid, *Boccaccio, and *Chaucer, as well as the whole of *Virgil. His version of the Georgics is especially magnificent. In all these translations he made frequent but subtle allusions to his Jacobite principles. He also returned to criticism, notably in preface to the Sylvae (1685), *A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire (1693), Dedication to Examen Poeticum (1693), and Dedication of the Aeneis (1697). His culminating and most impressive achivement both as critic and translator was Fables Ancient and Modern, which should be read as a whole, and to which 'The Secular Masque' (1700) is a wise and noble coda. He was buried in Westminster Abbey (see also RESTORATION).
Other works by Dryden include:
Plays: Amboyna (1673, a tragedy), *Mr Limberham (1679, a sexually explicit comedy), and a dramatic opera, King Arthur (1691). Poems: 'Upon the Death of Lord Hastings' (1649), Britannia Rediviva (1688), Eleonora (1696). Prose works: His Majesty's Declaration Defended (1681), Life of Plutarch (1683), Vindication of the Duke of Guise (1683), Character of St Evrémond (1692), Character of Polybius (1693), Life of Lucian (1711), translations of Maimbourg's The History of the League (1684), Bouhours' Life of St Francis Xavier (1686), Du Fresnoy's De Arte Graphica (1695).
The standard complete edition is The Works of John Dryden, ed. E. N. Hooker et al. (1956- ), 20 vols pub. as of 1997. Other editions include Sir W. *Scott's (18 vols, 1808, with life as vol. i, rev. edn. by *Saintsbury, 18 vols, 1882-93); Dramatic Works, ed. M. Summers (6 vols, 1931-2); Poems, ed. J. Kinsley (4 vols, 1948); The Poems of John Dryden, ed. P. Hammond (4 vols , 1995- ); Of Dramatic Poesy, and Other Critical Essays, ed. G. Watson (2 vols, 1962); Letters, ed. C. E. Ward (1942). See also J. A. Winn, John Dryden and His World (1987); J. and K. Kinsley (eds.), Dryden: The Critical Heritage (1971); P. Harth, Contexts of Dryden's Thought (1968) and Pen for a Party (1993).
Notes on some works by Dryden (from the Oxford Companion):
Annus Mirabilis,a poem in quatrains by *Dryden, published 1667.
Its subjects are the Dutch War (1665-6) and the Fire of London. Prefaced by 'Verses to her Highness and Dutchess' [of York], it indicates that even in the 1660s Dryden's optimism about the monarchy, mercantilism, and the *Royal Society (of which he was a fellow) did not preclude the expression of an ironic vision of history. Queen Elizabeth II, to the bewilderment of some journalists, drew on Dryden's poem in a speech (24 Nov. 1992) referring to the fire of Windsor in that year, using the words 'Annus Horribilis'.
Tyrannick Love,or The Royal Martyr, a heroic play by *Dryden, produced and published 1669.
Based on the legend of the martyrdom of St Catherine by the Roman emperor Maximin, it contains some of Dryden's most extravagant heroic verse. Possibly deliberately comic at times, it is also seriously concerned with contrasting Lucretian and Christian conceptions of God. It was ridiculed in *The Rehearsal, and by *Shadwell. Dryden himself satirizes its excesses in *Mac Flecknoe.
An Evening's Love,or The Mock Astrologer, a comedy by Dryden, produced 1668, published 1671. Combining elements of Spanish intrigue comedy and fast-moving farce with sexually explicit language, it proved a commercial though not an artistic success. The plog, borrowed from M. de *Scudéry, *Corneille, Quinault, *Molière, and others, shows the exploits of two English cavaliers, Wildblood and Bellamy, in Madrid at carnival time. In the course of the play Bellamy acts the part of the eponymous astrologer, and bothe men gain Spanish wives while also helping their host Don Lopez to one. Most memorable are the scenes featuring Wildblood's spirited mistress Jacinta testing her lover in the guise first of a Moor and then of a Mulatta. Despite Wildblood's spectacular failure to remain faithful to her on both occasions, Jacinta forgives him and agrees to marry him. The preface to this play is among the most stimulating of Dryden's critical essays. He defends drama as entertainment, and replies to charges of plagiarism, offering his most explicit statement on literary appropriation to this date. The preface represents his views when he was least sympathetic to *Jonson and is therefore of importance in the dispute with Jonson's champion *Shadwell which culminated in *Mac Flecknoe.
Marriage-à-la-Mode,a tragi-comedy by *Dryden produced 1672, published 1623. The main plot concerns a usurper's discovery that his daughter and his (lawful) predecerssor's son have been secretly reared together in rural seclusion and have fallen idealistically in love. The comic plot is a double intrigue involving two friends and their pursuit respectively of the wife of the one and the betrothed of the other. The counterpointing of these contrasting plots is particularly striking, especially as each ends anticlimactically, the lawful heir being restored to his throne in an overtly stagy manner, and the adulterous lovers failing to consummate their affairs. The play contains some of Dryden's finest songs, and embodies the principles of comic writing outlined in his preface to *An Evening's Love.
Of Dramatick Poesy:An Essay by *Dryden, published 1668. The essay is in the form of a dialogue between Eugenius (C. *Sackville), Crites (Sir Robert Howard), Lisideius (*Sedley), and Neander (Dryden himself), who take a boat on the Thames on the day of the battle between the English and Dutch navies in June 1665, and subsequently discuss the comparative merits of English and French drama, and of the old and new in English drama. The essay is largely concerned with justifying Dryden's current practice as a playwright. It also contains admirable appreciations of Shakespeare, J. *Fletcher, and *Jonson.
Aureng-Zebe, a tragedy by *Dryden, produced 1675, published 1676. The plot is remotely based on the contemporary events by which the Mogul Aureng-Zebe wrested the empire of India from his father and his brothers. The hero is a figure of exemplary rationality, virtue, and patience, whose stepmother lusts after him and whose father pursues the woman with whom Aureng-Zebe is himself in love. Apparently highly schematic in its organization, this last of Dryden's rhymed heroic plays evinces a deeply disturbing awareness of the anarchy and impotence which threaten every aspect of human life, emotional, moral, and political.
All for Love, or The World Well Lost, a tragedy by *Dryden produced and published 1678. Written in blank verse in acknowledged imitation of Shaespeare's *Antony and Cleopatra, it is Dryden's most performed and his best-known play. It concentrates on the last hours in the lives of its hero and heroine. In contrast to Shakespeare's play, it is an exemplary neo-classical tragedy, notable for its elaborately formal presentation of character, action, and theme. (See NEO-CLASSICISM.)
Mac Flecknoe(c. 1676), or A Satyr upon the True-Blew-Protestant Poet, T. S., a *mock-epic poem by *Dryden published 1682, and in a definitive edition, 1684.
The outcome of a series of disagreements, personal, professional, and critical, between Dryden and *Shadwell, the poem represents the latter as heir to the kingdom of poetic dullness, currently governed by the minor writer *Flecknoe. It brilliantly exploits the crudity of Shadwell's farces (notably The Virtuoso) and critical writings; while the range of its allusions to 17th-cent. theatre demonstrates the complexity of Dryden's critical thought and, since he satirized his own work (notably *Tyrannick Love) as well as Shadwell's, his humility towards the tradition in which he was working. Mac Flecknoe was a vital inspiration for Pope's Dunciad.
The Spanish Fryar,a tragi-comedy by *Dryden, produced and published 1681. The serious plot is characteristically about a usurpation. Torrismond, though he does not know it, is lawful heir to the throne, and secretly marries the reigning but unlawful queen, who has allowed Torrismond's father, the true king, to be murdered in prison. The sub-plot is dominated by Father dominic, a monstrous corrupt friar, who uses the cant terms of Dissenters and who pimps for the libertine and whiggish Lorenzo. The latter is a highly dubious character, yet ironically it is through his agency that the lawful Torrismond is rescued. The woman Lorenzo is pursuing, however, turns out to be his sister. The play is like *Mr Limberham in breaching comic as well as tragic decorum and in its deeply sceptical treatemnt of religious and political orthodoxies.
Absalom and Achitophel,an allegorical poem by *Dryden, published 1681. A *mock-biblical satire based on 2 Sam. 13-19, it deals with certain aspects of the Exclusion crissi, notably the intrigues of the earl of Shafesbury and the ambition of the duke of Monmouth to replace James duke of York as Charles II's heir. Various public figures are represented under biblical names, notably Monmouth (Absalom), *Shaftesbury (Achitophel), the duke of *Buckingham (Zimri), Charles II (David), *Oates (Corah), and Slingsby Bethel, sheriff of London (Shimei). The poem concludes with a long speech by David vigorously but paradoxically affirming Royalist principles, and asserting his determination to govern ruthlessly if he cannot do so mercifully. In 1682 a second part appeared, mainly written by N. *Tate. However, it contains 200 lines by Dryden, in which he attacks two literary and political enemies, *Shadwell as Og an *Settle as Doeg.
The Medall,a poem by *Dryden, published 1682. The earl of *Shaftesbury, who is represented in *Absalom and Achitophel and possibly in *Mr Limberham, was acquitted of charges of high treason in 1681, and a medal was struck to commemorate the event. Dryden's response includes savage attacks on Shaftesbury himself, the City, and the Commons. It predicts with some accuracy the constituted instability which was to beset the country in the ensuing 30 years. *Shadwell and Samuel Pordage (1633-?91) both wrote replies.
Religio Laici,a poem by *Dryden, published 1682. Written in defence of Anglicanism against Deist, Catholic, and Dissenting arguments, Religio Laici combines an exalted recognition of religious sublimity with a defence of a 'layman's' reasonable and straightforward religious attitudes. The poem's operning lines, beginning 'Dim as the borrow'd Beams of Moon and Stars', are among the finest Dryden wrote.
The Hind and the Panther,a poem by *Dryden, published 1687. Dryden became a Catholic in 1685, and the poem represents an attempt to reconcile Anglican and Catholic political interests, while at the same time defending Catholic doctrine. The first part describes various religious sects under the guise of different beasts, and in particular the Catholic Church and the Church of England as the Hind and the Panther respectively. The second part is occupied with arguments about church authority and transubstantiation, issues full of political as well as ecclesiological implications. This leads into the third part, which constitutes half the poem, and is designed to recommend a political alliance between both Churches and the Crown against Whigs and Dissenters. It contains two celebrated fables, that of the swallows and that of the doves. However the balance of the latter, and so of the whole poem, may have been upset by James II's Second Declaration of Indulgence, which appealed to dissenting protestant sects over the heads of the Anglican establishment.
Fables, Ancient and Modern, by *Dryden, published 1700. Verse paraphrases of tales by *Ovid, *Boccaccio, and *Chaucer are interspersed with poems of Dryden's own, and together with the preface, in itself one of the most important examples of Dryden's criticism, they compose themselves into an Ovidian and Catholic meditation on the place of nature, sex, and violence in the flux of history.
Don Sebastian, a tragi-comedy by *Dryden, produced 1689, published 1691. The play is based on the legend that King Sebastian of Portugal survived the battle of Alcazar. He and the princess Almeyda, with whom he is in love, are captured by Muley Moloch, who spares their lives until he discovers that they have secretly married. In love with Almeyda himself, he orders Dorax, a renegade Portuguese nobleman, to execute Sebastian, but Dorax, once Sebastian's favourite, refuses to do so. Muley Moloch is killed in a revolt, but Sebastian and Almeyda then discover that their marriage is incestuous, and they renounce each other and their thrones. However, they do not renounce the memory of their love, which is subsumed in ecstatic and total submission to the decrees of an inscrutable Providence. Counterpointing this main plot is a notably erotic and earthy sub-plot. The play is Dryden' most complex dramatic treatment of a number of important political, sexual, and religious themes.
Amphytrion,a comedy by *Dryden, produced and published 1690. Adapted from the comedies of *Plautus and *Molière on the same subject, it represents the story of Jupiter's seduction of Alcmena in the guise of her husband Amphytrion. In this he is aided by Mercury, who is disguised as Amphytrion's slave Sosia. The cruel abuse of mortal love by the gods is in striking contrast to the play's uninhibited eroticism. The same story was adapted by *Giraudoux in his Amphytrion 38 (1929).
A Discourse Concerning the Original and Progress of Satire,by *Dryden. The Discourse was published with The Satires (1693) of *Juvenal and *Persius, translated by various hands, among them Dryden's. Less impressive for its scholarship (which is not, however, negligible) than for its broad sense of the principles underlying literary and social history, it distinguishes between 'Varronian', 'Horatian', and 'Juvenalian' satire in a way that has considerably influenced criticism of Dryden's own satirical works and that of his Augustan successors.
Mr Limberham,or The Kind Keeper, a comedy by *Dryden, produced 1679, published 1680. The play was banned by royal decree after three performances and has been execrated since, but Dryden nonetheless thought highly of it. The title role is possibly based on *Shaftesbury. Limberham is an impotent masochist, who is cuckolded by the oversexed hero Woodall, to whom every woman in the play succumbs. In this Woodall (who has been brought up abroad and is under an assumed name) is enthusiastically abetted by his unknowing father, Aldo. By implication the play attacks the patriarchism of a sexually corrupt court, the blind hedonism of the nobility, and the hypocrisy of Dissenters.
Del libro XVIII.42-51 de las Etimologías de San Isidoro de Sevilla, hacia el año 600. El estado del teatro a principios del siglo VII—observemos que se habla en pasado, mayormente; era cosa de antes y de paganos. La exposición sigue a Tertuliano, que escribió De spectaculis hacia el año 200. El tratado de San Isidoro sitúa a los espectáculos teatrales después de las competiciones deportivas y antes de las peleas de gladiadores en el anfiteatro.
42. Sobre el teatro
1. Teatro es el lugar en que se encuentra un escenario; tiene forma de semicírculo y en él todos los presentes observan. Su forma fue inicialmente circular, como el anfiteatro; después, de medio anfiteatro se hizo un teatro. El nombre de theatrum le viene del espectáculo mismo, derivado de theoria, porque en él el pueblo, colocado en los lugares elevados y asistiendo como espectadores, contemplaba los juegos. 2. Al teatro se le denomina también "prostíbulo", porque, terminado el espectáculo, allí se prostituían (prostrare) las rameras. Se llama también lupanar por esas mismas meretrices que, a causa de la frivolidad de su prostituido cuerpo, reciben el nombre de lupae (lobas), pues "lobas" son llamadas las prostitutas por su rapacidad, ya que atraen hacia ellas a los desdichados y los atrapan. Pues los paganos establecieron lupanares para que allí se expusiera al público el pudor de las infelices mujeres y sufrieran deshonra tanto los que allí acudían como quienes en aquel lugar se prostituían.
43. La escena
La escena era el lugar situado en la parte inferior del teatro; tenía la apariencia de una casa dotada de una tribuna, tribuna que se denominaba orchestra y en la que cantaban los actores cómicos o trágicos, y donde bailaban los histriones y los mimos. El nombre de escena es de origen griego: se denomina así porque presentaba el aspecto de una casa. Por idéntico motivo, entre los hebreos, la dedicación de los tabernáculos se llamaba skenopégia, por la semejanza que éstos tenían con una casa.
44. La orchestra La orchestra era la tribuna de la escena; en ella podía actuar el bailarín o representar dos personas en una disputa. A ella subían los poetas cómicos o trágicos a rivalizar en los certámenes. Y mientrs unos cantaban, otros hacían pasos de danza. Los que se dedicaban al arte escénico eran los tragediógrafos, comediógrafos, músicos, histriones, mimos y danzarines.
45. Sobre los tragediógrafos Los tragediógrafos son los que, con verso triste y ante el público espectador, contaban las antiguas hazañas y delitos de reyes criminales.
46. Sobre los comediógrafos
Los comediógrafos son los que, con sus palabras y sus gestos, cantaban hechos de personas particulares y representaban en sus comedias los estupros de las doncellas y los amores de las prostitutas.
47. Sobre los músicos
Thymelici eran los músicos de la escena, que iniciaban el canto con sus instrumentos musicales, de ordinario liras o cítaras. Se les denominaba thymelici porque antiguamente cantaban subidos en la orchestra, en lo alto de la tribuna, que era llamada thymele. 48. Sobre los histriones
Los histriones son los que, vestidos con ropas femeninas, imitaban los gestos de las mujeres impúdicas. Asimismo, con sus danzas representaban historias y hechos ocurridos. Se les llama histriones porque este tipo de actores fue traído de Histria; o porque representaban comedias urdidas con diferentes historias, como si se les dijera historiones.
49. Sobre los mimos
A los mimos se les denomina así, con un término griego, porque son imitadores de las cosas humanas. Tenían su propio guionista; éste, antes de que se representase la acción mímica, narraba el argumento. Y es que los poetas componían las comedias de tal modo que pudieran adaptarse perfectamente al movimiento del cuerpo.
50. Sobre los danzarines
Varrón afirma que los danzarines recibieron el nombre de saltatores derivándolo del árcade Salio, a quien Eneas llevó consigo a Italia, y que fue el primero que enseñó a danzar a los jóvenes nobles romanos.
51. Qué se representa y bajo qué patronato
Es de todo punto evidente el patrocinio de Líber y de Venus en las artes escénicas y en todo lo propio y privativo de la escena, como son los gestos y flexiones del cuerpo. En efecto, ofrendaban a Líber y a Venus la sensualidad, unos por el sexo, y otros, disolutos, por el fasto. Por su parte, todo cuanto se desarrolló mediante la palabra y el canto, los instrumentos de viento y las liras, tiene como patronos a los Apolos, las Musas, las Minervas y los mercurios. Tú, cristiano, debes aborrecer este espectáculo del mismo modo que aborreciste a sus patronos.
Nota de los editores José Oroz y Manuel A. Marcos: "Todo este capítulo, con muy ligeras variantes, está tomado literalmente de Tertuliano (De Spectaculis 10.8-9). La edición de E. Castorina, en este pasaje de Tertuliano, recoge flexu; aunque—indica en la nota—"se podría aceptar también fluxu". Y continúa, en la nota, la exposición de las razones por las que prefiere flexu frente a fluxu, pese a que en los mejores códices de Isidoro se encuentra fluxu, y sólo en los deteriores encontremos flexu. Aduce la autoridad de Quintiliano (2,13,9) y Fírmico (Math. 6,30,9). En favor de fluxu señala Séneca (De tranq. animi 17,4), Apuleyo (Met. 11,,8) y Arnobio (6,12). Pese a todo, se incluna por flexu. Frente a litteris, de Tertuliano, encontramos lyris en Isidoro, número 2."San Isidoro de Sevilla, Etimologías. 2 vols. Ed. José Oroz Reta and Manuel-A. Marcos Casquero. Introd. Manuel C. Díaz y Díaz. 2nd ed. Madrid: BAC, 1993.
Una nota sobre algunos aspectos de la narrativa de Jack London, en especial El vagabundo de las estrellas, desde la perspectiva de la narratología evolucionista y cognitiva. La consciencia del sentido de la evolución por parte de London tiene varias consecuencias para la teoría y práctica del anclaje narrativo en sus ficciones, en particular en el establecimiento de conexiones explícitas entre la Gran Historia y la praxis narrativa del autor.
A note on some aspects of Jack London’s fiction, particularly The Star Rover, from the standpoint of evolutionary and cognitive narratology. London’s awareness of the significance of evolution has a number of consequences for the theory and practice of narrative anchoring in his fictions, particularly in the building of explicit connections between Big History and the writer’s narrative praxis.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 6 Keywords: Jack London, Big History, American fiction, Historicity,
The paper appears in the following SSRN eJournals and repositories:
The Duchess of Malfi. Dir. James MacTaggart. Based on John Webster's play. Cast: Eileen Atkins - The Duchess; Michael Bryant - Daniel de Bosola; Charles Kay - Ferdinand, Duke of Calabria; T.P. McKenna - The Cardinal; Gary Bond - Antonio Bologna; Jean Gilpin - Julia; Jerome Willis - Delio; Sheila Ballantine - Cariola; Tim Curry - a madman. BBC TV, 10 Oct. 1972. Online at YouTube (Lothriel) 15 May 2010.*
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble:
Rochester, John Wilmot, second earl of (1647-80), lyric poet, satirist, and a leading member of the group of 'court wits' surrounding Charles II. He was born at Ditchley in Oxfordshire, his father was a Cavalier hero and his mother a deeply religious woman related to many prominent Puritans. In his early teens he was sent to Wadham College, Oxford, the home of the *Royal Society, and then went on a European tour, returning to the court late in 1664. At the age of 18 he romantically abducted the sought-after heiress Elizabeth Malet in a coach-and-six. Despite the resistance of her family, and after a delay of 18 months (during which Rochester fought with conspicuous gallantry in the war against the Dutch), she married him. Subsequently his time was divided between periods of domesticity with Elizabeth at his mother's home in the country (the couple had four children), and fashionable life in London with, among several mistresses, the brilliant actress Elizabeth *Barry, and his riotous male friends, who included the earl of Dorset (C. *Sackville) and the duke of *Buckingham. Wherever he was staying he tried to keep up the other side of his life through letters, many of which survive.
Although Dr. *Johnson dismissed Rochester's lyrics, their wit and emotional complexity give him some claim to be considered one of the last important *Metaphysical poets of the 17th cent., and he was one of the first of the *Augustans, with his social and literary verse satires. He wrote scurrilous lampoons—some of them impromptu—dramatic prologues and epilogues, 'imitations' and translations of classical authors, and several other brilliant poems which are hard to categorize, such as his tough self-dramatization 'The Maimed Debauchee' and the grimly funny 'Upon Nothing'. He wrote more frankly about sex than anyone in English before the 20th cent., and is one of the most witty poets in the language. Although his output was small (he died young), it was very varied. *Marvell admired him, *Dryden, *Swift, and *Pope were all influenced by him (he was Dryden's patron for a time), and he has made an impression on many subsequent poets—*Goethe and *Tennyson, for example, and in modern Britain, *Empson and P. *Porter.
Rochester is famous for having, in Johnson's words, 'blazed out his youth and health in lavish voluptuousness'. He became very ill in his early thirties and engaged in discussions and correspondence with a number of theologians, particularly the deist Charles Blount and the rising Anglican churchman G. *Burnet, an outspoken royal chaplain who superintended and subsequently wrote up the poet's deathbed conversion. It was the final contradiction in a personality whose many oppositions—often elegantly or comically half-concealed—produced and important body of poems. See Complete Poems, ed. D. M. Vieth (1968); Poems, ed. K. Walker (1984); Letters, ed. J. Treglown (1980). There is a life by V. de Sola Pinto (1953, 2nd ed. 1964); see also Lord Rochester's Monkey (1974) by G. *Greene.
En tiempos de los cíclopes - In the Times of the Cyclopes
Comentamos en este artículo la figura de los cíclopes en Homero y en Vico, leyéndola como un arquetipo cultural y psicológico de la sociedad protohumana. Los dos aspectos complementarios del mito (como tradición cultural que se remonta a la prehistoria, y como estructura psicológica, referida a la socialización y al desarrollo psicológico individual) convergen en un origen ontofilogenético común; se refuerzan mutuamente, y proporcionan una consciencia cultural intuitiva de la realidad de la evolución mental y cultural, y de los lazos existentes entre el mundo humano y el animal.
This paper comments on the figure of the cyclopes in Homer and in Vico, read as a cultural and psychological archeype of protohuman society. The two complementary aspects of the myth (as a cultural tradition harking back to prehistory and as a psychological structure, referring to socialization and individual psychological development) point out to a common ontophylogenetic origin; they reinforce each other, and provide an intuitive cultural awareness of the reality of the evolution of mind and culture, and of the link between the human and the animal world.
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8 Keywords: Myth, Cyclops, Vico, Homer, Evolution, Neanderthals, Human origins, Prehistory,
Proponemos en este artículo reinterpretar algunos conceptos relativos a la intersubjetividad presentes en la filosofía de la comunicación y teoría crítica (el interlocutor ideal de Adam Smith, el lector implícito de Booth, el dialogismo de Bajtín, etc.) en términos de los actuales enfoques de la psicología cognitiva englobados bajo el término de "Teoría de la Mente".
This paper puts forward a proposal to reread some concepts related to intersubjectivity used in the philosophy of communication and critical theory (Adam Smith's ideal interlocutor, Booth's implied reader, Bakhtin's dialogism, etc.) in terms of the contemporary approaches in cognitive pscychology known as "Theory of Mind".
Note: Downloadable document is in Spanish.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 4 Keywords: Theory of Mind, Psychology, Intersubjectivity, Discourse analysis, Receivers, Implied reader, Goffman, Adam Smith, Kenneth Burke
When I was being considered for the Maggiore Quartet, Helen asked me how Julia was. They knew each other because our trio and their quartet—both recently formed—had met at the summer programmes in Banff in the Canadian Rockies. I said that we'd lost touch. "Oh, what a pity," said Helen, "And how's Maria? Marvellous cellist! I thought the three of you played awfully well together. You belonged together." "Maria's fine, I think. She's still in Vienna." "I do feel it's a pity when one loses touch with friends," babbled Helen sympathetically. "I had a school-friend once. He was in the class above me. I adored him. He wanted to be, of all things, a dentist. . . Oh, it's not a sensitive subject, is it?" "No, not at all. But perhaps we should get on with the rehearsal. I've got to be somewhere at five-thirty." "Of course. You told me that you were in a hurry, and here I am, nattering on. Silly me." To lose touch — an hearing and smell and taste and sight. Not a week passes when I don't think of her. This after ten years, too persistent a trace in the memory.
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.
CLEVELAND, John (1613-58). *Cavalier poet, born in Loughborough, the son of a clergyman, and educated at Cambridge. He joined the king's camp in Oxford during the Civil War as an active Royalist; he wrote there one of his best known satires, 'The Rebel Scot', which contains the couplet commended by Dr. *Johnson, 'Had Cain been Scot, God would have changed his doom / Not forced him wander, but confined him home.' Although criticized during his life as an academic and coterie poet, his works were highly popular, and 25 editions (none, apparently, with his supervision) appeared between 1647 and 1700. *Dryden's opinion of him as one 'who gives us common thoughts in abstruse words' eventually prevailed, but the 20th cent. revival of interest in the *metaphysicals and in political satire has led to more serious consideration. An edition by B. Morris and E. Withington appeared in 1967.
Introducción a 'El Gran Teatro del Mundo', auto sacramental de Pedro Calderón de la Barca, con imágenes de la producción de TVE (1968).
Y una representación completa (Perú, 1997):
Calderón, como Shakespeare, sabía que "es representación la humana vida"—y exprime aquí la teatralidad de la vida real duplicando el drama dentro del drama. Estos dramaturgos, avisados por su experiencia del teatro, usan a éste no como una imagen gratuita, sino extrayendo de la auténtica teatralidad de la vida la potencia de su estética. En su comprensión de que la vida es realmente (y por tanto también figuradamente) dramática, en su saber que no estaban sólo jugando con las palabras, o no más de lo que jugamos en cada escena del drama de la vida real, se anticipan a la sociología dramatística de Erving Goffman y otros, que en nuestros días siguen manteniendo la literalidad de esta proposición, que en la misma medida en que el teatro es vida real, la vida real es teatro.
A estas cuestiones de vida, dramaturgia, y metadrama, siempre dialécticamente implicadas entre sí, dedico mi página titulada EL GRAN TEATRO DEL MUNDO.
Your paper, "ATENCIÓN A LA ATENCIÓN: SOCIOBIOLOGÍA, ESTÉTICA Y PRAGMÁTICA DE LA ATENCIÓN (PAYING ATTENTION TO ATTENTION: SOCIOBIOLOGY, AESTHETICS AND PRAGMATICS OF ATTENTION)", was recently listed on SSRN's Top Ten download list for: PRN: Philosophy of Perception (Topic).
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Un poema de los Holy Sonnets de John Donne, "This Is My Play's Last Scene", que me llama la atención en primer lugar por la metáfora de la vida como teatro, aunque es sólo la primera imagen de muchas que da para el telón final:
This is my play's last scene; here heavens appoint
My pilgrimage's last mile; and my race,
Idly, yet quickly run, hath this last pace,
My span's last inch, my minute's latest point;
And gluttonous death will instantly unjoint
My body and my soul, and I shall sleep a space;
But my'ever-waking part shall see that face
Whose fear already shakes my every joint.
Then, as my soul to heaven, her first seat, takes flight,
And earth-born body in the earth shall dwell,
So fall my sins, that all may have their right,
To where they'are bred, and would press me, to hell.
Impute me righteous, thus purg'd of evil,
For thus I leave the world, the flesh, the devil.
Traducido así a la ligera:
Esta es la última escena de mi drama, aquí el cielo señala
la última milla de mi peregrinar, y mi carrera,
que he corrido ocioso pero rápido, tiene este último paso,
la última pulgada de mi palmo, el último punto de mi minuto;
y la muerte glotona al punto desmembrará
mi cuerpo y mi alma, y dormiré un rato;
pero mi parte insomne verá ese rostro
que de miedo me hace temblar ya todo el cuerpo.
Entonces, mientras mi alma al cielo, su primer asiento, emprende el vuelo,
y el cuerpo nacido terrenal morará en la tierra,
que del mismo modo caigan mis pecados, y cada cual tenga lo suyo,
a donde se criaron, y a donde querrían llevarme a la fuerza, al infierno.
Consideradme recto, purgado así de mal,
Puesto que así dejo el mundo, la carne y el demonio.
Quizá lo más llamativo, aparte del temor reverencial a Dios que aparece en otros sonetos —Dios es para Donne una especie de terrorífico rey absolutista en su corte majestuosa— es la curiosa manera en que formula su esperanza de resurrección y trascendencia.
Hay quien dice que las sucesivas reformas y conversiones doctrinales forzosas dejaron a los ingleses sin fe—sólo con una creencia formulaica, y con una religión política. A Donne sí lo dejaron más dispuesto a jugar con las ideas doctrinales que a tomárselas muy en serio. En cuestiones de religión, quizá su expresión más directa y sincera sea esa Elegía en la que dice que la auténtica verdad está en la búsqueda incesante de la verdad, y no en creerse que se ha hallado en una doctrina que prometa certidumbre y detenga esa búsqueda.
Así pues, la teología de este poema, si nos lo tomamos como teología y no como juego de ideas, es totalmente poco ortodoxa... y sin embargo muy cristiana a su manera.
Ante la duda de si él, como pecador, irá al cielo o al infierno, Donne prefiere tomar todas las alternativas. Irá al cielo, irá al infierno, y también se quedará en la tierra. Es decir, su alma inmortal irá al cielo, que es de donde viene, su cuerpo se quedará evidentemente en la tierra (aunque esto contradice otros sonetos divinos, y la resurrección de los cuerpos) y sus pecados caerán al infierno, que es su lugar más propio. La cosa ciertamente tiene su lógica propia, y reduce a un ejercicio de ingenio metafísico las dudas y angustias sobre el más allá. Quizá sea el mejor uso que pueda dárseles, a esas angustias trascendentales.
Traducción e introducción de José Francisco Fernández
Cuando en 1955 la editorial Minuit publicó los Relatos y Textos para nada, en su versión original en francés, Samuel Beckett ya había sorprendido al mundo con la originalidad y el ingenio de Esperando a Godot (estrenada en 1953). La producción de nuevas obras de teatro, todas ellas de gran calado existencial, haría que en las siguientes décadas el autor irlandés se convirtiera en el dramaturgo más influyente del siglo XX. Sin embargo, su obra narrativa no es en absoluto desdeñable y, en la opinión de muchos críticos, la profundidad alcanzada en sus novelas y relatos es muy superior a lo conseguido en teatro. Los Relatos de Samuel Beckett, por ejemplo, muestran a un Beckett en plena madurez creativa, presentando con toda crudeza a un tipo de personaje característico de su universo literario: un ser desamparado que deambula por escenarios inhóspitos y cuyas peripecias reflejan, parcialmente, las penalidades sufridas por el autor durante la Segunda Guerra Mundial. Los Textos para nada, por su parte, constan de 13 fragmentos en los que Beckett despoja a la literatura de todo artificio y se aproxima, en una búsqueda obsesiva, como ningún escritor había hecho antes, a lo que yace detrás de las palabras, ya sea la verdad o el vacío. Fue el propio Beckett el que tradujo al inglés todas las secciones que conforman el libro hasta que se publicó en esta lengua en 1967.
Sobre el autor:
Samuel Beckett (1906-1989) ha sido uno de los representantes más importantes del experimentalismo literario del siglo XX. Figura clave del Teatro del absurdo, ha sido uno de los escritores más influyentes del siglo pasado. La obra de Beckett, escrita en inglés y francés, es sombría, tendente al minimalismo y profundamente pesimista sobre la condición humana. Sin embargo, este pesimismo se ve atemperado por un particular sentido del humor, negro y sórdido.
Sobre el traductor:
José Francisco Fernández es profesor titular en la Universidad de Almería, donde imparte clases de literatura inglesa. Sus investigaciones se centran en el estudio y la traducción de la obra de Samuel Beckett. Ha publicado artículos sobre el Premio Nobel irlandés en revistas como Journal of the Short Story in English, AUMLA, Estudios irlandeses y Journal of Beckett Studies, entre otras. Es autor de la traducción al castellano de dos novelas de Samuel Beckett: Sueño con mujeres que ni fu ni fa, junto con Miguel Martínez-Lage (Tusquets, 2011), y Mercier y Camier, (Confluencias, 2013), así como del relato «Asunción» (Universidad de Buenos Aires, 2015).
From The Oxford Companion to English Literature, ed. Margaret Drabble.
Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, a greatly admired alliterative poem from the North-West Midlands, dating from the second half of the 14th cent. (some authorities date it around 1375), the only manuscript of which is the famous Cotton Nero A. X which is also the sole manuscript of *Pearl, *Patience, and *Cleanness. The poem is in 2,530 lines in long-lined alliterative stanzas of varying length, each ending with a *'bob and wheel'. Most modern critics regard the four poems in the manuscript as the work of a single poet; but as far as the interpretation of this poem is concerned, the question of single authorship is largely irrelevant, so different is its subject from the three doctrinal pieces.
The story of the poem is as follows (under the headings of its four 'fitts', narrative divisions).
Fitt 1: Arthur and his court are seated at a New Year's feast in Camelot waiting for a marvel when a huge green man enters, bearing an axe and a holly bough. He challenges a knight to cut his head off on condition that the knight agrees to have his head cut off a year hence. Gawain accepts the challenge and cuts the green knight's head off; the knight picks it up and rides away.
Fitt 2: A year later Gawain sets off to keep his side of the bargain. After riding through grim landscapes in wintry weather, on Christmas Eve Gawain comes upon a beautiful castle where he is graciously received. The lord of the castle makes an agreement with Gawain that each day he himself will hunt in the fields and Gawain in the castle; at the end of the day they will exchange spoils.
Fitt 3: For three consecutive days, the lord hunts and Gawain, famous for his sill and prowess in love, is amorously approached by the beautiful lady of the castle, who gives him one kiss the first day, two on the second, and on the third day three kisses, and a girdle which has magic properties that will save his life. Each evening Gawain exchanges the kisses with his host for the animals slain in the hunt; but in the third evening he keeps the girdle (thus breaking his bargain), to protect him in the imminent meeting with the green knight.
Fitt 4: Gawain is directed to the green knight's chapel where he kneels to receive his blow. Twice the knight feints at him, and the third time he makes a slight cut in Gawain's neck. Then he explains that he is the knight of the castle in a different form, and that the cut in the neck was sustained because of Gawain's infidelity in keeping the girdle. Gawain bitterly curses his failing and the snares of women; but hte green knight applauds him and, on Gawain's return to Arthur's court, they declare that they will all wear a green girdle in honour of his achievement.
The poem may be connected with the founding of the Order of the Garter. The elegance of the construction of the narrative, as well as the vivid language of the poem, are universally admired, and this is agreed to be one of the greatest poems in Middle English. Interpretation of its somewhat enigmatic raison d'être has been more varying; Speirs stressed its connection with some unexpressed archetypal story of seasons and vegetation; John Burrow concentrates on the moral seriousness underlying its colourful romantic exterior; modern critics, such as E. Wilson, see it in relation to the other Christian poems in the manuscript.
Ed. J. R. R. *Tolkien, E. V. Gordon, and N. Davis (2nd edn, 1967); J. A. Burrow, A Reading of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1965); J. Speirs, Medieval English Poetry (1957): 215-51; A. C. Spearing, The Gawain Poet (1970), ch. 5; E. Wilson, The Gawain-Poet (1976); W. R. J. Barron, Trawthe and Treason (1980); D. R. Howard and C. K. Zacher, eds. Critical Studies of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (1968).
Like Greek literature, English literature begins with an epic, a poem of historic scope telling of heroes and of the world, human and non-human. Compared with the epics of Homer, Beowulf is short, with 3182 verses, yet it is the longest as well as the richest of Old English poems. Like other epics, it has a style made for oral composition, rich in formulas. The poem is found in a manuscript of the early eleventh century, but was composed perhaps two centuries earlier still, on the coasts of the Baltic. This was the northwest Germanic world from which the English had come to Britain. The coming of the Saxons is recalled in a poem in the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle for 937. ... from the east came Angles and Saxons up to these shores, Seeking Britain across the broad seas, Smart for glory, those smiths of war That overcame the Welsh, and won a homeland
The first great work of English literature is not set in Britain. Beowulf opens with the mysterious figure of Scyld, founder of the Scylding dynasty of Denmark, who would have lived c. 400, before England existed. A Hengest mentioned in a sub-story of the poem may be the Hengest invited into Kent in 449 (see page 12). The Offa who is mentioned may be an ancestor of Offa, King of Mercia in the 8th century. Beowulf showed the English the world of their ancestors, the heoric world of the north, a world both glorious and heathen. Dynasties take their identity from their ancestors, and the rulers of the English kingdoms ruled by right of ancestral conquest. The date and provenance of Beowulf are uncertain, and its authorship unknown, but the poem would have had ancestral interest to such a ruler.
West-Saxon genealogies go back to Noah via Woden; they include three names mentioned in Beowulf—Scyld, Scef and Beow. When in the 7th century the English became Christian they sent missionaries to their Germanic cousins. The audience for poetry was the lord of the hall and the men of his retinue. Such an audience was proud of its ancestors—even if, as the poem says of the Danes, ’they did not know God’.
The text of Beowulf is found in a manuscript in the West-Saxon dialect of Wessex which had become the literary standard. All the texts in the manuscript are about monsters, but the prime concern of Beowulf is not with monsters or even heroes but with human wisdom and destiny. It recounts the doings over two or three generations about the year 500 of the rulers of the Danes and the Swedes, and of a people who lived between them in southern Sweden, the Geats. The name Beowulf is not recorded in history, but the political and dynastic events of the poem are consistent with history. Beowulf is the nephew of Hygelac, King of the Geats, who died in a raid on the northern fringe of the Frankish empire. This key event of the poem is recorded in two Latin histories as having happened in about 521.
Hygelac fell in a raid in search of booty. In attacking the Frisians on the Frankish border, Beowulf’s uncle was asking for trouble, says the poem. The Franks took from Hygelac’s body a necklace of precious stones, a treasure previously bestowed on Beowulf by the Queen of the Danes as a reward for having killed the monster, Grendel (see below). On his return from Denmark, Beowulf had presented this prize to his lord, Hygelac, but the necklace was lost in this needless attack. Beowulf stopped the enemy champion, Dayraven, from taking Hygelac’s armour by crushing him to death with his bare hands. Beowulf returned with the armour of thirty soldiers, and declined the throne, preferring to serve Hygelac’s young son. But when this son is killed for harbouring an exiled Swedish prince, Beowulf became king and ruled the Geats for ’fifty years’.
The poem has a mysterious overture in the arrival of Scyld as a foundling child, sent by God to protect the lordless Danes, his victorious life and his burial in a ship. His great-grandson Hrothgar inherits the Danish empire and builds the great hall of Heorot, where he rewards his followers with gifts. At a banquet, Hrothgar’s poet sings the story of the creation of the world. The sound of music, laughter and feasting is resented by the monster Grendel, who comes from the fens to attack Heorot when the men are asleep. He devours thirty of Hrothgar’s thanes. Beowulf hears of the persecution of the Danes and comes to kill Grendel, in a tremendous fight at night in the hall. The next night, Grendel’s mother comes to the hall and takes her revenge. Beowulf follows her to her lair in an underwater cave, where with God’s help he kills her. Finally, in old age, he has to fight a dragon, who has attacked the Geats in revenge for the taking of a cup from his treasure-hoard. Beowulf faces the dragon alone, but can kill it only with the help of a young supporter; he dies of his wounds. The poem ends with a prophecy of the subjection of the Geats by the Franks or the Swedes. The Geats build a funeral pyre for their leader.
Then the warriors rode about the barrow Twelve of them in all, athelings’ sons. They recited a dirge to declare their grief, Spoke of the man, mourned their King. They praised his manhood, and the prowess of his hands, They raised his name; it is right a man Should be lavish in honouring his lord and friend, Should love him in his heart when the leading-forth From the house of flesh befalls him at last.
This was the manner of the mourning of the men of the Geats, Sharers in the frest, at the fall of their lord: They said that he was of all the world’s kings The gentlest of men, and the most gracious, The kindest to his people, the keenest for fame.
The foundation of Germanic heroic society is the bond between a lord and his people, especially his retinue of warriors. Each will die for the other. Beowulf’s epitaph suggests an ethical recipe for heroism: three parts responsibility to one part honour. The origin of Beowulf’s life-story in the folk-tale of the Bear’s son and his marvellous feats, is transformed by the poem into a distinctly social ideal of the good young hero and the wise old king.
The heroic world is violent, but neither Beowulf nor Beowulf is bloodthirsty. The poem shows not just the glory but also the human cost of a code built upon family honour and the duty of vengeance. This cost is borne by men, and differently, by women. In this aristocratic world, women have honoured roles: peacemaker in marriage-alliances between dynasties, bride, consort, hostess, counsellor, mother, and widow. In Beowulf the cost of martial honour is signified in the figure of the mourning woman. Her is the Danish princess Hildeburh at the funeral pyre of her brother Hnaef, treacherously killed by her husband Finn, and her son, also killed in the attack on Hnaef. Shortly after this, Finn is killed by Hengest.
Hildeburh then ordered her own son To be given to the funeral fire of Hnaef For the burning of his bones; bede him be laid At his uncle’s side. She sang the dirges, Bewailed her grief. The warrior went up; The greatest of corpse-fires coiled to the sky, Roared before the mounds. There were melting heads And bursting wounds, as the blood sprang out From weapon-bitten bodies. Blazing fire, Most insatiable of spirits, swallowed the remains of the victims of both nations. Their valour was no more.
The heroic way of life—magnificent, hospitable and courageous—depends upon military success. It can descend into the world of the feud, violent and merciless. The heroic code involves obligations to lord, to family and to guest, and heroic literature brings these obligations into tension, with tragic potential.
A comparison can be made between Beowulf and the Achilles of the Iliad. When Achilles’ pride is piqued, he will not fight, rejoining the Greeks only after his friend and substitute is killed. Achilles takes out his anger on the Trojan Hector, killing him, dishonoring his corpse and refusing to yield it for burial, until at last Hector’s father humiliates himself before Achilles to beg his son’s body. Achilles is reminded that even he must die. Homer’s characterization is more dramatic, brilliant and detailed; the characters of Beowulf are types rather than individuals. The ethos is also different. Beowulf devotedly serves his lord Hygelac, and his people the Geats. His youthful exploits in Denmark repay a debt of honour he owes to Hrothgar, who had saved Beowulf’s father Edgetheow, paying compensation for the life of a man Edgetheow had killed. Like Achilles, Beowulf is eloquent, courageous, quick to act, unusually strong. But Beowulf is considerate, magnanimous and responsible. As Hrothgar points out, he has an old head on young shoulders; he makes a good king. Yet as the poem makes clear in a series of stories marginal to Beowulf’s own life, most warriors from ruling families fall far short of Beowulf’s responsibility and judgement. Beowulf is both a celebration of an an elegy for heroism. The ideal example set by Beowulf himself implies a Christian critique of an ethic in which honour can be satisfied by ’the world’s remedy’, vengeance.
Gendel envies the harmony of the feast in Heorot and destroys it. He is a fiend: feond means both enemy and malign spirit. He is also in man’s shape, though of monstrous size. He is identified as a descendant of Cain, the first murderer, who in Genesis is marked and driven out by God from human society. Fratricide was an occupational hazard in ruling Germanic families, since succession was not by primogeniture but by choice of the fittest. In the heroic age of the north, sons were often fostered out, partly to reduce conflict and risk, but fraternal rivalry remained endemic. In Beowulf the greatest crimes are treachery to a lord and murder of kindred. The folklore figure of Grendel embodies the savage spirit of fratricidal envy. The dragon is a brute without Grendel’s human and demonic aspects. He destroys Beowulf’s hall by fire in revenge for the theft of a golden cup from his treasure. The dragon jealously guards his hoard underground, whereas the king shares out rings in the hall.
Beowulf commands respect by the depth and maturity of its understanding. Although its archaic world of warriors and rulers is simple, the poem is often moving in its sober concern with wisdom and right action, the destiny of dynasties, the limits of human understanding and power, and with the creative and the destructive in human life. Its style has reserve and authority.
This is concise practical guide on how to comment a literary text, aimed at undergraduate students of literature. It addresses a number of different aspects in the text and the student’s interaction with it: reading, authorship, theme, rhetoric and style, enunciation and address, genre and intertextuality, matters of history and ideology, gender and representation, evaluation, writing style and documentation.
Commenting a text involves reading it in an interesting and creative way, and being able to communicate that reading. This requires intuition, as well as experience and knowledge. The intuition we all possess to a greater or lesser degree can also be developed through practice, learning how to use it. Practice consists in: a) Reading literary texts attentively; b) Reading literary criticism so as to learn from other commentaries; c) Writing textual commentaries regularly. There is no one key or formula enabling us to write a good commentary. Only time, constant work, and familiarity with the texts will teach us how to write interesting commentaries, distinguishing what is repetitive or obvious (or purely subjective, or merely wrong) from what is worth seeing in a text and saying about it, to other people, in a number of situations and critical contexts. Here we are dealing with an academic context, which has its own traditions and conventions. In order to get familiar with them it is helpful to read at least one book on how to write a critical paper.
These guidelines may provide a starting point. They are not exhaustive, and besides one need not deal with each and every of these points in a commentary. We should determine in each case which of the following aspects, or which other aspects, would be worth developing in our commentary. But one must also try not to focus only on a single aspect of a text.
Reading. Begin with a careful reading of the text, using any information sources required to solve problems of understanding (dictionaries, encyclopedias, online search, etc.). Be attentive to the specific meaning acquired by words in this specific text, as any dictionary or encyclopedia will only give you the general meaning of the term, not its contextualized meaning. Note those aspects of the text’s grammar, vocabulary or usage which may help you to locate it within a given historical period, and show in your commentary this awareness of the historical aspects of language.
Author and identification. If you are given a text with the author’s name, use your knowledge of the author’s work as background information for the commentary. But be careful: do not set aside the text you are supposed to comment in order to write an essay on the author in question. Any additional information you can use about the author, the historical period of the text or its intellectual context, will be much more more valuable if you can relate that knowledge to specific aspects of the text you are commenting—matters of language, meaning, subject matter or presuppositions. You should point out in which way these aspects of the text reflect the general thematic, ideological or stylistic characteristics of the author’s work.
If you are not given the name of the author, use your knowledge about literary periods, genres and fashions, and about the characteristics of the authors you are familiar with, in order to associate them to the text in question. Follow specific clues as well (characters’ names, setting, etc.).
But if you are not sure about the author, do not try to give the impression that you do know. The text might be an anonymous one, or it might come from a second-rank work you are not expected to identify. Therefore, restrict yourself to giving an account of what you see in the text: show that you recognize aspects of such or such school, movement, or style, that there are "elements in common" with the style of so-and-so… but without affirming it as a fact, unless you are quite certain about it. Even if you cannot identify the author with precision, the authors you are familiar with may serve you as a guide for the commentary, if you find characteristics in common.
Theme. Point out the main subject of the work or passage you are commenting—and how it is introduced and dealt with throughout the text. What kind of subject matter is presented? How does it relate to human experience (is it highly specific to a specific culture or class, or does it have a more universal appeal?). What does the subject matter reveal about the author’s intent in writing, and his outlook on the human world? Does the text present a detached perspective on the subject matter, or an involved one? Which interests, ideology, etc., is it promoting through this choice of subject? What kind of community is the text invoking, as regards its use of theme? Does it establish different perspectives on the theme, and if so, does it take sides with any of them, or argue against received ideas on this subject (etc)? We’ll come back later to issues of content and ideology.
Genre, Rhetoric, Style. What kind of text is it? Is it a narrative? Or perhaps not "a narrative" although it has narrative elements (which ones?). Is it descriptive? Expositional? Dramatic? Lyrical? If the text is a poem, describe its metrical characteristics, the verses and stanzas used, etc., but do not stop formal analysis at that point. Examine the rhetorical structure of the text, the persuasive or expressive resources employed; identify and describe the use of figures of speech and figures of thought, tropes, imagery, and the way they are used in order to shape the subject matter. Describe the main structural elements which, to your mind, shape and organize the text. What does this structure tell us about the style of the author, his ideas or his intention? In which ways are the genres or forms used in the work given a personal approach? (—that is, how do they become style?). Try to refer to specific aspects of the text: medium, orality, vocabulary, syntax, use of language, etc.—which make it characteristic. In analyzing a work, it is important to find those elements which unify it, which make it into a whole which fits together and has a coherent shape or makes a coherent statement. Which formal resources are used to create coherence and to impose a given perspective in the text? How is the subject matter of the text represented, through the use of images, metaphors, connotation, wordplay… in order to give it a definite shape? (An also, are there any elements which disrupt this coherence or put it under question?). That is, how does the text acquire a form of its own, a unique structure of meanings, in order to express and represent its subject?
Enunciation and Address: Part of the study of a text is the study of its author and its addressee (either actual or implied authors and readers). How are they represented in the text? Can one discern elements of self-representation, literal or fictionalised author-figures, fictional narrators? Are we being addressed by the author himself (—in which capacity?) or does he assume a fictionalised identity, or a conventional attitude towards the reader? Can we find irony, ambiguity, etc., in the author’s voice? This would amount to a doubling of the author’s voice, a kind of double-voicing. If we do find a play of different voices, how are these voices related to one another? (—for instance, an overtly ironical narrative and the real or ’serious’ attitude under it). The same thing may be asked on the reader’s side: Which image of the addressee, or of the audience, of the reading public, etc., is constructed? Does the addressee appear in an explicit way? Is it an individual character —real? —fictional? —the general reading public? Which attitude is expected by the author from this implied receiver—solidarity or confrontation? Which is the attitude taken towards the characters by the author, narrator, receiver… if any is discernible? Which is the perspective or point of view from which the action is presented? Does it coincide with that of any of the characters? If there are several points of view, how are they combined, or how are they subordinated to one another? Who enjoys the best information or topsight?
Intertextuality: Through a text we may be able to perceive other texts, the work of other authors. This may happen either explicitly or implicitly. Are there in the text any specific allusions to other works or literary genres? Can we find any implicit relationships between this text and other texts? This happens, for instances, in texts which are imitations, variations, or parodies of other works, or of kinds of works, as Don Quixote is a parody of chivalric romances. Try to bring out these implicit aspects of the dialogue established between the text and the literary tradition, especially the work’s sources, and its descendants too.
History: These formal issues soon derive into questions of an historical and ideological nature; point out how this is so. Try to establish, referring to specific aspects of the text, which is its significance, or the significance of the author’s writing, in the development of English literature. What is new, and what is traditional, in the kind of writing exemplified by this text? Can you relate it to any literary movement, current, fashion or circle, allowing you to situate it as a historical phenomenon? Which aspects of this text’s writing style (or subject) were not possible or likely to be found in another period or historical moment? Why? (Having some notions of history will help at this point).
Ideology: A text is the product of a society, an epoch, a mentality or ideology. Point out which aspects of the text to be commented can be related with these wider aspects of its historical background. For instance, how are differences in social hierarchy or class represented in the text? How are social relationships portrayed? Does the text presuppose or represent an aristocratic and feudal society? Does it promote patriotic or monarchic views? Is it liberal, democratic in ideology? How is it to be situated with respect to the development of a modern society (—an urban, lay, pluralistic society?) Can you trace in it the discourse of nationalism? colonialism? racism? Does it express revolutionary, progressive or reactionary ideas? Is it conservative? Which social identities are expressed or promoted? Which stylistic resources are used to express or reinforce the implied political message of the text?
Can you find any evidence of mythical discourses or pre-scientific beliefs, typical of any given period or culture? Belonging to any specific belief system, religion or philosophy? Explain them and briefly situate them in the context of the history of ideas. Is the text written with a view to supporting these ideas, or does it just presuppose them as part of its world view? Does it argue against any system of ideas or beliefs, in an explicit or implicity way?
A very interesting aspect to be discussed is the representation of gender and sexuality. How are men and women characterized in the text? Which are the gender and the sexual ideology of the author (of the narrator, of the characters…?). How does the rhetoric of narrative—and the verbal images, metaphors, etc.— contribute to articulate and convey a sexual ideology? Does the ideology promoted by the text have any sense today? Which other aspects relative to the ideologies of the self, the individual subject, and of social identities appear in the work? Examine the specific ways in which they are expressed.
Evaluation. Which aspect of the text is most striking or interesting, and which is the reason? Is it central to the author’s intention, or accidental, peripheral, but significant to you? Try to evaluate the text with a degree of historical distance or perspective. Conclude the commentary with an evaluation of the most important subject of the text you want to bring out in your commentary, as it is seen from your perspective.
Writing and documentation. Write coherently, structuring the paper into paragraphs which constitute units of meaning; do not begin or end with isolated matters of detail, but with an organised perspective on the text. Do not write a collection of isolated sentences! If possible, organise the commentary around a central interpretation of the aspect of the text you find most interesting or important, which makes it characteristic or significant now, or then. Emphasize the most important elements, and do not waste time on irrelevant or isolated details. Revise the spelling, grammar and use of English before handing it in.
As to the use of critical bibliography, in papers written as homework: its role should be to document or support your own reading, and not to replace it or obscure it. Learn about the author and the text, but try to show your own reading understanding of the text, not somebody else’s. You can also argue with another reading, contradict it, or use it in your own argument. Background information need not be specifically quoted. But in specific critical readings it is essential to separate in a clear way what is your own text, and what is it you take from another source. DO NOT PLAGIARIZE, and above all do not cut and paste from the web… or from books. Use your own words (and ideas whenever possible) and use inverted commas and proper citations if you quote someone. Try to use a style which is personal and correct—and readable.
Notes from Edwin Muir's The Structure of the Novel, 1928 (London: Chatto and Windus, 1979).
1. Novels of Action and Character
8- Lubbock (The Craft of Fiction) lacks a general concept of structure beyond point of view; a narrow approach. Forster (Aspects of the Novel) is unanalytical.
9- Carruthers's organicism (John Carruthers, Scheherezade; or The Future of the English Novel) sees in the novel only the pattern of life. Forster and Carruthers forget what is specific in the novel.
11- "It is axiomatic that the pattern of no novel, however formless, can ever be so formless as life as we see it; for even Ulysses is less confusing than Dublin."
12- The laws of the novel art beyond the control of the novelist. Jamesian novel as a narrowing and minor offshoot;
13- Muir vs. deliberate form; these novels will be absorbed by the mainstream.
14- Muir vs. Lubbock's one-sided valuation; "all the main forms of the novel are good".
15. Muir opposes limited terms such as 'pattern', 'rhythm', 'surface', 'point of view': "Applied to works of the first rank, that vocabulary is ridiculously inadequate"; it derives from James.
16- 'Plot' is outside this danger; "It is a definite term, it is a literary term, and it is universally applicable. It can be used in the widest popular sense. It designates for everyone, not merely for the critic, the chain of events in a story and the principle which knits it together." They are differentiated by the order or events.
17- Here Muir will provide mainly "a survey of some of the main plots, each with its interior principle, which the novel has used." His approach is descriptive, not prescriptive. "The most simple form of prose fiction is the story, which records a succession of events, generally marvellous." It appeals "to our irresponsible curiosity."
18- In the story there is an absence of plot, an arbitrary freedom.
Romance also draws on curiosity, but substitutes a sequence for a string of happenings, a single complicated action for a series of actions. There is also anticipation, fear, etc. The happy end is a necessary consequence.
"Irresponsible delight in vigorous events, then, is what charms us in the novel of action." Weaving and unraveling the plot; characterization is rough, incidental to plot.
21- Large audience for a work of fiction goes along with little merit. "All these stories imply by their nature a deviation from normal civilized life".
22- They provide a temporary escape from life, they are unreflective.
23- Their plot is in accordance with our wishes, not our knowledge, "a fantasy of desire rather than a picture of life". In the novel of character, "the action is subservient to them" (to characters).
24- The novel of character focuses on a typical situation, with specific consequences (e.g. Vanity Fair, vs. Treasure Island). Characters are complete from the beginning. Flat? Muir advocates flatness; they are a necessay vehicle for these novelists' vision of life.
26- The novelist must simply make the characters move and interact (with a satirical or humorous or critical delineation).
27- Both types of novel may be mixed.
31- "The plot of Tom Jones is an adroitly constructed framework for a picture of life, rather than an unfolding action."
32- The novel of character as a picture of society.
35- Scott is best as a novelist of character, and his characters are "wooden and unreal" (!!). Action vs. character in him,
36- both are good but they form an uneasy combination.
37- Dickens's plots "had no literary function at all" (!!!).
38- Thackeray drops the convention of the ambulating hero and portrays characters in different places at his will, making them meet.
40- From Vanity Fair on, "the plot should not appear to be a plot".
2. The Dramatic Novel [organic form]
41- "the hiatus between the character and the plot disappears." Integration and mutual determination between them. Changing characters; similar to a poetic tragedy (the novel of character is similar to a comedy).
42- Jane Austen as the model (but she is incapable of the tragic note). Intensification achieved by confinement to one circle of life; Pride and Prejudice, et.
45- "strict interior causation" in Austen; no hiatus between chararacters and action in the dramatic novel, as there is one in the novel of characters and in the novel of action. The novel of character underlines the contrast between appearances and reality; while "The dramatic novel shows that both appearance and reality are the same, and that character is action, and action character." The dramatic nature of plot [characterized by Muir as an organic integration, in the style of the New Critics, although he does not use the term] ensures a logical and spontaneous development.
48- The dramatic novel shows both necessity and freedom [cf. the opposition novel of character / novel of action].
50- Dangers of overstressing either necessity or freedom (cf. Jude the Obscure vs. Jane Eyre); scenes of dramatic plot are not self-sufficient,
57- nor dramatic characters. "In the very conception of them there is the problem of time."
58- The ending is the end of both plot and characterisation (unlike the other kinds of novel). The dramatic novel moves towards equilibrium or death (from a static initial situation).
59- A narrow circle, shut off from the arbitrary interference of the external world; its logic is given necessity through limits. "The plot of the character novel is expansive, the plot of the dramatic novel intensive."
60- It is an image of a mode of experience, while the character novel is an image of a mode of existence.
61- The strength of each type comes from its limitations; the importance of reasonable limitations.
3. Time and Space
62-63- "the imaginative world of the dramatic novel is in Time, the imaginative world of the character novel in Space." Individual vs. social values (dramatic novel / character novel); "they are . . . two distinct modes of seeing life: in Time, personally, and in Space, socially."
64- "Spatial" plots vs. developmental dramatic plots. "In the one we shall find a loosely woven pattern, in the other the logic of causality."
65- A more visually intense realization of the scene in the dramatic novel. The dramatic novel is more universalised and abstract.
68- Time seems to linger in the character novel, and to fly in the dramatic novel.
69- [Moby Dick as dramatic novel!]; —a "prescience of something definite to come" in the dramatic novel.
74- This is partly caused by the author's foreknowledge,
75- —or by the expectations of the characters.
81- "The great character creations . . . are beyond time and change." Characters from a character novel caught in a dramatic plot:
84- "Dickens's mistake harms Micawber, as Shakespeare's, marvellous as it is, harms Falstaff." [Now the novel of character has a universal significance for Muir]
85- Character in the novel as a movement in a symphony; the character novel is equivalent to a picture; we get an intensity of spatial reality. Character as single figures vs. the crowd as character.
But "Why should not the action develop with equal freedom in Time and in Space? (next chapter).
4. The Chronicle
88- "The dramatic novel is limited in Space and free in Time, the character novel limited in Time and free in Space" (concentration gives intensity; typicality is made possible by unchangeability).
89- Universality and particularity in art: annihilation of time or space produces universalization (cf. the sculptor or the musicians). [Similar to the Romantic theory of the symbol: the universal is suggested through the particular - JAGL].
93- They also correspond to our experience of life and time: seeing our own typicality; life seen in perspective by means of aesthetic vision.
War and Peace is a "chronicle", as a view of society in time. "Life" as the sole point of reference. A strict framework (1), with an arbitrary and careless progression (2); (1 makes for universality, 2 for particularity). The speed of time is not determined by the intensity of the action:
98- it has on the contrary a cold and deadly regularity which is external to the characters and unaffected by them.
99- Time appears as an inhuman necessity,
100- Life as both confusion and meaning.
101- Destiny measures time in the dramatic novel; in the chronicle it is not measured by human happenings.
103-4- Time is internal in the dramatic novel, external in the chronicle.
105- Muir notes "the unavoidable relativity of action in the chronicle".
None of the divisions of the novel is objectively more valid than this one.
104-8- In the chronicle, the action and destinies of the characters seem accidental because they are set in a wider frame.
109- Action should be accidental, it disposes arbitrarily of human life.
111- Fate, visible in the dramatic novel, remains a mystery in the chronicle. It is often animated by a religious conception.
112- Human accident is opposed here to transcendental law, not guided by cause and effect.
113- The limitations of the novel form come from the limitations of our vision of the world, in terms of time, space and causality. (This is salient, not only form).
114- Muir emphasizes the creative act of limitation.
5. The Period Novel and Later Developments
115- "The chronicle is the ruling convention of the novel at present: the most consistently practised, the most highly thought of." "All the same, the most striking achievements of the contemporary novel lie outside the chronicle."
116- Also the period novel, now in decline (e.g. The Forsyte Saga): it shows a section of society in transition. It is not universalizing like the chronicle; it is linked to a particular society and time (a lower achievement).
118- "The bondage of the novel to period has degraded it."
(Cf. Ramon Fernandez's concept of 'recital'). This novel is determined (pre-determined) by an idea. Society appears as an abstract concept, not an imaginative reality; the writer illustrates his ideas about society.
125- Proust's A la recherche du temps perdu is similar to the dramatic novel but the end is not in external action, but in the author's mind. The author did not suceed in separating his novel from himself, "but by a happy stroke of genius he managed to trun this misfortune into an advantage." He gives us both the results and the processes of his imagination, and the effect on himself, and his reflections on effect.
Ulysses as moving in space-time, catching the flux instead of the pattern?
126-7- "Ulysses is a work of extraordinary literary virtuosity, and some of its technical innovations are striking; but in structure it is not revolutionary. Its faults are obvious: its design is arbitrary; its development feeble, its unity questionable." The parts have the same kind of unity as the whole; "Ulysses proceeds by agglomeration, not development." The significance of its symbolism is insufficient—and the symbolism is itself a confession that the work is formless in itself. It is similar to a loose and impressive novel of character.
129- The ideas of flux and time are not suggested by the device of thoughts. Ulysses is better on cliché than on developing character.
131- "The book is a panoramic picture of Dublin, not an impression of the passing of a day." It is better than the old novels of character, but this is unintended.
133- Woolf and Joyce: through their reaction to the period novel, they unconsciously return to the aesthetic tradition and earlier forms.
135- The flat character as the product of the 18th-c. changing social order. It is a social image of man, not complete, but true (here Muir argues convincingly against Forster's critique of flat characters in Aspects of the Novel). Flat characters are necessary and can be great creations, but they don't develop (as opposed to the dramatic character).
142- The flat character as the incarnation of habit (it is incapable of surprising us). The dramatic figure is the permanent exception. The dramatic character speaks from his real, not his habitual, self.
144- Forster sees flat characters as a trap for the reader, but Muir insists that we are shown the habitual side of character, but we see through it, and we guess the real self. The dramatic novel as a revelation; the character novel as suggestio facti.
145- Against Dickens's unmasking of flat characters: they are already unmasked.
146- The character novel, the dramatic novel, and the chronicle. This opposition is applicable to othe genres such as drama. There are affinities between Wuthering Heights and a tragedy, Pride and Prejudice as a comedy. (See Northrop Frye's theory of myths for an elaboration on this—JAGL).
148- The character novel is useless onstage, or it is faulty. The novel is born of mixed origins, and has a wide scope.
149- The plot of the novel is necessarily poetic, as that of any other imaginative creation. A positive image of life, or an imaginative judgment of life.
151- It is the function of criticism to underline these durable conventions.
Trabajando con manuscritos amarilleados presento en primicia este fragmento (es lo único que tengo) de un texto vagamente relacionado con viejas leyendas germánicas como "Beowulf" o la saga de los Nibelungos. Es lástima que se vaya a quedar así la cosa, porque de confirmarse esta lectura alternativa plantearía problemas comparativos interesantes, cotejándolo con las versiones transmitidas por otras fuentes. El pesimismo que parece traslucirse aquí, desde luego, estaría más a tono con poemas anglosajones como "The Wanderer", "The Seafarer" o "The Ruin", to name but a few. En fin, ahí queda, para ejercicio de mentes curiosas y amantes de tales sagas y tall tales.
I see your point, as well as Ruiz Garzón's. Note, however, that reviewing will still go on, if only because, apart from people writing in big media, some people (apparently not including Ruiz Garzón) feel an urge to criticize and review and speak out their mind on books, in well-written or badly-written reviews (that's immaterial to my point now) whether they get paid or not. As you well know, academics are rarely if ever paid for their books or articles, not to mention reviews; if anything, they will themselves pay in order to get published. And in the case of reviews, you don't even get the credit of adding them to your CV, which you may well do if you feel like it, but they're small fry and positively ignored by research quality assessments. Well, you may get paid in the form of other reviews by friendly or back-scratching colleagues, there's a lively market there! Anyway, I wish I had been given 100 euros for every review I've written and posted for free on my blog. There's an indignity and perhaps unfair compeition, if you write for free.
La novela de Evelyn Waugh Oficiales y Caballeros tiene una traducción española de Carlos Villar Flor acompañada de una excelente introducción crítica y notas. Me llama especialmente la atención la relación tan cercana que observa Villar Flor entre los diarios de Waugh, con sus experiencias en la Segunda Guerra Mundial, y la versión literaria de esas experiencias transmutada en la trilogía que incluye a Oficiales y Caballeros (trilogía toda editada por Villar Flor en Cátedra). Y un tema metaficcional que se apunta, relativo a la supresión de testimonios de actos vergonzosos. La novela, mayormente satírica y desmitificadora, en la línea de Waugh, viene a narrarnos la progresiva desilusión del protagonista Guy Crouchback con respecto a la dinámica y motivaciones de la guerra, y con respecto a su implicación personal en ella. Una crónica de desilusión y deshonor (narra una derrota) que a la vez señala a más desilusión y deshonor de los que muestra directamente. Esa es la relación entre los diarios y la novela, o lo que podríamos llamar también la huella que deja en la novela lo que se borra, y no se cuenta ni en ella ni en los diarios. Es una dimensión metaficcioinal de la novela, pues señala a la convencionalidad de la ficción que se nos presenta, y a su ambivalente relación con lo testimonial y con las maniobras de autojustificación y de evasión y disimulo del autor. Para entenderlas, convendrá tener en mente una cuestión poco resaltada en el comentario: el esnobismo terminal de Waugh, su conciencia de clase y de la primacía de la solidaridad entre los Old Boys por encima de cualquier consideración práctica o idealista. Podríamos decir que es casi un identity-theme, de donde extrae Waugh la energía vital que anima su persona y su sátira. Esta participa del clasismo de los personajes a la vez que los satiriza (es decir, lo satiriza desde dentro)—como puede verse de modo ejemplar en la actitud de frivolidad dandy de los personajes del capítulo primero, poco impresionados por los bombardeos alemanes del Blitz, que al decir de Waugh mismo eran, "como todo lo alemán, exagerados".
Así comenta Villar Flor el tema crucial de la indignidad y la desilusión en la ideología de la novela:
Si el anterior enfoque temático se concretaba en la indignidad de oficiales concretos, al extrapolar tal inadecuación a todo el bloque aliado podemos vislumbrar la lectura política que Waugh propone con esta novela. Ya en la introducción a HA [Hombres en Armas] se reflexiona sobre esta materia (véase págs. 81-84). A pesar de obvias diferencias de matiz, se puede considerar que Guy actúa a lo largo de la trilogía como portavoz de las ideas de su autor; y para Waugh la honorabilidad de la contienda sufrió un revés irreparable con la alianza entre la URSS y Gran Bretaña. A partir de ese momento entra en crisis el concepto de guerra justa, que para Guy/Waugh era el motivo que legitimaba el esfuerzo bélico de su país. En HA Buy se plantea la pregunta de "para qué estamos luchando" a partir del cuestionario del MIM, número 31 (véase págs. 313-319). Su respuesta entonces es optimista, acaso ingenua: los aliados ganarán la guerra porque la suya es una causa justa. Al final de OC, sin embargo, su espejismo idealista se ha disuelto:
Fue también un día mediterráneo soleado y oreado dos años atrás cuando leyó acerca de la alianza ruso-germana, cuando parecía que una década vergonzosa finalizaba en luz y razón, cuando el enemigo se presentaba claramente a la vista, enorme y odioso, despojado de todo disfraz; la era moderna en armas. Ahora esa alucinación se había disuelto (...) y había regresado, tras una peregrinación de dos escasos años en una ilusoria Tierra Santa, al viejo mundo ambiguo, donde los sacerdotes eran espías y los gallardos amigos [Ivor Claire, por ejemplo, huyendo de Creta sin sus tropas] resultaban traidores, y su país se conducía dando tumbos hacia el deshonor (pág. 415).
Como hemos señalado, Guy se endurece aún más en su aislamiento cuando comprueba que las personas de su entorno celebran con satisfacción la nueva alianza con Rusia. Y poco después realiza un acto simbólico destruir en el incinerador la libreta donde apuntó los detalles de la batalla de Creta. No tiene ya sentido comprometer el futuro de un antiguo amigo y compañero cuando la indignidad se extiende a los dirigentes del país. (71-72)
Así narra Waugh este episodio en la novela, una vez Guy se ha recuperado en un hospital tras huir de Creta en un bote hacinado, y sufrir penalidades y visiones en la travesía hasta Alejandría:
El equipo de Guy le había seguido —si bien mermado por el pillaje— del campamento al hospital. También estaba el fardo que contenía los harapos, lavados y planchados, que había llevado en Creta, y un ordenado envoltorio de las posesiones sacadas de sus bolsillos y su mochila; junto al disco rojo de identidad estaba su manumisión por parte de Chatty Corner y la libreta en la que había tomado las notas para el diario de guerra. No estaba la goma elástica. Las tapas tenían jirones, se habían reblandecido, arrugado y estropeado, algunas páginas se habían pegado. Guy las separó cuidadosamente con una navaja. Todo estaba allí. Sobre el papel cuadriculado separado de manchas podía seguir, en el deterioro de su escritura, las sucesivas fases de agotamiento. A medida que se debilitaba había escrito con letra más grande y pesada. La última entrada era un profundo garabato que ocupaba una hoja en el que registraba la aparición de un aeroplano sobre el bote. Ésta era su contribución a la Historia; ésta, quizá la evidencia en un notorio juicio. Guy se tumbó en la cama, demasiado conmocionado por los acontecimientos físicos del día para concentrarse en las cuestiones morales. Para Julia Stitch no había dilema. Un viejo amigo estaba en apuros. Todos debemos cooperar. Tommy tenía su constante guía en el precepto "nunca hay que causar problemas excepto cuando supongan una predominante ventaja positiva." En el frente, si Ivor o cualquier otro hubiera puesto en peligro una posición, Tommy no habría tenido escrúpulos en fusilarle sin más. Pero ésta era otra cuestón. Nadie estaba en peligro salvo la reputación de un solo hombre. Ivor se había comportado abominablemente, pero no había herido a nadie salvo a sí mismo. Ahora estaba quitado de en medio. Tommy se encargaría de que nunca volviera a estar en situación de comportarse como en Creta. También su tropa estaba quitada de enmedio hasta el fin de la guerra. No importaba mucho, en lo que respectaba a ganar la guerra, lo que se comentara en un campo de prisioneros. Quizá al cabo de los años, cuando Tommy se encontrara con Ivor en el Bellamy's, sería una pizca menos cordial que antaño. Pero instigar un consejo de guerra por un delito capital era inconcebible; en sentido estricto causaría interminables molestias y retrasos profesionales; en conjunto, beneficiaría al enemigo. Guy carecía de estas sencillas normas de conducta. Ya no conservaba su antiguo afecto hacia Ivor, ni siquiera aprecio, pues el hombre que había sido su amigo resultó ser una ilusión. También tenía conciencia de que toda guerra consistía en crear problemas sin apenas esperanza de sacar nada en limpio. ¿Por qué estaba él en el sótano de la señora Stitch, por qué estaban Eddie y Bertie en prisión, por qué el joven soldado yacía aún insepulto en el pueblo abandonado de Creta, si no era por la Justicia? Así, permaneció acostado meditando hasta que la señora Stitch le convocó al aperitivo. (413)
La última frase resume la resolución ética que adopta Guy (y Waugh): aparcar las meditaciones, adoptar "estas sencillas normas de conducta" que engrasan la vida social y sus tomas y dacas, aceptar la propia implicación en la corrupción del sistema, y hacer lo más conveniente desde un punto de vista oportunista, no lo legal ni lo éticamente correcto. Podemos decir que a estas alturas el meditabundo Guy es aún inocente, pero accede al punto de vista cínico de su autor cuando decide callar y quemar las pruebas de sus anotaciones. Tras el párrafo citado por Villar Flor, "Ahora esa alucinación se había disuelto (...) hacia el deshonor", sigue así:
Esa tarde llevó su libreta al incinerador del patio exterior y la arrojó dentro. Fue un acto simbólico; como el del soldado de Skafia que desmembrara su ametralladora y arrojara las partes una a una por el puerto, chapoteo tras chapoteo, entre los residuos. (415)
Los dos son actos simbólicos a un nivel, pero reales a otro. Y el simbolismo que los identifica es engañoso, cosa que ni Guy el focalizador ni el narrador comentan, pues ambos son ahora solidarios en su visión cínica de los actos de Guy (for good reason). Lo que hay que matizar es lo siguiente: el ver a un soldado destrozar su ametralladora y dispersar las piezas es sólo aparentemente un acto de indignidad. En un heroísmo de tebeo, el soldado (abandonado en la playa de Creta por su plana mayor en retirada, no lo olvidemos) hubiera esperado a los alemanes y hubiera muerto ametrallándolos, llevándose unos cuandos por delante. Pero no eran esas sus órdenes, sino las más realistas de rendirse a los alemanes. Y el soldado destroza su arma no como acto simbólico que exprese su cobardía y oportunismo, sino como una contribución real al esfuerzo de guerra: impedir que los alemanes se hagan con armamento que podrían reutilizar. En cambio, la "ametralladora" de Guy, las notas comprometedoras que destroza, caerían en manos no precisamente de los alemanes, sino de alguien ajeno al círculo de amistades y contactos de la clase alta, alguien que no tendría reparos en llevar a Ivor a un consejo de guerra, porque sería lo legal. Guy elige pasarse al enemigo, en cierto, modo, pero el enemigo es a la vez su propio bando, al que pertenece o intenta pertenecer, la "casta" superior que usa la maquinaria de guerra, y de hecho todas las instituciones públicas, en beneficio propio. Así, Guy a la vez admite y reconoce su propia corrupción, su propia implicación en el sistema, y profundiza en ella con este acto cuyos efectos reales son tan notables como los simbólicos.
Villar Flor observa la manera en que en el paso de los diarios de guerra de Waugh a la trilogía novelesca, y en particular a Oficiales y Caballeros, la ficcionalización modera o desvía las indignidades y vergüencillas de la guerra, y desvía la responsabilidad de las personas concretas con quienes trató Waugh. Ahora bien, vemos aquí a Guy destruyendo unas notas previas a su diario de guerra, con lo cual se nos anuncia un nivel más de atemperación o autocensura: aun si toda la realidad observada, con sus miserias, pasó a las notas del natural tomadas por estos testigos, esos datos pasan al olvido, o quedan para la discreción de la memoria personal. El diario que producirá Guy en el mundo ficticio, y Waugh en el real, es ya una producción "ficticia", conscientemente amañada, de hecho, para encubrir la verdad y ocultarla bajo una apariencia de documento. Una ficción que a su vez se reelaborará en el caso de Waugh en otra ficción, esta vez explícita, la de la trilogía Men at Arms que incluye como pieza central a Oficiales y Caballeros. Allí Guy sale relativamente indemne en su honorabilidad (aunque una frase críptica y contradictoria, repetidamente sopesada por Villar Flor, sugiere que en el día de la desbandada en Creta, Guy "perdió buena parte de su hombría"). Es Ivor, el admirado 'buddy' símbolo de la elegancia y rectitud inglesa para Guy, quien resulta tener pies de barro. La ficción señala, sin embargo, a una supresión presente tanto en los diarios como en ella misma, de modo paradójico, como un tachón sobre un borrón. Una doble envoltura de distorsión o de ficcionalización. Y sin embargo es a través de esta ficción, por vía interpuesta de su ficcionalizado representante Guy, como Waugh deja entrever que hay cosas que es mejor no contar, que no pasen a los diarios –posiblemente cosas a las que sólo se puede señalar como algo que se ha borrado. La intensidad de la desilusión de Guy, así como su elección final de la vida social y los contactos por encima de la honorabilidad, me hacen pensar que no es sólo en la traición de otros, o la de su país, en la que está pensando Waugh, sino en su propia traición a los ideales, y su desilusión consigo mismo, mostrada aquí por vía interpuesta. Es más fácil justificarse a sí mismo si es todo el país el que se envilece, y si hay quien lo ha hecho más visiblemente. Pero hay también una honestidad en el hecho de dejar visible el borrón, debajo del tachón, o en incluir estos hilos conductores y alusiones por las cuales quien lo desee puede, si no extraer el ovillo de lo que en realidad se ventila en la novela, sí intuir que hay un ovillo, o que lo hubo antes de que se escamotease y dejase esta especie de huellas en el texto. Que deviene en cierto modo, en lo que se refiere a su relación con la realidad de la experiencia del autor, un self-consuming artifact, que a la vez expresa y ocultan la desilusión del autor con sus propios ideales y consigo mismo, la desilusión vivida desde dentro.
_____. "Narración, Identidad, Interacción: Relectura." In Paradojas de la interculturalidad: Filosofía, lenguaje y discurso. Ed. Mª Carmen López Sáenz and Beatriz Penas Ibáñez. (Razón y sociedad). Madrid: Biblioteca Nueva, 2008. 183-202.*
_____. "Narración, Identidad, Interacción: Relectura." iPaper at Academia.edu 17 July 2010.*
_____. "Rereading(,) Narrative(,) Identity(,) and Interaction." Paper read at the conference on "Identity and Diversity: Philosophical/Philological Reflections." Madrid: UNED, Oct. 9-10, 2003.*
_____. "Rereading(,) Narrative(,) Identity(,) and Interaction." In Interculturalism: Between Identity and Diversity. Ed. Beatriz Penas Ibáñez and Mª Carmen López Sáenz. Bern: Peter Lang, 2006. 207-26.*
_____. "Rereading(,) Narrative(,) Identity(,) and Interaction." Online edition. 2006.
Como es sabido, los estudios universitarios de letras no ofrecen casi ninguna salida, salvo a los estudiantes más capacitados para hacer carrera en la enseñanza universitaria en el campo de las letras: se trata en resumidas cuentas de una situación bastante chusca en la que el único objetivo del sistema es su propia reproducción y que genera una tasa de desechos superior al 95%. Esos estudios, sin embargo, no son nocivos e incluso pueden tener una utilidad marginal. Una chica que aspire a un trabjo de dependienta en Céline o Hermès deberá, ante todo, cuidar su presencia; pero una licenciatura o un máster de letras modernas pueden constituir una baza accesoria que, a falta de competencias prácticas, garantice al empleador cierta agilidad intelectual que permita augurar la posibilidad de una evolución en la carrera: la literatura, además, siempre ha tenido una connotación positiva dentro de la industria del lujo.
Por mi parte, era consciente de formar parte de la reducida franja de los "estudiantes más capacitados." Había escrito una buena tesis, lo sabía, y esperaba una mención honorífica: quedé gratamente sorprendido por la felicitación unánime del tribunal y, sobre todo, cuando descubrí mi informe de tesis, que era excelente, cais ditirámbico: con ello tenía muchas posibilidades, si lo deseaba, de conseguir una plaza de profesor. En resumidas cuentas, mi vida, por su previsible uniformidad y banalidad, seguía pareciéndose a la de Huysmans un siglo y medio atrás. Había pasado los primeros años de mi vida en una universidad; probablemente allí pasaría también los últimos, y quizá en la misma (no fue exactamente así: obtuve mi titulación en la Universidad de París IV-Sorbona y fui nombrado profesor en la de París III, un poco menos prestigiosa, pero igualmente situada en el distrito V, a unos cientos de metros de distancia.
Nunca tuve la menor vocación docente y, quince años más tarde, mi carrera no había hecho más que confirmar esa falta de vocación inicial. Las pocas clases particulares que di con la esperanza de mejorar mi nivel de vida me convencieron enseguida de que en la mayoría de las ocasiones la transmisión del saber es imposible, la diversidad de las inteligencias es extrema y que nada puede suprimir ni siquiera atenuar esa desigualdad fundamental. Más grave aún: no me gustaban los jóvenes, y nunca me habían gustado, ni siquiera en los tiempos en que se me podía considerar un miembro de sus filas. A mi entender, la idea de juventud implicaba cierto entusiasmo respecto a la vida, o tal vez cierta rebelión, todo ello acompañado de una vaga sensación de superioridad respecto a la generaión a la que tendríamos que reemplazar; nunca sentí, dentro de mí, algo semejante.
Notes taken c. 1985 from Horst Ruthrof's book The Reader's Construction of Narrative (London: Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1981).
Phenomenology and structuralism converge in the study of "the activity of reading", with some exceptions. viii- "... narrative surface texts are sets of signs coding at the same time two ontologically different sets of signifieds: presentational process and presented world"; "... unlike pragmatic discourse where modality is either available as a set of non-linguistic signs or is defined as stable by a pragmatic horizon of expectations (as in the case of technical instructions, sceintific reports, legal documents, etc.) fictive narrative modality is a set of signifieds which must be constructed by the reader through, prior to, or apart from the presented world. As a complex semantic unit it interacts dynamically with the presented world in the reading consciousness at each point of the forward reading process. This semantic interaction replaces both the relation between propositional content and illocutionary force (Austin, Searle) and the conception of style and tone as an adjunct to action sequence" (i.e. Todorov). xi- Style vs. tone: "Tone (...) must be constructed by the reader (a) as a speaker's attitude pertaining to presentational speech acts and (be) as attitudes pertaining to presented speech acts" (It is not a surface structure); "... the only kind of identification possible between actual reader and work is his construction of the implied reader, adequate and inadequate, and not between reader and fictive personae."
Chapter 1: What happens when we read a narrative text?
Texts are ontologically non-homogeneous—they exist at the same time at different levels of ideality. The interpretation of the world through stock-of-knowledge-at-hand is duplicated when we read a text. 4- "This means that we must be able to grasp the aspects of space, time, acts, personae, etc., and the ideological position of both the presented items and the presentational speech act." The typological approach is insufficient. There is not always a clear "point of view" (space and time). (A table comparing features of time, space, personae, acts, events, tonal aspects, atmosphereic aspects, ideological patterns, applied to both presentational process (+ reader) and presented world). Events: presentational process: "author's arrangements beyond the narrator's control" presnted world: "non-human events" Ideological patterns: only those of narrator, not of author. Double vision in narrative: 6- "On the one hand, the vision of what could be seen, heard, imagined, or, in terms of the filmic medium, what could be projected and enacted on the screen; and, on the other, that vision which allows the former to come into existence, the quasi-reality of the presentational process." In poetry they are often mixed. 6- "Narrative, no matter which side is emphasized, lives from the distinction and interplay between presentational process and presented world." The stream of consciousness of the characters is not a presentational process, but presented world. Four types of narrative statements: "a) Process statements with reference to presented world b) 'World' statements with reference to process c) Process statements without reference to presented world (pure process markers) d) 'World' statements without specific reference to process but always allowing its construction." (Note the difference between c & d - JAGL) Verbal narrative constructs images just as non-verbal (iconcic) narrative constructs a text. The right division is transmission & world, not teller & tale.(A partial coincidence). Against van Dijk: narrative is not always linked (cf. Beckett - JAGL). 11- "Fowler's scheme
should be replaced by the following arrangement (...)
Text (as physical phenomenon)
Text (as linguistic code)
Deep structure 1
Presentational process (discourse)
Presented world (content)
Deep structure 2
Ideology of process
Ideology of world
Deep structure 3
Overall aesthetic-ideological meaning"
'Content' is an ambiguous term: it may refer to the presented world, or to an ideological abstraction. It is best dropped. Two kinds of transformation (when reading): - Propositional meaning (reductive transformation) - Concretizing (expansive transformation) interpretation in terms of social codes. (No speech act theory in Ruthrof- JAGL). Genesis and The Magic Poker: Examples of construction through reading of presentational process and presented world. Jakobson's metaphoric and metonymic poles of language: 21- "When we introduce the disctinction to the discussion of narrative structure, we not that both presentative process and presented world can be treated in a predominantly metonymic or predominantly metaphoric manner." 20- In Coover's metafiction, a "polyphonic treatment of presentational process and presented world." In metafiction both are metaphoric at the expense of their metonymic potential. On the other pole we find texts which foreground the presented world (metonymical texts).
2. Presentational Process and 'Narrative Transgression'
Is the novel dead? No: Simply the causal plot is dead. Formalists and Aristotle: the plot is not causality, but artistic arrangement. Barthes: notion of narrative vs. narrative transgression. But NO: The presence of the communicative act is essential, and so are its interactions with the message.
Van Dijk: "Artificial narrative dose not respect the pragmatic conditions of natural narrative" ("Action, Action Description, and Narrative" New Literary History 6 (1975): 291); "One of the charcacteristic pragmatic (or perhaps pragmatic-semantic) properties of artificial narration is that the narrator is not obliged to tell the truth" ("Philosophy of Action and Theory of Narratives", Poetics 5 (1976): 323 ff.).
This is fruitful for linguisics, but trivial for poetics. In literary narrative, the apparatus of telling becomes aesthetically relevant and interactive: 24- "Pragmatic constraints are largely replaced by aesthetic-artistic ones."
Discourse is not analogous to a sentence (vs. Barthes). The "teller" and the "tale" of Scholes and Kellogg refer to a vague level: author? narrator? Ruthrof's theory of phenomenological levels in literary narrative (similar to Ingarden):
1. Print / Sound 2. Linguistic formation. 3.1. Presented world 3.2. Presentational process (3.1 and 3.2 are separate ontological realms) 3.3. Implied reader 3. Work ideology
26- "Each realm (or system) displays the general aspects of space, time, personae, acts, events, tonal & atmospheric qualities, and ideology, in a distinct manner" (shown in a table. There follow examples of foregrounding of one or the other level).
Erich Kahler's "inward turn of narrative", from cosmogony, to action, to psychology. The evolution of the ontological realm could also be traced.
3. Narrative language The Concrete Datum
Narrative (as form) vs. narrative mode (the professional mode of presentation in narratives). We can speak of a mode in narrative "if the processes of telling and that which is told are predominant interacting features." "In this sense the 'novel merely heightens, isolates, and analyses the narrative motions of human consciousness'" (B. Hardy). But so do also all other narrative forms. Relationship linguists / literary scholars: largely fruitless. But linguistics is necessary.
A useful distinction in Jakobson between the sender's and the receiver's construction of meaning (they follow inverted, opposed ways). Separate stages can be studied: creative process (a psychological study), text, and imagined world, "a synthesis of the schematically signified world and the reader's creative contribution" (37). Linguistics, we understand, is dealing with the string of words as an "exchange of utterances", while literary studies are concerned mainly with language as it gives rise to the reader's construction of imaginary worlds and their moral-philosophical stance. Psychology also studies the reader's response. In criticism "it is not the schematically signified but the concretized worlds which are in conflict" (38), in Ingarden's terms. Poetics is not a part of linguistics: "works of literature reveal themselves to be stratified constructs with language as their indispensable skeleton" (39). Concretization, Ruthrof argues, ought to be banned from literary studies. [In arguing that works are not linear, Ruthrof seems to be implying that texts are linear]. Poetics and linguistics are overlapping but exclusive areas. Lodge's contention that "the fictional world of a novel is a verbal world" is mistaken, it "rests on the assumption that consciousness is essentially conceptual, i.e. verbal", but it isn't; our consciousness of everything in the novel is verbal, but its nature is not verbal." [I disagree here- language and consciousness are more closely involved—JAGL] And although we may verbalize our findings we are rarely able to discover specific concrete evidence in the text for such large-scale inferences" Lodge disregards reading. Textural (surface structure) vs. structural approach (which includes surface and deep structure, narrator, time structure, etc.). Narrative language is not distinctive from everyday language in a novel.
Narrative language as a structure of signs 42- "Being dynamic, the process of reading cannot really be represented as the object of an investigation." The reader uses all his total stock of knowledge in reading. 43- "It is this synthesis which places narrative in a metaphoric relationship with everyday life." Studying language as a structure of signs, we neglect unconscious response; the cumulative process in which signs are modified by the text previously read and by attitudes. An example with four levels: surface text, presentational process ("presentational process as suggestive of concretized process"), presented world ("presented world as suggestive of concretized world"), and inferences (high level inferences: interepretative abstractions and work ideology—(separation between both is not too clear, JAGL).
47- "When we are talking about stated ideas, we are dealing with the one area of a literary work in which the text functions as a verbal construct in its own right. By stated ideas I mean directly presented statements (made by the narrator or presented as a persona's mental or speech act) apparently serving as interpretive guides." Interpretative abstractions are provided by the reader; ideology is not wholly objective and not wholly subjective.
4. Narrative stratification and the dialectic of reading
Cf. Roman Ingarden's The Literary Work of Art. His stratification of the narrative work (sounds, linguistic meaning, schematic aspects through which the objects appear, objects). The last two must be modified: differentiation of traits between presentational process and presented world, with a foregrounding of either.
52- "In other words, the narrative text determines the sequence of concretization; the reader cannot concretize process and world simultaneously." A further stratum, philosophical-ideological, must be stipulated—not only abstracted, transformed by summary, but also directly provided by the surface text.
The text is perceived in a reading process, but is experienced retrospectively as a whole at the end.
53- According to Ingarden, "the statements in literary works are quasi-propositions". The pragmatic response to artistic objects is undermined by the integration of presentational process and presented world in narrative texts, in a polyphony. The work is not to be confused with its concretizations (Ingarden)—this is acceptable if concretization is understood as a transformation of the surface text. There are lacunae of indeterminacy in the work, as opposed to concretization. Concretizations may, then, differ.
57- "As we read the text, the schematic guiding system comes into existence, allowing and urging our concretizations to take shape." "According to Husserl such codified schemata permit the reconstruction of meaning intention "but only approximately in literature", actually "not unlike the social interaction." Examples, etc.
58- "One aspect, vital to our grasp of the kind of presentational process employed, concerns the speaker's very activity of speaking: whether he is mainly discussing, debating, confessing, adoring, imploring, praying, attacking or narrating. Any of these activities may of course be modified by any one or more of the others; which of these is predominant and structure-carrying, though, can be secured only in retrospect, i.e., with the whole text at our disposal" [Cf. van Dijk's 'macro-speech acts' - JAGL].
Two manners of reading are required for the presentational process and for the presented world—sometimes in a single word. There are two fundamentally different modalities, that of the presentational process and that of the author as sender of the total message. The latter is inferred from the interaction of presentational process and presented world. Sometimes either presentational process or presented world seem to be absent, for instance in the figural narrative situation, or in dialogue. (The speech act is then perceived as part of the presented world). Narrative elements are howerver framing these fragments, and guide the reader. Also in first person narrative, when the narrating and experiencing selves coalesce:
63- "In such coalescence, first-person narration approaches lyrical modes of presentation: we are dealing with a fusion of presented world and presentational process" (nevertheless, there is a general narrative sense). If the presented world is suppressed (e.g. in advice to the reader), there is a linear connection between narrator and reader.
- Interior monologue: 2 cases. It can be embedded in other narrative situations or structures, or it may be a structure-carrying feature (Bloom's vs. Molly's monologues). The latter gives a strong sense of the character as a narrator.
- In narrative, two strata, each of which demands priority alternatively while reading.
65- "The essence of the lyrical mode could be defined analogously by the flowing into one stratum of the presentational process and the presented world, while in the language of the stage drama the stratum of presentational process is altogether buried."
Strata: sounds (print) — surface linguistic text; presentational process and presented world (normally in this order); interpretive abstractions.
The schematic givenness of the text and its concretization are two different strata in each, both presentational process and in presented world.
7 levels, then, as against Ingarden's four levels.
A dynamic aspect of concretization, of activation of buried acts (in the signs of the text ) of telling and point of view.
Bierwisch: microstructure of short-term memory vs. "macrostructure" of total effect. Cf. temporal vs. "spatial" form. The latter is constructed through the former.
Iser: the process of reading as an oscillation between the alien and the familiar in the text. Primary vs. secondary concretizations. The first is more essential.
The text is confronted with typified knowledge: inter-textuality, etc., different with each text and reader.
Husserl: "Noetic" (referring to the act of experiencing) vs. "Noematic" (referring to that which has been experienced). Notions such as "the erotics of the text", etc., refer to noesis, whereas structuralists focus on the "noema" (only a partial and unstable noema is constructed). Ruthrof describes the phases of the process: interaction of reading with the partial noema, the effect on the reader...
5. Ladders of Fictionality
The author projects. The text presents. The reader concretizes. Narrative is "a literary form in which a narrative attitude is structure-carrying, the other two major attitudes being an existential attitude, or the expression of our immediate state of being, and a gestural attitude, which constitutes itself by staged or stageable language" [i.e. lyric and drama] (78). In the lyric presentational process and presented world are mixed, and cannot be separated. In drama the presentational process is lacking. "Fiction" means a particular kind of projection of the author's world into his work: we also call "fiction" the "given" language and the "reconstructed" world of the reader. There are ladders relating the world-out-there to author, text, and reader—phases of interpretation. "Authorial reduction" vs. "aesthetic reconstruction."
81- "Only in non-fictional projection (...) does the author attend consistently to individual objects in the word-out-there", or, from the reader's point of view, "can each spatial and temporal detail, or aspects of events and human acts be argued to have a traceable source in the actual world"—etc. Ontologically, it would not be a verbal reflection, only an encoding of apperceived and apprehended fact, at least ideally. In practice, resources are borrowed from fiction. A mode of projection is to be adequately responded to by the reader with a reciprocal mode of appresentation.
Realism & detail do not equal specific, while allegory does not equal general. Cf. Husserl's distinction between formalization and generalization. 83- "Applied to reading this means that deformalization refers to acts which give mental-material content to linguistic formulae or to moving from the status of linguistic meaning units to that of the schematic world, appresentation to the filling of the undetermined areas within this skeletal construct" (cf. Husserl's 'pairing').
Possibility of inappropriate readings: even if we are free to make them disregarding textual evidence. E.g. In Cold Blood discourages private appresentation.
Other modes: "realistic"(fiction) vs. "mythical"—the pith is the discovery of a pattern of meaning beyond verisimilitude. The mythic is largely present in the realistic novel. E.g. in Nostromo: a spatial centre as thematic centre: moral attitudes, etc.
As documentary reading, allegory curtails appresentation: Abstraction but with rigid rules (vs. the mythic). Reading Kafka, "we respond to a forceful impulse to search for an ideational superstructure comparable to those metaphysical schemata which we continuously superimpose on our apperception of the world-out-there" (91).
Creation of a horizon which defines the world created. (Again, in Nostromo). Fantasy narrative is striking in that it hedges a world of its own.
The presentational process has a bearing on the fictional world: it is visible when a narrator hands over the narrative to another one; the reader then enters a different sphere. Sometimes the presentational process devours the presented world. E.g. in As I Lay Dying. It is only to the reflection of the different consciousnesses that we can attach any meaning, and not to the "objective" world.
According to Auerbach, narration inside fiction achieves an objective description of the speaker through a subjective procedure (the creation of an even more fictive world).
95- "Strictly speaking we step inside such narrower horizons whenever a persona other than the primary narrator speaks or thinks, in direct speech, in letters (...) in free indirect speech, (...) in interior monologue (...) or in diary entries" [Cf. Mieke Bal's conception of narrative levels- JAGL].
96- To summarize, "there are not simply literary objects identifiable as documentary, realistic, mythic, allegorical, and fantasy stories, but rather attitudes of consciousness on the part of the authors which have entered, more or less successfully, the stories' material foundations, their texts, and corresponding attitudes of consciousness on the part of the reader if adequate reading is to be accomplished."
Criteria for modes of narrative between fiction and non-fiction, etc. (related to horizon, apperception, the real world, etc.).
6. Bracketed World and Reader Construction in the Modern Short Story
"Centrifugal [linguistic] macrostructural concerns contrast with the centripetal structures which the reader must activate in short fiction". Both are describable.
Centripetal semantic structures do not imply compression of signified world or linguistic structures.
Several explanations have been given of brevity: "modern haste", "minor form" or "static structure" (long fiction would be "dynamic").
From the study of popular short fiction to the evolution of the acts of writing and reading. Chekhov, Poe, James, emphasize the way the reader "fills up" short fiction, or the importance of uninterrupted reading performance.
Many nouvelles at this moment focus on a character's discovering in a flash meaningful vs. meaningless existence. Both amplification and brevity are used—a double movement in the process of reading: (102) "subordinated accumulated information and foregrounded reduced world are thus constructed and abstracted to shape a complex aesthetic-ideological experience". Cf. the existential boundary-situations (103) "in which we wrest from life an authentic existence or stare absurdity in the face"; boundary-situation story is a story of the bracketed world. Spatial and temporal reduction; the presentational process is reduced: scene in authorial narrative, and narrator with limited understanding in first-person narrative. Identification with the implied reader demands an adjustment on the part of the reader. The boundary situation may be at the end after exposition; exposition is included in the present as remembrance; or the story may be limited to the boundary situation. A tight structure guides the reader. Now this type of short story is exhausted: replaced by metafiction, more ludic and less ideological. (Rupture).
7. Narrative Strands: Presented and Presentational 110- "an important part of inter-textuality is the reader's expectation of noetic as noematic strands"; (111) "in both presented and presentational strands it is above all structural leaps as to personae and spatial aspects which indicate a change from one strand to the other, while the temporal aspects may or may not differ from those of other strands." There are large-scale patterns of syntagmatic and paradigmatic relationships:
Syntagmatic coding in presented world: contiguity of personae, spatial and temporal aspects, ideology...
Syntagmatic coding in presentational process: continnum of narrating voice (identity of the narrator)
112- "By contrast, multi-strand arrangement in both process and world may be understood as macrostructural paradigmatic structures" (alternation of narrated worlds or narrators). 1. Multi-strand or heterogeneous process
• Presentational strands and homogeneous world: Rashomon, As I Lay Dying (In these the core does not exist; the object is in the subject) • Presentational strands and heterogenous worlds: Wuthering Heights, Lord Jim. • Heterogeneous process and world, changing to homogeneous process and world: The Sound and the Fury.
2. Single-strand or homogeneous processes
• Single-strand process and homogeneous world: First peson, The Catcher in the Rye. • Single-strand process and heterogeneous world: The Magic Poker. • Single-strand process and heterogeneous world becoming homogeneous world.
118- "We experience strands as interlinked because the link means something. Or, in Saussure's terminology, any structural relationship is itself a sign." Splicing and synthetising matrices of higher order (presentational and presented strands) gives rise to a potential polyphony of narrative art.
8. Acts of Narrating: Transforming of Presentational Control 122- "Narrative structure has room for a large variety of acts of narrating apart from reporting, describing or rememberting. We find acts of teaching, reprimanding, exhorting, ridiculing, explaining, projecting, comparing, prophesying or abstracting." Intertextuality is present in narrator, reader & implied reader; it is crucial to interpretation. Studies on point-of-view only have sense when joined to the question of signification.
Relationship between presentational process - presented world - implied reader:
124- Triangle with three vertices: narrator - world - reader. Narrative is a structure in Piaget's sense.
Defined by narrator, defining reader
Defining narrator, judged by reader
129- "In the actual reading experience of omniscient novels this sense of dependence is usually concealed. Instead, we are led to develop a sense more of being the narrator's partner, if not his chum." (Application to a wide variety of genres, etc.).
In objective narration, (129) "the very restriction of the implied reader to a mere witness of schematically sketched physical details tends to grant the actual reader a new freedom" (...); (130) "his stock of inter-textual and everyday typifications will grant his a more complex vision than is coded in the text."
In satire (analogous to jokes, etc.): "the actual reader is again given the chance of identifying with the implied reader and becoming a co-satirist; or he may fail to bisociate and so declare himself part of the ridiculed world."
136- "Through the realization of the implied reader and its functions vis-à-vis presented world and presentational process, work ideology reveals itself in its quasi-personal aspects: as implied authorial stance."
9. Parodic narrative For the Russian Formalists, all literature is parodic in the broadest sense of that term. Parody is a general attribute of consciousness. Parody is part of ideological mutation. The opposition "Parody of form vs. Parody of content" is grounded on a binary conception of the work, not a polyphonic one.
142- "all literary parody points to the literariness, the interpretative rather than the representational quallities of works of literature" (they are often mixed, though). Parody is a tertiary construct (literature in general is secondary; documentation, e.g. In Cold Blood, is primary). Parody may be aimed at any of the strata of print or sound, linguistic formations, presentational process or presented world, or interpretative abstractions. (Examples).
Parody modifies the source object but it always potentially transcends it. It may create its own patterns, etc. We concretize the presentational process and the presented world of both the parody and the parodied structure.
10. Narrative and the form-content metaphor
The reader's imaginative construction of modality in literature. Definition of literature as messages oriented upon themselves? It is not self-sufficient in nay case; the reader draws on intertextuality, external ideology, reality...
The reader helps to construct form. Form is not merely a matter of the printed text. We impose structures on whatever we confront. The form-content trope causes misconceptions when it is given ontological validity. Ruthrof follows the pair form/content through history and shows its polysemy, mainly with three meanings: 1) As separable components; 2) As fused into one inseparable unity; 3) As elements in a dialectic relationship. The first conception is found in Plotinus, Flaubert, the Marxists, the New Critics. The second, in Schlegel, Coleridge, Hegel, Flaubert, Pater, Croce, the Russian Formalists. The third is found in the Marxists: Social evolution in dialectical relationship with the history of forms. For Ruthrof, these terms are best rejected.
11. Translating narrative
Theories of translation often have inadequate linguistic and semiologic bases (old triadic theories, etc.). Jakobson's triad is more useful (intralingual, interlingual ("common") or intersemiotic translation). But: in reading, we do not use language in a purely analytic way; we activate our experiential knowledge (with paradigmatic associations, etc.). Concretization is based on a word's denotation and connotation. The translator must recreate the basic structure, in all levels.
At the linguistic level, both texts must have the same deep structure and the same lacunae of indeterminacy. At least, surface syntax is ultimately dependable. The presentational process and the presented world must be similar.
Translation of the work's ideology: Notes are indispensable, or introductions.
192- "Translations play a vital role in the cultural life of any nation; they are a measure of how far it is in touch with the rest of the world, how far it dares or seeks to encourage foreign codes and visions to modify its own. In this sense translations are an instance of 'parole', placed in a dialectical relationship with langue. Sometimes a translation becomes fully integrated, so that it is understood as a part of langue.
12. Fictional Modality: A Challenge to Linguistics
Modality in fiction involves more than narrational speech acts: the presentational process is subsumed under the reader's construction;
194- "a novel is a statement made in a certain manner".
Language (even artistic language) is a structure for persuasion, not only for referential orientation.
194- "literary art can be seen as the discourse which, certainly potentially, is more fully determined by modal operations than other forms of utterance." But there is a vast gap between the demands of literature and the tools of modal logic and linguistics. (Modal analysis may be both accurate and trivial for literature). Russell, Quine, vs. modal logic.
Linguistics provides a restricted treatment of modality: of modal auxiliaries, etc. Covert modality is ignored.
Halliday's approach is better: the interpersonal function is realized through modality.
196- Eco: "The aesthetic text becomes a multiple source of unpredictable 'speech acts' whose real author remains undetermined, sometimes being the sender of the message, at others the addressee who collaborates in its development".
A tripartite hierarchy of speech acts: - Presented discourse - Presentational discourse - Authorial stance
197- "The construction of narrative meaning relies on a vast matrix of possible modal transformations" with "a relatively high degree of modal instability" (there is the possibility of ironic reversal).
Literary theory has disregarded modal phenomena (unlike specific critical readings). Modality is all-pervading; in Halliday, it is the speaker's "assessment of the validity of what he is saying".
199- "The total sphere of unformulated text alternatives (...) functions as a potential set of modal qualifiers of a text." How much of it is activated depends on the reader's competence, ideological position, etc.
The reading of explicit authorial textual alternatives, as well as that of the repressed ones uncovered by psychonalysis, is legitimate.
Hoy actualizo la bibliografía en el servidor de la Universidad, con la edición definitiva de 2005. Es la décima edición en red (voy a una por año) aunque la bibliografía la empecé a hacer en 1989, y ya partiendo de materiales recopilados antes para mis tesis y cosas. Voy a enviar un mensaje por la lista de distribución de AEDEAN para dar noticia de la nueva URLbicación. Y acto seguido, inauguro simbólicamente la decimoprimera, undécima u onceava edición para 2006, poniendo a todos los documentos a partir de hoy este nuevo encabezamiento:
A BIBLIOGRAPHY OF LITERARY THEORY, CRITICISM AND PHILOLOGY
by José Ángel GARCÍA LANDA (University of Zaragoza, Spain)
This file is an excerpt from the 11th online edition (2006)
También voy a dar una caja más ancha al texto, porque la tenía así de estrechita para poderla encuadernar bien, todo con vistas a la proyectada impresión en cuarenta volúmenes para la oposición. Por fin imprimí sólo poco más de la mitad, 26 volúmenes, y casi mejor que no seguí, visto que a la presidenta del tribunal le pareció un trabajo "ridículo" (probablemente tenga mejor criterio que yo en estas cosas, quién sabe, una visión más globalizada). En fin, como desde luego no pienso imprimir la bibliografía otra vez, pues vuelta al formato para lectura en red. También tendré que cambiar todas las comillas en la nueva edición, visto que Google, el lector más usado, no entiende las comillas que utilizo y las cambia por cuadrados negros. Claro que a saber lo que pasará con estas cosas de formatos dentro de un año, a la velocidad que cambian estas cosas. Lo que no cambio de momento, mientras sea posible, es el formato de texto en que hago la bibliografía. De hecho ya Google da opción de leer todas estas páginas como documentos html, con lo cual me ha ahorrado mucho trabajo. Sigo opinando que en estos temas no hay que matar las moscas a cañonazos, sobre todo si acaban cayendo solas, con el tiempo. Y no me disgusta del todo esto de ser un dinosaurio de la red, o quizá una mezcla de dinosaurios.
Plan para esta tarde: nos vamos con Bea a ver El puente de San Luis Rey. ¿Alguien se apunta? (pasan unas horas) Bueno, pues que nadie vaya a verla; una película desorganizada, mal contada, confusa en su intención y su filosofía... se lució la directora / guionista. Quedan buenos actores y buena fotografía, sin embargo; seguro que no iban avisados.
Log del Blogtrotter: comentario al Habitat del Unicornio sobre la interacción del hardware y el software mental. Claro que el hardware mental de cada cual también es un tema a tener en cuenta...
He visionado El Fantasma de la Ópera, película sobre el musical de Andrew Lloyd Webber, bien doblado al español aunque con los defectos inevitables de sincronización. Los cantantes españoles, bien, mejor de lo esperable para un doblaje, aunque las canciones se resienten algo en la traducción. Es más recomendable ver la versión inglesa pues la falta de sincronización detrae mucho más de lo que pudiera pensarse. La música es la misma que en el musical original, sin arreglos worth mentioning. Sí, se dice que ALW escribió unos minutos más de música para una escena, y también hay una canción nueva en los créditos. Pero las demás no están "versioneadas". En cuanto a la película, ofrece todos los placeres que puede ofrecer el mejor kitsch, que no son de despreciar (especialmente en cuanto a ambientación y decorados); menos de los que puede ofrecer el mejor cine, pero ¿quién irá a buscar eso en El Fantasma de la Ópera? Por cierto, la historia del Fantasma se parece mucho a la de Notre-Dame de Paris de Victor Hugo (eso sí, con final más feliz), sólo que combinando en el Fantasma los personajes de Frodo el siniestro sacerdote y de Quasimodo el deforme enamorado. Y por supuesto el galán queda mejor y menos kitsch cuando está tan pagado de sí como Phoebus en Notre-Dame, un galán tan galán como el de esta película no es aceptable hoy en día, con los tiempos que corren. Un antepasado más lejano para el tema de la bella y la bestia es claro Shakespeare, con su Próspero controlador, su inocente Miranda y su Caliban esclavizado, aunque los papeles se vuelven a redistribuir. Y más atrás está otro favorito operístico, la historia de Polifemo enamorado de Galatea. Lo más característico del tratamiento que se le da en la comedia musical parece ser el tema de la fascinación semiinconsciente que ejerce el fantasma, que así pasa a ser una especie de personificación de oscuras tendencias de Christine (a la manera por otra parte muy victoriana de un Mr Hyde, o de retrato de Dorian Gray). Total, dejando estos sótanos del pensamiento y volviendo a la ópera: recomendable, por supuesto, pero mucho más recomendable ver el musical de Plamondon y Cocciante Notre-Dame de Paris si no lo has visto aún, lo primero es lo primero.
Hale, venga, aquí va un crismas judeocristiano, y no cenéis demasiado, que de últimas cenas están las sepulturas llenas.
Hoy ha sido el entierro del Dr. Tomás Buesa, de Jaca, que fue catedrático de la Universidad de Zaragoza y Decano de nuestra facultad, y bajo cuya dirección se formaron los departamentos de filología francesa e inglesa. D. E. P.
Empieza a hacerse visible la nueva página web del Departamento de Filología Inglesa y Alemana de Zaragoza, incluida también en mi página de enlaces. Le deseo más suerte que a la antigua, que hice yo en tiempos y que nunca llegó a interesar a nadie, y menos a la dirección. Pero el personal en general va al ralentí en estos temas buebísticos, como se puede ver en un examen rápido del conjunto. Inauguramos la página web de Beatriz con una foto; pronto más. Por cierto, hemos inaugurado también el invierno, y los alumnos van desapareciendo como aves migratorias.
Me llega la nueva biografía de Shakespeare por Stephen Greenblatt, Will in the World: How Shakespeare Became Shakespeare. Viene muy recomendada: finalista del National Book Award. Pues ya hay más lectura para navidades, "when icicles hang by the wall". Vaya, esto que me pasa por la cabeza me lleva veinte años atrás, cuando leíamos este poema de Shakespeare, de Love's Labour's Lost:
When icicles hang by the wall, And Dick the shepherd blows his nail, And Tom bears logs into the hall, And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipp'd, and ways be foul, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit; Tu-who, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot. When all aloud the wind doth blow, And coughing drowns the parson's saw, And birds sit brooding in the snow, And Marian's rose looks red and raw, When roasted crabs hiss in the bowl, Then nightly sings the staring owl, Tu-whit; Tu-who, a merry note, While greasy Joan doth keel the pot.
To the sessions of sweet silent thought I summon up remembrance of time past. We have heard the chimes at midnight, that we have! A merry note.
Una blank entry es necesaria en los diarios ficticios según H. Porter Abbott. E inevitable en los reales. Pero no ha de ser hoy: cada minuto pasan cosas (y cada segundo por la cabeza). Y las que pasan a través de nosotros y a nuestro lado sin que nos demos cuenta (por ejemplo, mueve la mano delante de tí, en el aire, y seguro que hay un programa de Timón y Pumba, o un documental sobre tatuajes, o lo que sea, ahí-- sólo que careces del decodificador adecuado. También carecemos del decodificador adecuado para saber lo que están pensando de nosotros quienes piensan en nosotros).
Acabo de leerme Neuromancer de William Gibson, el clásico del ciberespacio, la matriz donde se gestó la matrix, y todo lo demás; excelente si te interesa el tema del robotic takeover del que hablaba en Hay Robot. Neuromante, nigromante, nuevo romántico, debería volver a ponerse de moda ahora que se llevan los libros de conspiraciones y ciencias oscuras. Aunque es un poco demasiado durillo de leer para la mollera media... Pero los amantes de P.K. Dick deberían amarlo, traduttora. Yo lo leo con veinte años de retraso, pero tantas cosas suceden con veinte años de retraso.
Examinamos en estas notas una variedad de temas relacionados con las consecuencias de las tecnologías de la información y de la comunicación sobre la práctica y la crítica de la literatura, reseñando y comentando el volumen Literatura y Cibercultura editado por Domingo Sánchez Mesa (2004). Entre las cuestiones tratadas se enuentran el advenimiento de las humanidades digitales; el impacto de la realidad virtual sobre la creación de ficciones; la dialéctica del ciberespacio y el espacio literario; el hipertexto y la literatura ergódica; los ordenadores y los estudios literarios; la ciberdemocracia y la transformación de la esfera pública; el impacto de las TICs sobre las identidades y relaciones sociales; el cyberpunk y los nuevos desarrollos en la ciencia-ficción; la poesía y el drama digitales de vanguardia; y las implicaciones pedadógicas de las TICs por ejemplo en el aprendizaje a distancia.
An examination of a number of issues related to the implications of ICT technology on the practice and criticism of literature, by way of a review and commentary of Domingo Sánchez Mesa's collection Literature and Cyberculture (2004). Some of the issues addressed are the advent of digital humanities; the impact of virtual reality on fiction-making; the dialectics of the literary space and cyberspace; hypertext and ergodic literature; computers and literary studies; cyberdemocracy and the transformation of the public sphere; the impact of ICT on social identities and relationships; cyberpunk and new developments in science fiction; avant-garde digital poetry and drama; and the pedagogical implications of ICT such as e-learning.
Towards the end of Stephen Crites' article "Storytime", on the narrative psychology of the self—a nightmare vision on the fixed selves we acquire, the artificial living dead we may become through a surfeit of coherence:
New variations on the same basic types of unhappiness arise when I wittingly or unwittingly confuse the recollective story with the projective scenario. On the one hand, treating my own past as if it were as indeterminate as the future, my story will be so loose and fragmentary that I cannot recollect myself out of it. I make a fairy tale of my past, and become at best an enigma to myself and others, a creature of uncommitted fantasy.
The reverse of this loss of identity is the loss of possibility entailed in the imposition of the tighter-woven recollective story on my future. Attempting to maintain my self unchanged, I impose the "will" of this self on the future. The unhappiness of that is not that I may fail, but that I may actually succeed. For then I will have locked myself into what is after all a construct recollected from the past. The self becomes its own Frankenstein, a monster of its own making, which exercises its control not only over whatever falls within its orbit as it stalks the earth, but also over its very self. I cannot free myself from the self-image I have created, which becomes more confining the more it suceeds in imposing itself.
Acabo de enterarme, por cierto, de que mi website bibliográfico (no el biográfico ni el blográfico, de momento), está entre el Top 1000 universitario del contador Nedstat Basic, de hecho entre el top 250 (va y viene). Tengo más visitas, por ejemplo, que la Facultad de Filosofía y Letras de la Universidad de Barcelona, y menos que el ICE de la Universidad de Zaragoza. En cabeza está la Universidad de Granada. Misterios.
"Common games of sport and gambling are but stripped down, stylized and abbreviated dramas, inviting the direct or vicarious participation of masses of people seeking for some adventure, no matter how minuscule, to provide story matter for their lives" (Karl E. Scheibe, "Self-Narratives and Adventure" 134).
"The value of vertigo is revealed thorugh an examination of the nature of the thrill: that which James said we live for even as we live by habit" (136).
"No strictly rational argument exists for maintaining a cold war, striving in an arms race, or attaining nuclear superiority. The game is not what it seems. These adventures are required not logically but dramatically—the requirement that some sort of reasonably coherent and compelling political story line be sustained" (142).
Kurt Vonnegut on life and self stories:
"If a person survives and ordinary span of sixty years or more, there is every chance that his or her life as a shapely story has ended and all that remains to be experienced is epilogue. Life is not over, but the story is" (Deadeye Dick, 1982, qutd. in Scheibe 143)
"Adventure creates story and contributes to the realization of completed identities. Seriousness is at risk in every venturing forth. But without the venturing forth there is no seriousness. Without the possibility of adventure, domesticity becomes a ludicrous reduction of life, and cannot be serious". (149)
From Karl E. Scheibe's "Self-Narratives and Adventure," in Narrative Psychology, ed. T. R. Sarbin.
Hoy he recibido las separatas del artículo sobre Nabokov, "The Poetics of Subliminal Awareness" que me ha publicado el European Journal of English Studies, mi mayor pica en Flandes hasta la fecha (si bien el publisher ya no es Swets&Zeitlinger sino Routledge). ¿Alguien me da la enhorabuena? "Tant d'heures enfuies / au mirage des mots" que decía la Gréco. Y los destellos de luz en un ojo, casi imperceptibles en medio de tanto papel. No me resisto a recomendar este fragmento de Shakespeare como comentario adicional:
Why! all delights are vain, but that most vain, Which with pain purchas'd doth inherit pain: As, painfully to pore upon a book To seek the light of truth; while truth the while Doth falsely blind the eyesight of his look: Light seeking light doth light of light beguile: So, ere you find where light in darkness lies, Your light grows dark by losing of your eyes. Study me how to please the eye indeed, By fixing it upon a fairer eye, Who dazzling so, that eye shall be his heed, And give him light that it was blinded by. Study is like the heaven's glorious sun, That will not be deep-search'd with saucy looks; Small have continual plodders ever won, Save base authority from others' books. These earthly godfathers of heaven's lights, That give a name to every fixed star, Have no more profit of their shining nights Than those that walk and wot not what they are. Too much to know is to know nought but fame; And every godfather can give a name.
En un rato de aburrimiento en un examen, termino de leer el libro sobre el estilo de Middleton Murry, me dedico a hacer dibujos y compongo (o ensamblo non ex nihilo) este poema, al que nombro, como su godfather,
Keats's Living Hand"This living hand, now warm and capableOf earnest grasping, would, if it were coldAnd in the icy silence of the tomb,So haunt thy days and chill thy dreaming nightsThat thou would wish thine own heart dry of bloodSo in my veins red life might stream again--" --No, better say you've wished your own heart dry of blood, So in her veins red life might stream for you, And you be conscience-calm'd--Impatient (like the wind) You turn to share the wish, with whom but her, But in those eyes unmovéd, cold like holograms, You see no warmth--you grasp the wind, the story's known, It's often been rehearsed, unhappy shadow; Follow still your fair sun, till both at once do fade, The sun unmovéd, cold, the shadow (now a shade) Forever telling what is told, still grasping out, But who will shake hands with the dead. --And yet that hand, this living hand --see here it is-- I hold it towards you.
Como muchos autores, que siguen publicando si no escribiendo después de muertos, Pío Baroja continúa sacando obras, casi sesenta años después de su muerte. Se completa ahora la trilogía de Baroja "Las Saturnales", not too soon:
Winston Manrique Sabogal. "Hallado un libro inédito de Pío Baroja sobre la guerra civil." El País 26 June 2015.*
Allí habla José-Carlos Mainer sobre el nuevo hallazgo, el típico manuscrito olvidado en un archivo. A El cantor vagabundo y Miserias de la Guerra se suma ahora Los caprichos de la suerte; Mainer la editará con una presentación en noviembre, en Espasa.
Comentario sobre algunos elementos imaginativos de la obra de Shakespeare, en especial de 'Noche de Reyes', que pueden considerarse como un luto desplazado por su hijo muerto Hamnet, e incluso como una resurrección simbólica del mismo.
From Susan Jeffers's Arda Inhabited: Environmental Relationships in 'The Lord of the Rings' (Kent State UP, 2014):
In spite of the connection between previous postmodern theories and the development of ecocriticism, it is not uncommon for environmental critics to seek to distance the two. One critic claims that "the great blind spot of postmodernism is its dismissal of nature, and especially human nature" (28). [Glen] Love finds postmodern theory inescapably arrogant in its insistence on what he feels is an inappropriate focus. While postmodernism is "blind" to human nature, it still spends too much energy discussing an exclusively human world. He explains that: "This [postmodern theory] is a world of human solipsism, denied by the common sense that we live out in our everyday actions and observations. It is denied as well by a widely accepted scientific understanding of our human evolution and of the history of the cosmos and the earth, the real world, which existed long before the presence of humans, and which goes on and will continue to go on, trees continuing to crash to the forest floor even if no human auditors are left on the scene" (29). Unfortunately, Love ignores the inherently constructed nature of "scientific understanding" and "our everyday observations". He does gesture toward acknowledging that people do shape their environments, but he does not allow this acknowledgement to distract him from his main point: lived experience is enough of a guarantor to support one's conclusions based on observation. (30)
Other critics highlight the tension between construction and observation as well. Garrard considers that while a constructivist approach is "a powerful tool for cultural analysis," this tool suggests that '"nature" is only ever a cover for the interests of some social group" (31). He admits the tension and explains that "the challenge for ecocritics is to keep one eye on the ways in which 'nature' is always in some ways culturally constructed and the other on the fact that nature really exists, both the object and, albeit distantly, the origin of our discourse" (32). As with other critical approaches, the most productive ecocriticism favors a both/and approach to the tension between constructivism and observation.
Even when critics allow themselves to work within the space created by these tensions, some feel that postmodernism and ecocriticism just vary fundamentally in their aims. Sueellen Campbell points to the fact that postmodernism and ecocriticism undermine traditional hierarchies or displace the position of the human being. However, their aims in doing so are quite different. She claims that "While both theory and ecology reject the traditional humanist view of our importance in the scheme of things, though, what they focus on as a replacement is quite different. Theory sees everything as textuality, as network of signifying systems of all kinds. Foucault sees an idea like madness as a text; Lacan sees a human being as a text; Derrida argues that everything is text in the sense that everything signifies something else. But ecology insists that we pay attention not to the way things have meaning for us, but to the way the rest of the world—the nonhuman part—exists apart from us and our languages" (33). That our understanding of the world is tied closely to our ability to express that understanding through language does not preclude our ability to recognize that not everything can be encapsulated in a linguistic sign. There are some things that humans exist apart from. Ecocriticism, then, though implicit in the use of language, and acknowledging that it is being practiced by human beings, attempts to consider something entirely Other. It looks not so much at what something means, but more at how, in what manner, something exists.
Gerard Manley Hopkins's idea of "inscape" nicely expresses the focus of ecocritical study. The "inscape" of something is the "essence or identity embodied in the thing itself and dealt out by it for others to witness and thereby apprehend God in it" (34). A thing's instress is the inscape observed—that is, it is the defining characteristic of that thing which others can see or understand or experience. Ecocriticism considers what these defining characteristics are. It looks at the "treeness" of trees, or how a tree "trees" in a particular text.
Such attempts to distance ecocriticism from other theories run the risk of appearing petulant in their insistence and, more importantly, of denying the real connections between different schools of thought. However, such positioning can be better understood if one considers that one goal of ecocriticism is to move an audience to act on behalf of the natural world. This action ultimately works toward "the remediation of humankind's alienation from the natural world" (35). Such an aim might then encourage critics to "decide on principle to resist the abstractifications of theoretical analysis, indeed to resist standard modes of formal argument, altogether in favor of a discourse where critical reflection is embedded within narratives of encounter with nature" (36). Buell, like other ecocritics, wants to look at an encounter, at a thing that happened, rather than engage in an exercise that might appear to be merely cerebral.
There is a sense of urgency in the criticism, a sense of seizing kairos, indeed, an anxiety that such an opportune moment for essential discussion will be lost and the world with it. Glen Love expresses the need for dialogue that he feels as a scholar: "As the circumstances of the natural world intrude ever more pressingly into our teaching and writing, the need to consider the interconnections, the implicit dialogue between the text and the environmental surroundings, becomes more and more insistent. Ecocriticism is developing as an explicit critical response to this unheard dialogue, an attempt to raise it to a higher level of human consciousness" (37). Ecocriticism has developed in response to a particular need felt by scholars that is not being addressed adequately already.
Analizamos en este artículo, desde el punto de vista de la teoría de los marcos, las dimensiones metaficcionales y reflexivas de la novela de Ian McEwan Operación Dulce (Sweet Tooth, 2012), novela "con novelista" y ficción autogenerativa con una estructura narrativa paradójica y sorpresiva. Además de presentar una perspectiva original sobre la política de la literatura en la época de la Guerra Fría, Operación Dulce tematiza de una manera interesante y estéticamente creativa algunas cuestiones problemáticas relativas a la imaginación novelesca y la escritura de ficción, en particular la proyección imaginativa del novelista en la creación de sus personajes.
This paper is a frame-theory analysis of the metafictional and reflexive dimensions of Ian McEwan's novel Sweet Tooth (2012), a 'novel-with-a-novelist' and a self-begetting fiction with a paradoxical and surprising narrrative structure. Besides its original perspective on the politics of literature in the Cold War era, Sweet Tooth thematizes in an intriguing and aesthetically creative way some of the imaginative issues involved in fiction-writing, notably the novelist's imaginary projection into his characters.
Hay en Google Books (y ahora aquí) una vista previa de la nueva edición de Narratology publicada por Routledge (Abingdon & New York, 2014), en realidad el mismo texto de la edición de Addison Wesley Longman de 1996, pero aparecido ahora en una nueva editorial como resultado de las distintas opas y fusiones del mundo de la edición. Sea como sea, me felicito de que mantengan o reediten en Routledge la serie completa original de Longman (Longman Critical Readers), y en concreto este volumen que me toca de más cerca.
Visto que la revista de nuestro departamento, la Miscelánea (que yo editaba en tiempos, y pasé a la red) no funciona desde hace tiempo en su edición electrónica, he pedido permiso para reproducir aquí mis artículos publicados en ella. Empiezo con uno de 1991, "Authorial Intention in Literary Hermeneutics..." A veces lleva su tiempo adaptarlos al formato hipertexto, con lo cual el trasvase irá despacio, y las primeras versiones serán provisionales. Pienso, además, publicar directamente en la red lo que me parezca oportuno, pasando de revistas, etc. a menos que encuentre una buena razón para no hacerlo.
Hoy he colgado de la página, por batir mi récord de antigüedad, un trabajo que debe ser el más viejo que conservo, de alrededor de 1983-84 (durante la carrera me temo que tenía la costumbre de tirarlos o de no quedarme copia: de eso que nos libramos). Es uno sobre la novela La Dentellière, de Pascal Lainé, novela que por cierto recomiendo todavía. El trabajo lo empecé como una exposición cuando estudiaba francés en la escuela de idiomas; la profesora, Ana se llamaba, creo, nos había puesto de lectura la novela y yo preparé una exposición para clase; luego lo desarrollé en un trabajo para la carrera, ya con más equipamiento narratológico (por entonces empezaba a leer a Genette, Bal y demás); fue trabajando con esta novela realmente con lo que me aficioné a la narratología. Por cierto, la historia la conocía ya por haber visto la película en el cineclub, aunque si mal no recuerdo la película desperdicia totalmente el tema metaficcional de la novela, supongo que por no considerarlo cinematográfico —hoy en día se podría rehacer en la línea de Adaptation, de Charlie Kaufman.
Buena versión de Vanity Fair la que han estrenado: con una Becky Sharp más adaptada al gusto del siglo XX, claro, y menos Amelia de por medio. Sobra la dedicatoria a Said, que no veo qué pinta (orientalismo sí que hay a tope) y sobran unas fiestas campestres, muy de época, pero no de esa. Falta el narrador-- o sea, bastante. La caracterización, la luz y la ambientación, genial por lo demás. Muy logrado Sir Pitt Crawley, y la banda sonora.
He estado viendo con JMC unos blogs muy elaborados (pueden hacerse a través de www.blogger.com); para bloggers a tiempo completo. De momento un bajo porcentaje de conocidos se dedican a nada parecido a esto, pero quizá se haga algo más general con el tiempo, al menos lo de tener la propia página web. Yo me imaginé que iría el tema más deprisa al ver la de Landow en Brown University, pero si la tecnología se mueve rápido los hábitos son lentos.
Me nombra Liu Ying (de la Univ. JiaoTong, Pekín) en una reseña de Con/Texts of Persuasion, volumen colectivo editado por Beatriz Penas Ibáñez, Micaela Muñoz y Marta Conejero (Kassel: Reichenberger, 2011), aparecida en Linred 13 (18/19 Junio 2015). En Con/Texts of Persuasion tengo un capítulo sobre "Acritical Criticism, Critical Criticism".
A passage from Stephen Bygrave's Kenneth Burke: Rhetoric and Ideology (Routledge, 1993) in which he discusses Burke's translation of the term 'strategy' from a military to a rhetorical context. We are more comfortable, Bygrave argues, with the notion of texts having an 'ideology' than with the notion that they employ 'strategies'. Bygrave seems to take for granted that the 'strategies' referred to are not under the author's deliberate or planning control, any more than the ideology—but of course it is not a matter of all-or-nothing, as there may be congruent transitions from conscious design to unconscious 'strategy' just as there may be incongruent tensions between intent and results (of the kind often analyzed by deconstructors). Any such strategies, if they are an identifiable object, must be recognized by a reader, but they should be ascribed to the reader's perceptive (or critical) insights on the text; they cannot be ascribed wholesale to the reader's agency or ingenuity, as that would result in "hopeless relativism since we could no longer appeal to the text to validate the claims we made about it" (108).
But just now I want to draw attention to the relationship between perspectival dominion or topsight (dominant insight, if you will) and strategy, as against tactics, as discussed by Bygrave.
The martial associations of the term 'strategy' are to do with directing a campaign rather than a battle. A field commander in the presence of the enemy employs tactics. A strategy is rather the set of such operations, the logic they follow. It is evident that this may be a logic that can only be discerned retrospectively, and that strategies may need to be modified in the light of the contingent and the unexpected. A strategy has both a spatial aspect—the deployment of available resources—and a temporal or narrative aspect—those resources are deployed in sequence. The presence of an opponent anticipating your strategies and initiating their own, together with variables such as the weather, means that a strictly causal logic is likely only to be apparent when the sequence is complete. (108-109)
There is an ongoing narrative aspect (involving anticipated retropection, thence the narrative dimension) in the strategic confrontation, and each of the opponents may construct their partial and ongoing narratives. But these are contingent narratives which are subordinated to the major narratives depicting or interpreting the strategy, and these are possible only ex post facto, once the confrontation has been settled and a result has been achieved. Of course the agonists may still hold to different narrative interpretations of the confrontation, but many hypothetical elements in the agon have been resolved or determined by the end; secret plans have been unfolded and come to the light, and narrative topsight is largely shared by both parties in the confrontation, i.e. they share a knowledge of the main strategic dimensions of the conflict and a narrative interpretation of the agon which is largely common to both.
The link between topsight and retrospection is one I have underlined in a number of papers. As applied to textual structure, part of the implication has to do with the act of reading, an agon between text and reader which reaches a partial endpoint with closure (and its concomitant retrospective dimensions). As applied to criticism, the agon is one a contest of insights, or of the perception of relevance, between different readers of a text (readers interacting or leaving a critical interpretation). Here we encounter the dynamics of blindness and insight described by Paul de Man, or the sequence of deconstructions surrounding Poe's allegory of interpretation in "The Purloined Letter" (see my papers "Acritical Criticism, Critical Criticism", and "Benefit of Hindsight"). This contest can have no definite closure.
Fredric Jameson's observation on the retroactive dimension of a symbolic act, seen here as an intervention or an act of attention which reworks its own context, and redefines the sense of the subtext it refers to, by virtue of its very existence. This is to be associated to the narrative fallacy, by virtue of which a narrative reorganizes events with a view to the end from which the narrative is told.
"The symbolic act . . . begins by producing its own context in the same moment of emergence in which it steps back over against it, measuring it with an eye to its own active project. The whole paradox of what we are calling the subtext can be measured by this, that the literary work or cultural object itself, as though for the first time, brings into being that situation to which it is also at one and the same time a reaction."
From an essay in Jameson's Situations of Theory, vol. 1 of The Ideologies of Theory: Essays 1971-1986, 2 vols. London: Routledge, 1988.
This might be related to G. H. Mead's ecological perspective on action: an organism defines its environment and actively constructs it by choosing some aspects of it among the diverse stimuli coming from the environment and responding to them.
Hoy me he enterado de la curiosísima historia del descubrimiento del hombre de Flores o hobbit; el siglo xxi nos va a hacer perder toda convicción con el tiempo. Predigo una futura moda de películas sobre estos temas, a la manera de En busca del Fuego, que se adelantó veinte años o más. Por cierto, trato de incluir en la bibliografía enlaces sobre estas cosas que me llaman la atención, pero a veces con días, meses o años de desfase; Roma no se hizo en un día (aunque Hiroshima sí se deshizo en un segundo).
He incluido en la sección de ilustraciones algunos dibujos de los que hacía yo hace veinte o treinta años. Ahora que cualquier día vuelvo al ataque, a ver qué emitía el inconsciente hoy en día.
Hoy se ha firmado la Constitución europea. Un día histórico, pero pequeño detalle: habrá que reformar la Constitución española, porque es anticonstitucional ceder soberanía, y para eso hay que disolver el parlamento, nuevas elecciones... casi nada.
Comentamos algunas consecuencias del descubrimiento del sistema de las las neuronas espejo (siguiendo a Vittorio Gallese) para una teoría de la intersubjetividad en la experiencia estética y en la literatura. Enfatizamos los paralelismos fenomenológicos del concepto, así como sus conexiones con la tradición estética de la empatía, y más en concreto con la psicología materialista de I. A. Richards en sus Principios de Crítica Literaria, en especial en lo refereido al concepto de ’actitudes’ o experiencias coporales incipientes subyacentes a la interacción semiótica.
A commentary on some consequences of the discovery of the mirror neuron system (after Vittorio Gallese) for the theory of intersubjectivity in aesthetics and literary experience. The phenomenological parallels of the concept are emphasized, as well as the connections to the aesthetic tradition of empathy and especially to the materialist psychology of I. A. Richards in his Principles of Literary Criticism, especially as regards the notion of ’attitudes’ or incipient bodily experiences underlying semiotic interaction.
Negra espalda del tiempo: Sobre la dificultad de contar
Comentamos la poética narrativa del novelista español Javier Marías, tal como queda expuesta en su discurso de ingreso en la Real Academia Española (2008). Las observaciones de Marías sobre el arte del relato y sobre la ficcionalidad se sitúan en el contexto de una teoría narratológica de la retrospección y de la distorsión retroactiva. El artículo también comenta la crítica de la ficcionalidad efectuada por el periodista Arcadi Espada en su respuesta a Marías.
Dark Back of Time: On the Difficulty of Storytelling
This is a commentary on the narrative poetics of the Spanish novelist Javier Marías, as set forth in his inaugural speech at the Royal Spanish Academy (2008). Marias's observations on storytelling and fictionality are set in the context of the narratological theory of retrospection and hindsight bias. The paper also deals with journalist Arcadi Espada's critique of fictional storytelling in his response to Marías.
Una circular de AEDEAN pide una reseña de un libro sobre blogs, The Mirror and the Veil ; he pedido que me lo envíen a ver si me inspira. La Facultad, un desierto, pero por Internet he estado ayudando a buscar gente para una tesis sobre Beckett.
Notes from Robert Alter's book Partial Magic: The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre (Berkeley: U of California P, 1975). Notes taken c. 1990. Levin: All novels are self-conscious. Preface: ix. There is an expectation that fiction be serious and realistic, dealing with "moral situations in their social contexts"; "and, with few exceptions, there has been a lamentable lack of critical appreciation for the kind of novel that expresses its seriousness through playfulness, that is acutely aware of itself as a mere structure of words even as it tries to discover ways of going beyond words to the experiences words seek to indicate." Leavis dismisses Fielding, Sterne and Joyce. x. In the Marxist view, the novel is an epic of bourgeois life. Realism is considered as the dominant aesthetic. Realism is OK, but "in manyimportant novelists from Renaissance Spain to contemporary France and America the realistic enterprise has been enormously complicated and qualified by the writer's awareness that fictions are never real things, that literary realism is a tantalizing contradiction in terms." Ontological exploration in fiction takes place through the manipulation of form, not through exposition—though the novel drawing attention to its construction, vs. transparency. "A self-conscious novel, briefly, is a novel that systematically flaunts its own condition of artifice and by so doing probes into the problematic relationship between real-seeming artifice and reality." xi. Fits of self-consciousness vs. fully self-conscious novels, informed by a consistent effort. Many cases of self-consciousness in literature. Cf. the mirroring in the Odyssey, and in Euripides' parody of tragic conventions. In Renaissance drama: the introduction to the Taming of the Shrew and Bartholomew Fair. Diderot's drama. Reflexive poetry: Mallarmé, Valérty, Wallace Stevens, Mandelstam. But the novel is uniquely congenial to self-consciousness. xii. Peculiar forms are determined by genre, a distinctive trend. In the novel, the main concern with consecutive individual character and particular experience. xiii. The self-conscious novel is no the teame as the elaborately artful novel (conrad, ford). Their elaboration is a technique of verisimilitude. Self-consciousness may be a mannerism or "be integrated into a large critical vision of the dialectic interplay between fiction and reality"—then it becomes illuminating. xiv. "The four major self-conscious novelists of the first great age of the novel . . . are Cervantes, Fielding, Sterne and Diderot. xv. "novels have been doing rather more than prevalent critical assumptions would allow for." 1. The Mirror of Knighthood and the World of Mirrors 1- Vs. massively produced trash in modern culture. The novel model is caught in this story. 2- It is tied up with printing. Social and economic upheavals have determined its nature. 3- "The novel begins out of our erosion of belief in the authority of the written word and it begins with Cervantes"—seeing in the fictionality of fictions the key to a culture and using this awareness centrally in creating new fictions. This is a lesser but brilliant tradition (the realist tradition dominates). Cervantes initiates both traditions: 3-4- "his juxtaposition of high-flown literary fantasies with grubby actuality pointing the way to the realists, his zestfully ostentatious manipulation of the artifice he constructs setting a precedent for all the self-conscious novelists to come." 5- The hero of a library shows a fictional language, vs. the oral culture of Sancho, "a world of role-playing, where the dividing lines between role and identity are often blurred". Literature gives roles to that chaos in Don Quixote— the printing press is a precondition. 6-7- Self-conscious scenes in Cervantes, etc. 8- E.g. the scene of the found manuscript with illustrations, a mirror. Don Quixote equates being real and being recorded in literature and wants to become a book, 9- but when he attains his ambition he mistrusts the author; he only attains a fabric of contradictions; his raises doubts on the status of his story, and reveals the work as a trompe-l'œil. It is a real-seeming but avowedly arbitrary novelistic reality; this double nature is communicated (e.g. through names). 10- An ontological doubleness of language. "For Cervantes, the word simultaneously resonates with its old magical quality, and turns back on itself, exposing its own emptiness as an arbitrary or conventional construct." 11- A new narrative structure: "the fictional world is repeatedly conveyed into multiple regress of imitations that call attention in various ways to their own status as imitations." 12- Literary criticism keeps on calling attention to fictions: "literary criticism . . . is intrinsic to the fictional world of the Quixote and of all the self-conscious novels that follow it". 13- Literary criticism as an essential moment in the self-conscious novel. 14- Don Quixote shows extremely opposed attitudes to fiction in the Maeste Pedro episode. Don Quixote can be seen an acting out of this tension of attitudes. 15- A new sense of the autonomy of the artist is affirmed: 16- Cervantes enters his own story in the Captive's tale. Alter vs. Ortega's hermetical reading of the world of the novel—although Ortega himself elsewhere recognizes the duality of the genre. 17- The author confirms his absolute proprietorship over the fictional world: there is no compulsion to be true (or fictional): a teasing relationship of the writer to the reader. 18- "The intuition of life that, beginning with Cervantes, crystallized in the novel is profoundly paradoxical: the novelist lucidly recognizes the ways man may be painfully frustrated and victimized in a world with no fixed values or ideals, without even a secure sense of what is real and what is not, yet through the exercise of an autonomous art the writer boldly asserts the freedom of consciousness itself. The imagination, then, is alternately, or even simultaneously, the supreme insturment of human realization and the eternal source of delusion of a creature doomed to futility." 19- Games with the truthfulness or not of Cide Hamete: he 'makes believe' swearing as a Christian. Confusion fiction/fact at macroscopic and microscopic (metaphorical) levels. ¿An unreliable narrator, or is unreliability inevitable in language? we are made to wonder. 20- Transition between planes of reality [what Genette calls 'metalepsis']: Cide Hamete as a way of establishing distance between the author and the work, and also as a parody of the author's relationship to the work. 21- Attention is drawn away from the characters into the writing. Don Quixote is another surrogate for the author. Doubles are frequent in self-conscious novels: cf. the deceptiveness of similitudes. 22- The novel as a set of unstable dialectic oppositions: no sythesis is possible and each antithesis produces further antiheroes. In the Nouveau Roman, all is unstable, all is a hypothesis. 23- Pairings of characters as antitheses: the double is also a parody, a parody of reality , a critique of fiction, an experiment in imitation. Don Quixote's parodic descent to the underworld is in turn parodied by Sancho's 'flight'— 24- and by his fall; Altisidora episode is also parodic, 25- Parody as a literary mode which fuses creation and critique. 26- Dulcinea as an explicit fiction made of literary clichés. 28- Cf. Milton's use of tradition, which indicates faith in language and revelation. Cervantes in contrast is a fundamentally secular skeptic, and Don Quixote a profoundly modern novel. 2. Sterne and the Nostalgia for Reality 30- "One of the characteristic reflexes of the self-conscious novel is to flaunt 'naive' narrative devices, rescuing their usability by exploring their contrivance, working them into a highly patterned narration which reminds us that all representations of reality are, necessarily, stylizations" –e.g., the "ostentatious narrator." 31- Sterne is a great explorer of telling stories within stories, the most extreme of all; the very notion of interpolation breaks down. Zigzag narrative as the rendering of the mind's resistence to pattern. 33- Reductionist parodies: Sterne as literary critic— "a central insight of his novel is that any literary convention means a schematization—and thus a misrepresentation—of reality." 34- Toying with conventions is not new: cf. the manuscripts in medieval romances, the plays within plays... al literature in the West, according to Barthes, gives the sign an ambiguous relationship with the real. 36- Tristram Shandy seen as most typical in this sense. A constant tension between the mental and the material spheres. 37- Cf. Descartes, etc.: Locke is treated by Sterne as a teacher to be taunted because of his undervaluing of the imagination. He draws an opposition between the external man of mechanical causation and the internal man of feeling (Martin Price). Tristram Shandy is the first novel about the crisis of the novel, 40- TS discusses the innovativeness of his work even as he uses it. All times dissolve into the present of writing: the capture of experience becomes the plot. The fusion with critique makes Tristram poignantly alive as well. A slippery play with wit—sex appears as the Sancho Panza inside each character. 41 - A radical transformation of the self-conscious narrator he picked from Fielding. An original use of death, usually a narrative convenience: in Sterne it is associated to the opaqueness of language: 42- (the black page is at once a joke and a way of taking us beyond language); mortality drives Tristram/Sterne in his wild scramble to write more. 43- Picaresque characters are seen in Smollett from the point of view of a normal observer; in Sterne there is no 'normality', all are eccentrics. 44- Does Sterne's sentimentality come from Richardson? OK, but "what arrested his imagination more in Richardson was the attempt at an exhaustive presentation of reality with the concomitant slowing down of narrative tempo." The blowing-up of scenes into a fantastic expansion results in an "alienating realism"; 45- —these distortions produce a fantastic realism of the everyday. E.g. Trim's tale, showing the problem of narrative communication: the audience interpose their preconceptions. 46- Treatment of sex: bringing back etherealizing fancy and abstractracting reason down to their origin in the physical realm. 47- There is in Sterne a conscious awareness of repression and of its implications; double entendre involves both characters and readers. 48- An eloquent use of typographical silences in this respect. Sterne approaches subtle moments of consciousness in the characters. 49- A paradoxical self-making realism: in parodying representation, Sterne's parodies become representative of new areas. 50- All are signs in Sterne: a nostalgia for reality (Mayoux); following intuition is best for that. 51- Intuition is proposed as an approach to reality, but we also find in Sterne an awareness of the dynamic of the mind with itself, crippling itself with stereotypes. Fantasy is coaxed into consciousness in Tristram Shandy; an invitation to unexpected moves of the mind. 52- Sterne vs. the Fieldingesque 'rational' disquisitions—disquisitions in Sterne are driven by desire and imagination. 54- "One of the general aims of Sterne's method, I would suggest, is to make us repeatedly aware of the infinite horizon of the imagination"; infinity needs the disruption and the interruption of narrative form. 55- "this elaborately rendered world of trivialities and frustrations nevertheless imparts to the reader a sense of comic liberation". Sterne takes us far from novelistic narration without ever really abandoning the enterprise of the novelist. Mimesis appears as a Sysiphean task. Sterne plays games, but he makes us aware of some of the vital processes by which we must live in reality; 56- "literary self-consciousness paradoxically proves to be a technique of realism as well." 3. Diderot's Jacques: This Is and Is Not a Story 57- Diderot: telling stories as a way of seeing life; "the story of life comes to an end unnoticed". Play with plagiarism: turning Sternee's materials to other ends. 63- Sterne mimicks the flow of consciousness, but Diderot concentrates on narration as something objective—always a lucid orderer of the materials. 64- The acceleration of narrative (from Candide) as an emphatic structuration of evens through viewpoint. "The informing insight of Jacques the Fatalist, I would contend, is that language can never give us experience itself but must always transmute experience into récit, that is, narration, or, if you will, fiction." 65- Narrative as the main way of making experience, or of making nonverbal experiences, distinctly human. Diderot followed Richardson early, but he came out of him on the other side of Sterne; he abandoned detailed realism, 66- and draws attention to symmetries and conventions. The time of the story fades before the time of narration in his novels. Diderot is mimetic in his aesthetic writings, traditional; 67- but he is much more skeptical in Jacques, emphasizing the relativity of truth and reacting against novel-writing and its contrivances. 68- Jacques appears as the narrator's surrogate and his master as the reader (similar to Sancho); "the journey is only an occasion for telling stories along the way." The novel is for Diderot a quest for understanding, not for authenticity like Cervantes. The adventures are adventures in storytelling, conventions to eschew, which is the end to reach. 69- Diderot lays bare the devices at the beginning (like Beckett). The flaunting of the author's power 70- does not detract from fidelity to reality in the protagonists. Against teleological narrative: reality is random. There is a randomness of reality; 71- the multiple outcomes of the plot are called attention to. Also the unpredictable nature of communication—all this results in digression and in multiple tales. 72- 'Spoken' tales in Jacques, vs. written Tristram Shandy; no typographical games... Sterne's narrative of isolation and memory is more modern than Diderot's 'oral' communication, where community is affirmed. In Sterne, eroticism is used to explore the gap imagination / reality; 73- in Diderot it is a way to allure the reader to read on and a way of analysing behavior (not experiential reality). Tristram Shandy leads to Ulysses, and Jacques le Fataliste to Proust; experiments in moral behavior. 74- The theme of appearance and deception, etc. 76- The paradox that art is a mode of deception which helps us reach the truth behind appearances. 77- Reality as flux for Diderot (versus fatalism); it is an artful decision to impose order. 78- The novel as an experiment in provisional freedom; 79- "his novel is formally an interplay between randomness and controlled pattern." 80- A control of human foibles and limitation by choosing what to tell, etc.; 81- "in the self-conscious novel, the act of fiction always implies an act of literary criticism, but, broadly speaking, it may move [outwards or inwards]." Jacques le Fataliste moves outwards, Tristram Shandy inwards. Cf. the greater isolationism and provincialism of English literature. 82- Paradoxically, Jacques le Fataliste was left posthumous, while Tristram Shandy was acclaimed and its author was lionized. Apart from some scattered romantics, Jacques le Fataliste was only appreciated in the 20th century. The 19th century was out of phase with Diderot. 4. The Self-Conscious Novel in Eclipse 85- 1. Paris, Capital of the Nineteenth Century. Political materials must be accomodated to the structure of a self-conscious novel, become aesthetically relevant. 86- The novel of the nineteenth century is rooted in social and historical reality; it has a will to depict society. Realism? 87- "What changed, I would suggest, was not the degree of realism but its characteristic objects", now overriding the novelistic plot; "the disparity between the structures of the imagination and things as they are , novelistic plot plot consisting in the multifarious effects of that disparity on the protagonist and the personages involved with him or (often) her." In the 19th c., the center shifted from imagination on literary materials, to social reality. 88- History is missing as a dynamic determinant in the 18th c., even in works of detail. A desire to register social change driveves novelists away from the exploration of fiction as artifice. 89- "The imaginative involvement with history, in any case, is the main cause for an almost complete eclipse of the self-conscious novel during the nineteenth century." The novel vanguard shifts to France after 1830. (Alter vs. a strict connection between the novel and a "bourgeois era"). 90- Radical social change as a motor for the novel. 91- Paris as the center of social theory and of revolution. 92- The novelists' concerns are similar to those of Michelet: organic pattern and vivid detail. 93- The novel as a vigorous competitor to reality, and a way of containing chaos. It is thus driven away from self-questioning and from its own problematics. 95- The urban hell as a central theme, beyond "documentary" description, beyond mimesis: 96- it is an occasion for the writer's virtuosity and his manipulative power; a celebration of imagination. 97- 19th-c. novelists are disinclined to explore fictiveness, "not only because they are realists but equally because they are such intent imaginists." A love of artifice, yes, but not questioning its premises as it is employed. We find no continuous ontological scrutiny of fiction. 98- "The self-conscious novelists are always simultaneously aware of the supreme power of the literary imagination within its own sphere of creation and its painful or tragicomic powerlessness ouside that sphere. The great nineteenth-century imaginists, on the other hand, are impelled by a deeper inner need to explore the two realms." Novelists begin to talk about a hallucinated sense of the reality of characters. 99- Balzac's use of returning characters not so much as a formal need of the novel, but as a psychological need of the novelist. Domination through imagination: then novelistic figure of Napoleon haunts the 19th-c. novel. 101- This suggests that hstorical change can come about though will. The novelist of the 19th century confuses mimesis and poiesis, imagination and making. 102- "For the nineteenth-century novelists, fictional invention often seems actually a mode of action and as such cannot afford the luxury of self-criticism." 103- Fielding discovers convention and artifice in the urban scene, with no spatial expansion of the plot. 104- Only vestiges of self-consciousness remain the the nineteenth-century passion for mimesis. Let's see 3 of these 'vestiges'. 2. LOST ILLUSIONS and the Assumption of Realism. 105- Balzac's novel Lost Illusions is concerned with writers and discussions of literature, but it is not self-conscious. 106- The narrative is only "information": the medium is supposed to be transparent. The solidity of the realistic world is not questioned. Therefore he can aspire to a comprehensive portrayal of society. 110- No dialectical tension is felt by Balzac between himself and his creation. There are author-surrogates in the characters, but they are not set in couples, not a dialectical relationship. They are only herarchized. 111- At the top we find Vautrin, approaching authorial omniscience. 112- He is a Napoleonic man, instrumentalizing people and economizing them; a manipulatory character, like the author, who uses them as surrogates. 113- Tristram Shandy works with impotence, Balzac with omnipotence [Cf. Beckett vs. Joyce—JAGL]. In the Balzacian novel, surrogates are indulged or punished, instead of entering into a dialectical self-confrontation. Balzac "reconstitutes society in his fiction in order to act out his real hostility towards it, his fantasies of dominating it." 114- —Balzac is animated by ressentiment and self-gratification. The loss of illusions in Illusions perdues is a continuation of Don Quixote, but here the fiction becomes real, as against Don Quixote. 115- 3. Wavering perspectives in Vanity Fair: Thackeray writes in the Fielding tradition of displaying his manipulation, with commentary on the characters, the reader, and the plot construction. 116- But no impression of self-conscious novel is produced; the effects are intermittent and taken in by a very different conception of fictional events and of the narrator's relation to them. 117- E.g. the double perspective on Amelia: is she a cliché, an insipid woman, or is she tender and desirable? 117-18- "The inconsistencies in this Victorian adaptation of self-conscious devices are clearest in Thackeray's treatment of his narrating persona." The metaphor of the puppet-show is not sustained; he becomes a chronicler, a "true historian" without ironic duplicity. That side of him does not interact with the puppet-master. 119- In the last analysis, the puppet-show is a moral metaphor suggested by Thackeray's sense of life unmediated in his book. —an excessive insistence on "the truth". 120- The narrator crosses th border between fiction and reality inadvertently; there is a much greater ironic distance in Fielding, through his construction of a coherent persona and his use of the literary tradition for parodic purposes. Thackeray is more hemmed in by his moral assumptions, and by his purposes in novel-writing. Cf. his persecution of Becky, which reveals a secret identification with her; 123- "what is especially curious about the handling of Becky is that she is not just a fantasy projection of some secret self in the author but his unrecognized surrogate in regard to her mode of operation in the novel." Becky as a puppeteer! Manipulating people; she writes satire too, and impersonates others. It is remarkable that nothing is made of this: Beecky is too real for Thackeray exploring the artifice. 124- "Thackeray's self-consciousness is finally not as a novelist but as a moralist"—he gestures towards allegory. Thackeray and Balzac nevertheless share "the delusion of grandeur characteristic of the nineteeenth-century novelist: to ignore wilfully the limits of fiction, to play the role of omniscient knower, absolute judge, omnipotent arbiter of taste and morality, for a world supposedly shared by the novelist and his readers." 126- The irony is always aimed at the character, not at the fictional process. 127- The showman metaphor reveals some diffidence on the part of the writer towards his role as entertainer, but the title from Bunyan ("Vanity Fair") shows self-confidence: he tries to write a summa of his age. 4. Fictional Confidence and 'The Confidence Man' Melville anticipates the écriture blanche, or literature of silence, in the age of realism. He moves towards the abandoning of fiction. 128- The Confidence Man as a relative failure: realism + Fieldinguesque digressions on fiction. "Melville does not have an adequate fictional technique for continuously integrating the imaginary personages and actions with the reflections on the nature of fiction." He is closest to the self-conscious novel, more than any other works of its age. 129- A mobile world of false appearances and pretense is elevated here into the essence of the human condition: there is a deep sense of the paradoxical relationship between fiction and reality; the confidence man creates fictions on himslef. 130- A paradox tha the reader should escape from reality in order to be presented a sharper reality (Melville says). 131- The novelist as confidence man: he leaves us with airy spectres. 132- Bizarre similes are the way to flaunt artifice and convey the object at once. 133- Images of fleeting images are used to describe his fiction—but this is not sustained throughout the novel, which is more conventionally realistic elsewhere: 134- "It would seem that Melville was too involved in the characteristic practices of the novel in his won age to break with them as decisively as his theoretical chapters implicitly require." He is too generalizing: Society, Mankind, etc.—there is no concern for individual psychology, no sustained plot, and character is too distant for the reader. The novel as a New Scripture. 137- We discern a sense of the possibilities of the novel in dealing with vexations of the spirit: Kafka, Conrad, and Beckett will follow. The crisis of confidence in fiction we see in Melville will become more general in the 20th century. 5. The Modernist Revival of Self-Conscious Fiction Gide conceives of the novel as a work of art, not a mirror. Mann, pro parody and intellectual distance. 1. New Novels for New Men and Women. Woolf's change of nature: 139- "One of several underlying patterns in this new constellation of creative forces is an artistically manifested self-consciousness about the processes of fiction-making the like of which had not been seen in the novel since the end of the eighteenth century." 140- Though not due to a repression, fiction was often deeply concerned with a historical moment or with the future of Western civilization. 141- In modernist fiction space is represented otherwise. Instead of filling in a spatial mold, it breaks, and the consciousness of the protagonist jumps to other times and places. Now in Joyce et al. it is different from Sterne: an "ultimate sense of being as a precarious structure erected on a ground of nothingness"—reality threatens to crumble, and "the play of consciousness becomes a sustained act of desperate courage—a 'violin in the void', in Nabokov's memorable phrase—creating form and substance where perhaps there would be nothing." 143- Entropy and decay as a central concept. Broch: the unity of events and the integrity of the world is sustained by symbols. [Cf. Shelley's notions in "The Defence of Poetry"—JAGL]. Artifice has a central role. 144- There is a paradoxical tension between mimeticism and artifice in Joyce: stream of consciousness, plus parody and formalization: "he has a modern recognition not only that reality is always mediated by consciousness but that consciousness itself is an artificer in constantly making something of the formless flux of experience, inventing images and chains of connection to give it shape and substance." There is an excessive elaboration of artifice in Joyce, which is significant: it is the only reality. 145- A tension between ordered structures and the flow of experience. [Cf. the situation in games, in law...] 147- The threat of the void in Joyce and in Biely. The relationship to history changes: 148- the self-conscious novel is related to a feeling of apocalypse. The imagination of history, progressively unfolding in society can no longer hold. Writers of Revelation: although it is not a general equation, but only a tendency. 149- Self-consciousness as a way of affirming the integrity of the work, against a background of chaos. A sense of mortality and fading permeates scenic description in Virginia Woolf, through her protagonists' consciousness. 151- But consciousness is artifice for Joyce, and art for Woolf: there is no attempt to render its texture more poetic; it is formalized, and calls attention to its states as poetry. 153- Virginia Woolf as a transitional figure, balancing the claims of history and self-consciousness, drawing attention to her own art as self-justified, and to reality. 154- Cervantes, Sterne or Diderot are more aware that fictions are the only reality. Unamuno's Niebla is less impressive as fiction, but the ontological paradox (a character facing his author) is interesting. It is strictly self-conscious, not a mixed mode like Joyce's or Woolf's works. A paradoxical ambivalence between the reality / fictionality / autonomy of the character. 155- Life appears here as a dream: the author is also under the illusion of autonomous existence. 156- The world as chaos or order: only man puts logic in it. "Unamuno suggests here that what art must do is embody randomness as an essential principle in its own operations." 157- A relation in the 20th c. novel (Ford, Durrell) to alternative endings. Naboko, Fowler: randomness is introduced into the plot, which was the traditional area of necessity. 158- In Mist, again, reflections on fiction are an essential moment, and the creation of paradoxes is pushed to the limit. All verbalization is (for Unamuno) falsification: parody is the only solution. 2. Gide and the Confidence Game of Fiction. 160- Gide's The Caves of the Vatican is more original than The Counterfeiters, which is "a not altogether happy mingling of narrative modes or aesthetic premises. It is self-defeating: Édouard's Journal is conventional [¿¿¿¿!!! —but its placing in the novel is not—JAGL.]. There is no split of self into the dialectic of literary creation; there is "too much direct playing out of fantasy versions of the self." Self-gratifying homosexual fantasies are not subjected to the rigours of artistic criticism. 161- the problem of the autonomy of the character is not solved. The Counterfeiters is interesting but flawwed; character's don't go anywhere. Caves of the Vatican includes successful composite parodies; a genine doubling of characters, with antithetical pairs acting dialectically. 162- The subject is the difference between the real world and our representations (a subject announced but not realized in The Counterfeiters). Julien vs. Lafcadio, a conventional novelist vs. quirky anti-literature. But Lafcadio finds himself trapped in conventional novelistic behaviour, in a crime novel. 163- Cervantesque doublings, change of roles, etc. 165- An inversion of the Quixotic model: Lafcadio tries to impose a self-validating code above models and conventions—but conforms unwittingly to them. 166- Game is a key concept here. Lafcadio is a gamer, but is caught in the novelist's game of coincidences in the plot. The playful attitude of Gide's sotie favours aesthetic success. 168- Characters are made come to life through distance and ironic obliquity. Distance is taken from confessional literature. 169- Games with characters' names evince them as verbal constructs. 170- A vertigo of masks; reality appears as dubious. There is in Les Caves du Vatican a modern sense of the instability of character and reality. Fictional conventional devices are tried on, adopted at last, as no less true than Lafcadio's dream of absolute freedom. 175- A problematic relationship between cliché and reality. 177- Iconoclasm of Modernism: e.g. the use of parody not only as reaction but also as a form of enlivening high art with the emotional power of popular fiction. The novel is a continuous tradition of parody. A daring probing of the resources of imagination is also necessary in the self-conscious novel. Gide is too parodic, does not show enough commitment. Nabokov offers a more coherent program for the self-consciousn novel, and shows the way for the novel the second half of the 20th century. 6. Nabokov's Game of Worlds 180- "Nabokov is the preeminent practitioner of partial magic in the novel, from Cervantes' days down to our own"—though not the greatest, he is the most self-conscious about self-consciousness. 181- He shows a whole spectrum of self-consciousness and also some inherent limitations of this mode of fiction. 182- Characters in Nabokov are often flattened by the design. Best works: The Gift, Invitation to a Beheading, Lolita and Pale Fire.The Real Life of Sebastian Knight, like Unamuno's Mist, is more intersting for its theory than for its realized fiction. "If the self-conscious novel tends on one side to excessive cerebrality, to an ascetic avoidance of the pungent juices of ordinary fictional life, it tends on the other side to an unchecked playfulness that may become self-indulgent". There is a tendency in Nabokov to play games with himself. 184- Where best, his self-consciousness and games collaborate with the living personality of characters. 186- The sin of Nabokov criticism: to assume that intricacy of pattern is enough of a sign of a masterful imaginative achievement. Pale Fire is an experiment into magical and probing functions of language. 187- Due to their awareness of themselves, self-conscious novels tend to reproduce themselves en abyme, "illuminating their devious narrative ways with small replicas of the innovative structure of the whole." There are ubiquitous reflections in Nabokov's novels (emblems, infinite regressions, etc. referring to the novel) —all tightly tied up with the inner life of the protagonists. 192- "The pale fire of art, in the usual view, reflects the sum of reality, but we also see it here become its own sun." 194- Ambiguous status of the difference between truth and fiction; we do not know what is supposed to be true within the framework of the novel—Alter warns that we should be careful when doing such divisions; vs. simplistic conclusions. 195- Alphabetically determined patterns—which here make thematic sense. 202- An antithesis between the two kinds of poets in Pale Fire (Popean / Shakespearean); references, etc. 209 - The authorial consciousness never falters (unlike Durrell's Alexandria Quartet) , etc.; 214- it is used to show "how a fiction based on the dynamic of fiction-making can address itself not merely to the paradoxes of the writer's craft but to the ambiguities of the human condition." 215- Kimbote's and his own creation became real, more than puppets: the fictional world of Pale Fire is not discarded the way it was in Invitation. 217- "We do not surrender the imagination, but on our way to this ultimate point [the end of Pale Fire] we have come to see the drastic costs and limits of living by it alone." 7. The Inexhaustible Genre
218- The baring of the artifice has become more common over the past two decades [1955-75] —it is not a school, however. (Alter gives some authors' names).
219- There is self-conscious cinema, too: Fellini, Antonioni, Resnais, Godard.
220- Our culture is turned upon itself, examining its own roots and patterns, "a kind of Faust at the mirror of Narcissus". Self-awareness, which is growing, is both a paralyzing and a liberating force. It lends itself to analytical criticism;
221- and it has a deceptive appearance in making novels sound more profound and significant.
222- Some of them lack in sense of human experience (e.g. Queneau's Exercises de Style) —criticism need not make excessive claims for playful writing. It is a temptation for the self-conscious novelist to content himself with textual experiment (Robbe-Grillet, Coover...)—virtuous and arid. A complementary fault: "to give free rein to every impulse of invention or fictional contrivance without distinguishing what may serve some artistic function in the novel and what is merely silly or self-indulgent" (e.g. in Flann O'Brien).
223- According to O'Brien's the self-conscious novel is, according to himself, "a self-evident sham to wheich the reader can regulate at will the degree of his credulity"—too simple a theory.
224- The self-conscious novel is not a sham, but an artifice which is not self-evident, but cunningly and ambiguously revealed.The reader does not regulate it, the writer tries to regulate the reader's credulity, challenging him to participation, forcing re-examination. O'Brien's At Swim-Two-Birds is tedious, there is no tension in the fiction.
225- Alter defends attention to reality, vs. voguish self-consciousness, vs. arid exercises and indiscriminate invention. But the flaunting of the artifice is a valued and powerful device in many novels: Alter values Nabokov and Beckett, Barth and Coover.
226- This helps focus the issue of the 'death of the novel'. Alter rejects Barth's notion of a 'literature of exhaustion' extracting new energy from its own exhaustion; this is an elitist and minimalist conception.
227- Borges is not a novelist, but a fabulist. The novel requires lived experience.
228- But Alter favours his theory of meaning and reading: books are a mode of interaction and relationship; books grow in meaning with tradition. (See e.g. in Borges "Kafka y sus precursores").
229- Artistic possibilities are inexhaustible; each work grows up more.
230- Vs. Coover on the contemporary exhaustion of reality, and on novelists turning into fabulists; on the the end of the humanistic world view, etc... No, Alter says. Beckett and Nabokov are comic rather than cosmic writers; both are novelists rather than fabulists.
231- There is no move away from history now, as claimed by Coover, "unless the novel is really dead, the one thing it ultimately cannot dispense with is history".
232- "Perhpas the most reliable index to whether a piece of self-conscious fiction is closed off from life is whether it tends to diminish the actuality of personal and historical time" (as happens with Robbe-Grillet, Queneau...)
233- Although Jealousy is OK because it is psychologically motivated.
[!!!! —Alter's theory of self-conscious writing is far behind that of his French contemporaries, e.g. Ricardou.]
234- Queneau's Le Chiendent is also OK—a [self-begetting fiction is the term Alter needs], a meditation on the paradoxes of being and nonbeing in life and in fiction. Language is the art medium most steeped in memory, both public and private.
235- "Language through its layeer upon layer of associations opens up complex vistas of time, and these tend to reveal—ultimately for cultures, imminently for individuals—loss, decline, and extinction. The continuous acrobatic display of artifice in a self-conscious novel is an enlivening demonstration of human order against a background of chaos and darkness, and it is the tension between artifice and that which annihilates artifice that gives the finest self-conscious novels their urgency in the midst of play." Death impelling writers into the supreme affirmation of art.
236- Art vs. the void: Sartre's Nausea is programmatic, but even works free from existentialism use this tension (e.g. Fielding); or the desire for the suppression of war: wishful thinking of imagination into history? 237- "The age-old impulse of the storyteller bespeaks a basic human need to imagine out of history a fictional order of fulfillment, but when the narrative is a novel and not a fairy tale, one is also made aware of the terrible persistence of history as a murderous realm of chaos constantly challenging or violating the wholeness that art can imagine." Vs. the notion of "exhaustion"; there is often a continuity with the past masters of self-conscious fiction; it is not more difficult now to write a great novel than at other moments. 238- The self-consciousness of our culture is more pronounced—self-consciousness of craft and of the relationship fiction/life. 239- Mauriac's La Marquise: a "sense of the writer's predicament as a perennial, not peculiarly modern, difficulty"—facing fiction, always an invented world; "alittérature" as an intrinsic problematic for Mauriac (the coiner of the term). 240- Literature as a constant drive to escape being "just" literature. Good self-conscious fiction does not merely shrug away its fiction, but affirms artifice too as a means, perhaps the only way to get at a whole range of real human experience.
241- The baring of the artifice in La Marquise: a play with artifice but with a consciousness "two concentric abysses beneath the artifice of the novel"; 242- —a consciousness of language as soaked with time, and and of the brevity of human life, etc. 243- Words as the only permanence, a dubious one; the self-conscious novel is paradoxically concerned with a long meditation on death, a subject sidestepped by myth, folk tale, fable and romance. The realist novel also sidesteps death insofar as it is a dream of omnipotence. The novel is born when literature begins to mediate on death. [??] 244- "I suspect death in the novel might be a more serious focus for serious discussion of the genre than the death of the novel." 245- The self-conscious novel as a "mirror held to the mirror of art held to nature"; a necessary operation for a skeptical culture nevertheless addicted to fabulation. The novel is not exhausted as novelistic self-consciosness develops: "On the contrary, in the hands of gifted writers it comes to seem precisely our most precisely fashioned instrument for joining imagined acts and figures with real things."
David Becerra, de la Fundación de Estudios Marxistas (y no digo más) habla sobre la República en la literatura, y especialmente en La noche de los tiempos de Muñoz Molina. Le pongo esta apostilla:
Dice David Becerra que no había ninguna situación prerrevolucionaria en la República. Se "olvida" de que aunque el PCE era pequeño, Largo Caballero y Prieto eran revolucionarios admiradores de la Unión Soviética (el Lenin español, se llamaba a sí mismo Largo Caballero). Que el PSOE ayudó a montar y luego se desentendió de la Revolución de Asturias, contra la República. Que el Frente Popular se presentó como abiertamente revolucionario. Etc. Son cosas sabidas. Pero quien está decidido a no enterarse, nunca se enterará. ¡Y aún tiene el cuajo de hablar de historia "revisionista"!
Por supuesto la novela de Muñoz Molina tiene una altura y calidad muy por encima de la idea que aquí se da de ella, y una visión mucho más desencantada y realista de la República y del frente popular. No se la pierdan.
Una nota sobre el relato de Robert Louis Stevendon ’Olalla’, en el que algunos de los elementos de la trama se interpretan desde un punto de vista psicoanalítico en tanto que proyecciones y transformaciones de las angustias personales del autor relativas al matrimonio, la progenie, la enfermedad y la mortalidad.
A note on Robert Louis Stevenson’s story ’Olalla’, in which some of the elements of the story are interpreted from a psychoanalytic viewopoint as projections and transformations of the author’s personal anxieties about marriage, progeny, illness, and mortality.
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Number of Pages in PDF File: 8
Distribuido ahora en las siguientes revistas y secciones temáticas de la SSRN:
El relato de E.M. Forster 'La máquina se detiene' (1908) es una visión anticipatoria de una sociedad globalizada e impulsada tecnológicamente, con descripciones inquietantemente precisas de la tecnologización de las comunicaciones a nivel mundial, de una inmersión alienante en las aplicaciones tecnológicas y de la proliferación de las redes sociales en un entorno automatizado. Interpretamos el relato como una proyección de la inquietud creciente de Forster en lo relativo al desarrollo industrial y organizativo, y la reificación concomitante de la experiencia social y de las identidades personales.
E.M. Forster's story 'The Machine Stops' (1908) is an anticipatory vision of a technologically driven and globalized society, with uncanny depictions of world-wide machine-mediated communications, alienating technological immersion, and pervasive social networking in an automated environment. The story is interpreted as a projection of Forster's anxieties concerning the growth of industrialism and organization, and the attendant reification of social experience and personal identities.
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April 23, 2008
Number of Pages in PDF File: 8 Keywords: Alienation, Reification, Industrialism, Interaction, Computer-mediated communication, Internet, Technology, Globalization, English literature, E.M. Forster, Science fiction, Automatization, Social networking
La Paradoja del Comediante, o del actor, fue formulada por Diderot en un ensayo que tenía a David Garrick como ejemplo principal. En este artículo observamos la similaridad entre dicha paradoja y la "capacidad negativa" atribuida por diversos críticos a los grandes dramaturgos y más en concreto a Shakespeare. Se sugiere una base común para ambos fenómenos en la naturaleza mimética de la gestualidad y de la comunicación humanas, algo que podría proporcionar una solución a la paradoja desde una perspectiva neuroestética:
The Player's Paradox, or the Paradox of Acting, was formulated by Diderot in an essay dealing with David Garrick as a major example. In this paper we note the similarity between the Player's Paradox and the "negative capability" a number of critics have ascribed to great dramatists and most particularly to Shakespeare. A common grounding of both phenomena in the mimetic nature of human communication and gestuality is suggested, which might provide a solution to the paradox from the standpoint of neuroaesthetics.
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Number of Pages in PDF File: 11
Artículo aceptado en estas revistas y páginas temáticas de las redes de Antropología, Ciencia cognitiva y Literatura inglesa:
Notas sobre 1599: Un año en la vida de William Shakespeare
Notas sobre el libro de James Shapiro 1599: Un año en la vida de William Shakespeare, que trata un período crucial a mitad de la carrera de Shakespeare, centrándose más especíicamente en las conexiones de Shakespeare con la atmósfera social y política de su tiempo, en el trabajo con su compañía teatral, la construcción del Globe, y la génesis de obras como Enrique V, Julio César, Como gustéis y Hamlet, además de los primeros sonetos que aparecieron en El peregrino apasionado. Algunos elementos descuidados o poco tratados por Shapiro se añaden en comentarios en cursiva
Notes on 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare
Notes on James Shapiro's book 1599: A Year in the Life of William Shakespeare, dealing with a crucial period at the mid-point of Shakespeare's career, and focusing more specially on Shakespeare's connections to the social and political atmosphere of his time, on the theatrical work with his company, the building of the Globe, and the genesis of such plays as Henry V, Julius Caesar, As You Like It and Hamlet, as well as the earliest of the Sonnets in The Passionate Pilgrim. Some issues disregarded or not sufficiently addressed by Shapiro are added in the comments in italics.
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Number of Pages in PDF File: 62 Keywords: Shakespeare, Elizabethan drama, Literature, Drama, English literature
_____. "Notas sobre 1599: Un año en la vida de William Shakespeare." 2009. Net Sight de José Angel García Landa 16 May 2015.* (James Shapiro).
Suaue, mari magno turbantibus aequora uentis, e terra magnum alterius spectare laborem...
Es dulce, cuando sobre el vasto mar los vientos revuelven las olas, contemplar desde tierra el penoso trabajo de otro; no porque ver a uno sufrir nos dé placer y contento, sino porque es dulce considerar de qué males te eximes. Dulce es también presenciar los grandes certámenes bélicos en el campo ordenados, sin parte tuya en el peligro; pero nada hay más dulce que ocupar los excelsos templos serenos que la doctrina de los sabios erige en las cumbres seguras, desde donde puedas bajar la mirada hasta los hombres, y verlos extraviarse confusos y buscar errantes el camino de la vida, rivalizar en talento, contender en nobleza, esforzarse día y noche con empeñado trabajo, elevarse a la opulencia y adueñarse del poder.
¡Oh míseras mentes humanas! ¡Oh ciegos corazones! ¡En qué tinieblas de la vida, en cuán grandes peligros se consume este tiempo, tan breve!
(Lucrecio, De Rerum Natura, II)
Para una teoría del topsight desde Lucrecio. La sabiduría aparece aquí como perspectiva dominante en una situación dada; en el caso de Lucrecio, viene autoafirmada en sí misma, o a lo sumo busca el consenso del lector implícito como comunidad imaginaria.
Notas sobre la teoría feminista del género gramatical de Ana M. Vigara presentada en "Nombrar en femenino: Sexo 'gramatical', juicio social" (2009), referente al debate social sobre el uso variable del género masculino y femenino en español. Vigara defiende una posición feminista moderada, que tiene en cuenta la tradición gramatical pero con atención al significado social del uso de las formas femeninas o masculinas, y de las respuestas que provoca dicho uso.
Naming in Feminine: Linguistic Gender and Feminism
Notes on Ana M. Vigara's feminist theory of linguistic gender in "Naming in Feminine: 'Grammatical' Sex, Social Judgment" (2009), relative to the social debate on the varying use of feminine and masculine gender in Spanish. Vigara defends a moderate feminist position, taking into account grammatical tradition but with an attention to the social significance of the use of feminine or masculine forms, and of the responses elicited by this usage
Este artículo se centra en la cuestión del tiempo que transcurre entre el solsticio de invierno y el principio del año nuevo, considerado en la imaginación mítica como un tiempo de naturaleza especial, un tiempo fuera del tiempo por así decirlo, enraizado en una tradición de folklore y fiestas populares. La noción de un tiempo que se detiene, asociada en Twelfth Night de Shakespeare a un tiempo de espera y de luto, se combina en este drama con la interrupción del tiempo práctico que tiene lugar durante una representación teatral o una fiesta. Esta tierra de nadie temporal adquiere connotaciones genéricas específicas, cuyas raíces se remontan al desajuste entre los calendarios lunares y solares. El juego con la confusión de géneros que se da en la obra es característico de la suspensión del orden normal del tiempo, antes de la reafirmación de los roles genéricos tradicionales y del tiempo renovado, una vez se reanuda el curso ordinario de los acontecimientos en un nuevo ciclo temporal.
This paper focuses on the notion of the time between the winter solstice and the beginning of the year as a time with a special status, a time out of time as it were, rooted in a tradition of folklore and popular calendrics. The notion of a time that stops, associated in Twelfth Night to a lull, a time of waiting, and of mourning, is combined in Shakespeare's play with the interruption of practical time during a theatrical performance or a festival. This no man's time is shown to have gender-specific connotations rooted in the mismatch of the lunar and solar calendars. Shakespeare's play with generic confusion in the play is characteristic of the suspension of the normal order of time, before the reassertion of renewed time and accepted gender roles when the new cycle of time begins for good.
_____. "13 Moons, Twelve Nights: Calendars, Cycles, Time Out of Time and Gender Difference (a Note on Twelfth Night) / 13 lunas, 12 noches: Calendarios, ciclos, tiempos muertos y diferencia de género (a propósito de Twelfth Night)." (2007). Online PDF at Social Science Research Network (Nov. 2007).
Una nota sobre un fragmento de Walter Benjamin en sus "Tesis sobre la Filosofía de la Historia", relacionando algunos aspectos del pensamiento de Benjamin en este texto, así como en "La tarea del traductor", con la inherente temporalidad de la experiencia humana, y con la importancia de las dimensiones de la cognición retrospectiva, y de la retroacción, en nuestras relaciones con la tradición cultural
The Angel of History: Retrospection and Retroaction in Benjamin
A note on a passage of Walter Benjamin's 'Theses on the Philosophy of History', relating some aspects of Benjamin's thought in this text, and in 'The Task of the Translator' as well, to the inherent termporality of human experience and the importance of the dimensions of retrospective hindsight, and of retroaction, in our relationship to cultural tradition.
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Number of Pages in PDF File: 5 Keywords: Walter Benjamin, Retrospection, Hindsight, Historiography, Retroaction, Hermeneutics
Robert Weimann, "Erzählerstandpunkt und 'point of view'"
Notas sobre el artículo de Robert Weimann "Erzählerstandpunkt und point of view. Zur Geschichte und Ästhetik der Perspektive im englischen Roman."Anglistik und Amerikanistik X, 4 (1962): 369-416.
369- En Alemania, el estudio del punto de vista narrativo ha sido descuidado por una supuesta "búsqueda de objetividad." Se ha desarrollado en Inglaterra y en USA. A partir de Beach (The Method of Henry James, 1918), etc., deviene un problema central; para los New Critics (Tate, Schorer, Aldridge, etc.), "wurde es zu einem Formproblem par excellence erklärt." 370- "Sie haben die Wahl der Perspektive auf ein erzähltechnisches Problem reduziert und die mit der Wirklichkeit verbundene 'Ich-Origo des Erzählers' den 'fiktiven Ich-Origines der Gestalten' aufgeopfert." Hay una falta de visión histórica que lleva al estancamiento.
371- "Das Verhältnis der Erzählperspektive zur Wirklichkeit, ihre ästhetische und historische Problematik, ihre Ideengeschichtlichen Verstrebungen, die Beziehungen zwischen dem fiktiven 'Erzähler' und dem Autor-Erzähler, zwischen den erzähltechnischen Formen und ihren inhaltlichen Äquivalenten und andere Fragen sind heute unbeantwortet."
1. Zur Begriffsbestimmung
372- Se propone Weimann "die Ungenauigkeiten im bisherigen Gebrauch des Begriffes beachten und an die Stelle der wisdersprüchlichen oder einseitigen Definitionen eine historisch-dialektische Konzeption zu setzen versuchen." El problema es definido por los anglonorteamericanos, y alemanes, como la relación entre "autor" o "narrador" e "historia". Todo es vago. Y no incluye la relación autor-realidad, sino sólo autor-obra. Un planteamiento estrecho.
373- "den am weitesten verbreiteten Grundirrtum dieser formalen Konzeption, wonach die Perspektive nicht aus dem schiftstellerischen Verhältnis zur Wirklichkeit als Quelle und Urgrund des Stoffes, sondern aus dem Verhältnis des Autors zu seinem Werk, zur Story, abgeleitet werden soll." Stanzel, Lämmert, etc., son todos formalistas. Se opone Weimann a ver al narrador como una figura siempre ficticia, como hace Kayser.
374- [E. Leiris: parece definir 'Erzählerstandpunkt' como perspectiva sólo].
La relación del autor con la realidad (que determina su relación con la obra) está históricamente determinada - no es una cuestión autónoma ni puramente estética —pero tampoco extraestética. 374- "Die formale oder psychologische Konzeption der Erzählerstandpunkt geht schließlich Hand in Hand mit einer impressionistischen Fassung des Begriffes". Se acaba remitiendo la cuestión al punto de vista del lector (Lubbock, Mandelkow, Stanzel).
375- Esto deriva en impresionismo. El lector no debe ser pasado por alto: también es una figura histórica cambiante. Pero las perspectivas no dependen del lector para su integración, sino del autor. El uso del lector como base gnoseológica está injustificado. "Der Künstler und sein Schaffenakt bilden die ästhetischen Grundlagen der Perspektive; nur von hier aus ist die Perspektive als ästhetische Erscheinung zu fassen."
376- Paradójicamente, se negaría el inmanentismo al remitir la obra al lector. Weimann contra Kayser: el lector no es un rol o elemento formal al interior del cual nos deslizamos. También contra Hamburger y su noción de la desaparición del narrador en favor de una "función narrativa". La perspectiva es un recurso compositivo del autor.
377- Aun en este sentido (de la perspectiva entendida como recurso del autor, quitando al lector) los enfoques burgueses son ambiguos: point of view es ya (1) el "modo de presentación, ya (2) la posición histórica del autor. (1 sería puramente óptico; según Kayser, es un defecto si cambia brusca e injustificadamente. 2 se transforma en una posición inmanente a la obra, ficticia, en Kayser).
378- Cf. Brooks y Warren: diferencia entre "basic attitude" vs. "method of narration" [mezclada con la voz narrativa- JAGL] —entendida como "focus of narration". Es una separación útil, pero no muestran la relación entre uno y otro concepto.
Weimann propone entender Erzählperspektive como:
a) Point of view, oder Erzählwinkel. La presentación por parte del narrador autorial de escena vs. resumen, la persona narrativa, etc. Puede encomendarse a un personaje ficticio.
b) Standpunkt (Erzählerstandpunkt). La elección de una actitud hacia el lector, la valoración. Este posicionamiento no es ficticio. 378- "Er ist keinem fiktiven Erzähler order Charakter, sondern immer dem Autor-Erzähler selbst zugeordnet."
379- Se le puede hacer ficticio al narrador, pero a partir de ahí, del Erzählerstandpunkt representado, averiguaremos el del autor. La relación con el autor es la relación forma / contenido. En una obra perspectivísticamente integrada, forman una relación artística: "Als erzählerisch geformter Ausdruck der auktorialen Gesamtshaltungist die Perspektive identisch mit der Summe der poetisch realisierten Stellungen des Schriftstellers."
380- La perspectiva está basada en las condiciones sociales y personales del autor, pero es una categoría estética, no biográfica.
2. Zur ästhetischen Grundlegung
Relación obra-realidad: la teoría del reflejo (Widerspiegelung) está bien como teoría del conocimiento pero no dice nada sobre lo específico del arte. ¿El escritor no sería un espejo, sino acaso una lente o prisma? No: ignoraríamos su dinamismo, que no es mecánico, imprime su sello individual sobre la realidad representada (Ivanov). La literatura es una palabra personal; Ivanov vs. la noción de Belinski del arte como "unmittelbare Schau der Wahrheit oder Denken in Bildern." Es una útil seaparación del conocimento científico, pero ignora que (381) "das Kunstwerk nicht schlechthin ein Abbild, sondern immer ein bewertetes, ein interpretiertes und vorallgemeintertes Abbild der Wirklichkeit darstellt." No es sólo un trabajo conceptual o abstractivo sobre la realidad: es también un juicio moral e interpretativo (sea consciente o inconscientemente).
382- "Der Inhalt eines Werkes ist damit schon nicht mehr allein die widergespiegelte Wirklichkeit, sondern auch das, was der Künstler über die Wirklichkeit aussagt" —y también la emoción. No es reductible a ciencia física. La creación está unificada, y la recepción también; el hombre ha de entenderse como un todo (Goethe). (383): "Das ästhetische Erlebnis muß —auf solcher Grundlage— als der intensivste un umfassendste Akt der Integration aller sinnlich-emotionalen und moralisch-geistigen Bewußtseinformen angesehen werden." —No es reducible a una relación metafísica entre sujeto y objeto. Cf. Hegel: la originalidad, la subjetividad del artista, es así idéntica a la verdadera objetividad. Por tanto, para Weimann, la perspectiva no será caprichosa; "nur so wird in der Kunst (Fischer) 'die Spaltung der menslichen Wirklichkeit in Subjekt und Objekt, in Einzelwesen und Gesamtwesen, in das Besondere und in das Allgemeine aufgehoben'."
385- En la fantasía tampoco está limitado el artista a sus "Selbstgemachte Einbildungen" —también es una forma de relación con lo real; Weimann prefiere el término sensibility (Kettle) antes que Weltanschauung. "Nur solche weltanschaulichen Positionen vermögen aber das Kunstwerk zu bereichern, die darin perspektivisch verankert, d.h. gestalteter Bestandteil der gesamten Künstlerischen Weltsicht geworden sind"—en una perspectiva totalizante. Las posiciones no asimiladas resultan en Tendenz, arte panfletario.
3. Perspektive und Gattung
386- La perspectiva también se da en otros géneros (Spitzer, Iser...). Es común en cierto grado a la épica y a la novela (a través de un relato oral) (387): Según Goethe y Schiller, la épica presenta los acontecimientos como pasados, el drama como presentes. Para Weimann, está bien si se entiende como su origen o forma preartística. La narración nunca se cuenta sola; siempre se cuenta a alguien, en un momento dado: se debe seleccionar el pasado inabarcable. Contra la noción de slice of life o tranche de vie; (388): "Ist aber die Aussparung unumgänglich, so ist bei der Bewertung des Erzählten schon nichte mehr die Tatsache der Auswahl, sondern der Standpunkt bemerkenswert, von dem aus sie vorgenommen wird"; cada selección necesita un punto de vista, es inevitable. Se trata de tomar esta necesidad como principio estético. [Vendría a ser un estudio de la motivación del punto de vista.—JAGL]. La narración supone dirigirse al lector; comentar es una manifestación. La impassibilité narrativa es un intento de negar una posible posición ante esa necesidad.
389- Hegel ve en la novela "eine subjektive Epopee, in welcher der Verfasser sich die Erlaubnis ausbittet, die Welt nach seiner Weise zu behandeln. Es fragt sich also nur, ob er eine Weise habe; das andere wird sich schon finden." Goethe: "Jeder Schiftsteller schildert sich einigermaßen in seinen Werken, auch wider Willen, selbst"; para Weimann, la objetividad es sólo una ilusión dramática, hay una "schöpferische Distanz oder erzählerische Kontrolle", y niega su pérdida en el naturalismo.
4. Zur Herausbildung der Romanperspektive
390- Contra las normas fijas: autorial, "begrenzten" y Ich-Roman. Todos aceptables en principio. El realismo marxista no dice nada sobre las formas narrativas (todas son aceptables). "So sehr der klassische bürgerliche Roman als literarisches Erbe unsere Beachtung und Bewunderung verdient: seine Formen betrachten wir als ein historisches Paradigma"—y como no un modelo.
Epopeya clásica—posición ingenua y no problemática. La perspectiva está basada en valoraciones socialmente comunes (Ker); (391)—la estabilidad de las convenciones está garantizada, y así la duración de la obra. No se preocupa por la originalidad o evidencia. Poeta y público se aglutinan en un we o uns: "Die Erzählperspektive wurde infolgedessen nicht mit dem Blickwinkel des Helden indentifiziert; der Sänger besichtete über dem Helden, von dessen Taten er—wie auch sein Publikum—nur gehört hatte: ne hyrde ic ist im 'Beowulf' (Z. 38 u ö) die typische Wendung, die die 1. Person singularis rechtfertigt." (392): La narración no está relativizada, no hay un narrador ficticio—las posibilidades del punto de vista no están desarrolladas.
Novela: (392) "Hier ist von Anbeginn an —schon bei Cervantes— der Erzälerstandpunkt ein vom Autor individuell zu lösendes Gestaltungsproblem. Der Autor grenzt seinen Erzählerstandpunkt von dem des Lesers un dem anderer Schrftsteller ab." Es una sociedad de la competencia libre (Marx); el lector es individual, no hay un consumo público homogéneo. Está claro y económicamente explícito en Fielding y en Cervantes. El poeta es un autor, no un oidor. (394): La relación con el lector es establecida al principio, y mantenida. Pero es un lector no ficticio [parece referirse Weimann aquí al narratario como lector— JAGL]: es una generalización basada en el público real; lo mismo sucede con el narrador, tras él está el Autor-Erzähler. (394): "Die poetische Maske oder das Medium, dessen sich der autor später bedient, können doch nicht den Standpunkt der wirklichen Erzählers vernichten."
Defoe, en Moll Flanders: el autor está disimulado, pero no desaparece; más bien está enraizado en la realidad histórica, (394): "in der Situation des bürgerichen Autors gegenüber einem sich zögernd säkularisierenden Puritanismus." En Fielding, Swift, etc., el rol del autor todavía es público: hay una obligación hacia la comunidad, un respeto al common reader; no son libres; el autor y el lector están obligados. Esto influye en la técnica: (396): "Die Herausbildung einer individuellen Erzählhaltung war von keiner individualistischen Isolierung der Erzähler-Persönlichkeit begleitet." Hay una tensión socialidad-individualidad en este realismo.
5. Der neue Standpunkt des Autor-Erzählers
Defoe frente a Fielding: ¿es novela picaresca? OK, pero también el inicio de la novela burguesa. (397): "Es ist die neue Perspektive des Autor-Erzählers, die —in Reflexion einer neuen, verbürgerlichten Wirklichkeit— auf Grund ihrer Auswahl und Bewertung der überkommenen stofflichen Vorwurf eine tiefere Dimension abgewinnt." (398): Una perspectiva disssenter, un nuevo tratamiento, una visión ética del personaje (la construcción de sus vidas). Los personajes están algo más individualizados, hay un interés psicológico en la reacción y no sólo en la aventura. El narrador está subordinado al autor: (399): "Die Bezogenheit des Ich-Erzählers auf den Autor-Erzähler ist natürlich eine höchst Komplexe, indirekte —niemals eine mechanische— Relation." Y es un fenómeno espontáneo, no conscientemente artístico.
6. Voraussetzungen und Struktur des Perspektivwandels
Un enfoque tipológico del punto de vista es ahistórico. Stanzel se pregunta por la irregularidad literaria, pero con sus planteamientos no la resolverá. (400): "Eine Geschichte der Erzählkunst, die die tieferen Substrate der Perspektive, d. h. den historischen Erzählerstandpunkt, übersieht, bleibt im Grunde eine geschichtlich aufgeputzte Typologie. Der Wandel der Darbietungsformen ist immer zugleich ein Wandel der dargebotenen Inhalte, und der Wandel des Dargebotenen ist letzlich im Wandel ders Darbietenden, des Autor-Erzählers, begründet." (403): Hay un origen social, supraindividual, de las transformaciones de la perspectiva. Weimann rechaza el ahistoricismo y la impersonalidad de la Nueva Crítica, Kayser y Hamburger. Hay en la novela inglesa una tensión de perspectiva ante los outlaws, entre la religión, sociedad, respetabilidad, etc., y la visión subjetiva, individualista, humana, del artista. Hay una complejidad histórica de la perspectiva narrativa. (404): Sozialperspektive vs. Individualperspektive. Las novelas manifiestan los valores sociales, pero desde una perspectiva individual.
7. Perspektivwandel und Romanentwicklung
El cambio en el individuo es el origen del cambio de perspectiva. Marx opone el individuo personal al individuo perteneciente a una clase—en la sociedad moderna. El individuo está rodeado de circunstancias azarosas, no esenciales: (406) "in dem Augenblick, da der Erzähler in dieser 'Zufälligkeit' würzelt, ist er kein Epiker mehr, sondern Romanschreiber. Das klassische Beispiel bieten die an Wechselfällen überreichene 'Lebensbedingungen' eines Daniel Defoe: Das Romanschaffen war in seinem Lebensweg ein Zufall und ein Experiment, zugleich ein Symptom für die Unsicherkeit des bürgerlichen Dichters, der nicht länger im Dienste eines Patrons stand." Las tensiones de la sociedad moderna condicionan la forma del relato.
El punto mayor de individualización de la narración narrativa se da en Tristram Shandy. Otros aspectos, además de la actitud entre narrador y lector (407):
- La relación con el material, la fábula, es "casual" (vs. la épica). - La diferenciación perspectivística, un descubrimiento que va más allá de las formas sociales. - La movilidad de la perspectiva, el ritmo; ya no vienen dados sino que son replanteados, etc. - La distanciación del creador frente a la realidad representada.
(408): "Die aus der Vereinzelung und Individualisierung des Autor-Erzählers resultierende 'Zufälligkeit' der perspektivischen Erzählformen ist jedoch vorerst durchaus vereinbar mit auktorialer Übersicht und Kontrolle über das Dargestellte." No es una deformación—al contrario: "Der persönliche Erzählerton kontrastiert mit der überpersönlichen Gültigkeit der Aussage und findet darin seine ästhetische Berechtigung." La perspectiva social queda aumentada y corregida, no negada; deben respetarse la legitimidad y la causalidad, las actitudes procedentes de la realidad extraliteraria. La subjetividad del narrador no es contradictoria con la objetividad de lo narrado: (409) "Beide Aspekte ergänzen sich komplementär; iher Zusammenfall konstituert eine dem Roman spezifische Form der Einheit des Allgemeinen und des Besonderen, des Gesellschaftlichen und des Individuellen."
Observaciones de los críticos anglicistas sobre el cambio de perspectiva, la desaparición del autor, etc. Hay un paso a segundo término o retirada, una (410): "Zurücktreten des epischen Elementes in der Erzählerperspektive", a la vez que desaparece la seguridad autorial del XVIII, basada en la estabilidad social; una aceptación del standard del common reader, etc.
(411): En el XIX, ya hay conflictos entre la perspectiva social y la integridad artística. Un cambio de actitud hacia la burguesía: de idealización se pasa a acusación; (412) se ve la relación entre moralidad y riqueza material (Belinski). Los novelistas ingleses del XIX no quieren, sin embargo, refutar la concepción burguesa del mundo: quieren integrar en ella su p. de v. crítico-realista (un "viktorianische Kompromiß"). Algo parecido sucede en la poesía.
(414): Según Tillotson, los escritores "protestan y aceptan", to have it both ways. Hay un aislamiento gradual y una oposición al público, justiifcados por el "arte por el arte"; "Die Individual-perspektive des seiner Gesellschaft entfremdeten Romanciers verselbständigt sich".
Hay en esta época una oposición máxima entre el individuo personal y el individuo-clase; el artista se opone al burgués, y al público; se aboga por una visión personal.
(416): Desarrollos del punto de vista personal: "Ihm sind (...) die strukturelle Wandlung des Romanhelden, aber auch die sogennante 'Entfabelung' zugeordnet—Tendenzen, die die Entwicklung des point of view einerseits begleiten, andererseits mitbedingen."
También la erlebte Rede, el monólogo interior, etc. Joyce no es el límite; luego, en la anti-novela, se da un rechazo del humanismo, etc.
Weimann presenta la destrucción de la personalidad narrativa como el fin de la novela burguesa. (416): "Am Ende steht nicht nur der Verlust einer menslichen Perspektive, sonder die Zurücknahme des Humanismus und die Zerstörung der Erzählkunst."
Breve guía sobre cómo comentar un texto literario en un entorno académico, proponiendo diversas dimensiones de análisis, tanto en lo que se refiere a las estructuras formales y retóricas de un texto, como a su contextualización histórica y su ideología.
Comentario de textos literarios ingleses - J.A. García Landa
Guía para comentar un texto
Comentar un texto es saberlo leer de una forma interesante y creativa, y saber comunicar esa lectura. Para eso hace falta tanto intuición como experiencia y conocimientos. La intuición que todos tenemos en mayor o menor grado también se desarrolla y se aprende a utilizar con la práctica. La práctica consiste en: a) leer textos literarios con atención, b) leer crítica literaria procurando aprender de otros comentarios, c) comentar textos por escrito con frecuencia. No hay una fórmula o clave que permita hacer un comentario correcto. Sólo con tiempo, dedicación y familiaridad con los textos podemos aprender a hacer comentarios que sean interesantes, que distingan entre lo que es repetitivo u obvio (o puramente subjetivo, o simplemente erróneo) y lo que vale la pena ver en un texto y decir de él a otros, en cada situación. En concreto, aquí estamos en un contexto de comentario académico. Puede ayudar mucho para orientarse en él el estudio alguno de los libros sobre comentario de texto recomendados, y deberían manejarse al menos dos de ellos.
Las indicaciones siguientes pueden servir de guía; no son exhaustivas y no hay por qué tratar todos estos puntos al comentar un texto. En cada texto debemos intentar ver cuáles de estos puntos, u otros, sería más interesante desarrollar en el comentario. Pero hay que intentar también no centrarse demasiado en un único aspecto del texto.
Lectura. Comenzar por leer el texto con atención y utilizando fuentes de información (diccionario, enciclopedia) en caso de dudas. Atender al significado que las palabras o expresiones adquieren en este texto en concreto. Presta atención al lenguaje del texto para ver si te ayuda a situarlo en una época histórica concreta por sus expresiones o su gramática.
Autor e identificación. Si el texto lleva el nombre del autor, utiliza el conocimiento de su obra como información de fondo para el comentario. Pero cuida de no olvidarte del texto que tienes entre manos para dedicarte a escribir una redacción sobre la vida y obra de ese autor en general. La información adicional que utilices será mucho más valiosa si la puedes relacionar con aspectos concretos del texto que comentas. Así, puedes señalar cómo se reflejan en este texto en concreto las características temáticas, ideológicas o estilísticas más generales de la obra del autor.
Si el texto no lleva el nombre del autor, utiliza tus conocimientos sobre las épocas literarias y las características de los distintos autores que conozcas para ver cuáles pueden responder al texto en cuestión. Atiende también a pistas concretas (nombres de personajes, ambiente, etc.). Pero si no conoces el autor, no intentes aparentar que lo sabes. El texto podría ser anónimo o pertenecer a una obra de segunda fila que no se espera que vayas a identificar. Por eso refleja simplemente la manera en que ves el texto: si se aprecian rasgos de tal o cual corriente, género o estilo, si hay “elementos comunes” con la obra de tal o cual autor... pero sin darlo por seguro a menos que realmente lo veas como seguro. Aunque no sepas identificar al autor con precisión, siempre puede servirte como guía para el comentario el estilo de otros autores que sí conoces.
Tema, género, estilo. Señala el tema principal que trata el texto a tu juicio, y cómo se desarrolla a lo largo de él. ¿Qué tipo de texto es? ¿Narrativo? ¿Descriptivo? ¿Expositivo? ¿Dramático? ¿Lírico? Describe sus características métricas si se trata de poesía, pero no detengas ahí el análisis de la forma. Examina la estructura retórica del texto (recursos persuasivos o expresivos empleados, figuras, tropos e imágenes y uso de los mismos, etc.). ¿Qué nos dice esta estructura acerca del estilo del autor, de sus ideas o de su intención? ¿Cómo se personaliza esa forma o género utilizado? (Es decir, ¿cómo se vuelve estilo ?). Procura referirte a aspectos concretos del texto, su uso del lenguaje, etc.—lo que lo haga característico. ¿Qué recursos formales se utilizan para crear coherencia y una determinada perspectiva en el texto? ¿Cómo se refuerza el tema del texto mediante el uso de imágenes, metáforas, connotaciones, juegos de palabras? Es decir, ¿cómo construye el texto una forma propia para expresar lo que expresa?
Enunciación: A través de un texto podemos estudiar la figura de su autor y la de su receptor (implícitos). ¿Cómo aparecen aquí? ¿Podemos hablar de autores o narradores ficticios? ¿Es el mismo autor quien se dirige a nosotros, o adopta una personalidad ficticia, o una actitud convencionalizada? ¿Hay ironía, ambigüedad, etc. en la voz del autor? Si el autor desdobla su voz de esta manera, ¿cómo se relacionan entre sí las voces resultantes? (por ejemplo, una narración irónica y la actitud real que subyace a ella). Lo mismo con respecto al oyente: ¿qué imagen del receptor se nos ofrece? ¿Es un personaje concreto (¿real? ¿ficticio?) o el público en general? ¿Qué actitud espera el autor de este receptor implícito? ¿Cuál es la actitud del autor, narrador, receptor... hacia los personajes, si los hay? ¿Desde qué punto de vista se presenta la acción? Si hay varios puntos de vista, ¿cómo se articulan unos con otros, o se subordinan unos a otros?
Intertextualidad: A través de un texto también pueden percibirse otros textos, la obra de otros autores. Esto puede suceder de forma explícita o implícita. ¿Hay en el texto alusiones concretas a otras obras o géneros literarios? ¿Podemos encontrar una relación implícita entre este texto y otros? Esto sucede, por ejemplo, en el caso de textos que son imitaciones, variaciones, o parodias de otras obras—o de clases de obras, como el Quijote es una parodia de los libros de caballerías. Intenta sacar a la luz estos aspectos implícitos del diálogo que se establece entre el texto y la tradición literaria que le precede.
Historia: Estas cuestiones de carácter formal deben relacionarse con cuestiones de carácter histórico e ideológico. Intenta establecer, refiriéndote a aspectos concretos del texto, qué supone éste, o la escritura de su autor, en el desarrollo de la literatura inglesa. ¿Qué hay de nuevo y qué de tradicional en el tipo de escritura que ejemplifica este texto? ¿Puedes relacionarlo con algún movimiento literario, corriente, moda, etc. que te permita situarlo en tanto que fenómeno histórico? ¿Qué aspectos de la escritura de este texto no eran posibles o probables en otra época o momento histórico? ¿Por qué? (Aquí ayuda tener unas ciertas nociones de historia).
Ideología: Un texto es producto de una sociedad, una época, una mentalidad o ideología. Señala qué aspectos del texto a comentar pueden relacionarse con estos aspectos más amplios de su trasfondo histórico. Por ejemplo, ¿cuál es la representación de las diferencias de clase o jerarquía social en el texto? En este sentido, puede ser interesante ver en qué manera refleja el texto las relaciones sociales: ¿se atiene a un modelo aristocrático y feudal? ¿nacionalista, monárquico? ¿liberal, demócrata? ¿Cómo situas al texto con respecto al desarrollo de la sociedad moderna (urbana, pluralista, laica...)? ¿Hay rasgos de discursos nacionalistas, coloniales, raciales, identitarios, revolucionarios, reaccionarios, progresistas? ¿Con qué recursos estilísticos se expresa o refuerza el mensaje político implícito o explícito del texto?
¿Hay rasgos de creencias científicas o religiosas pertenecientes a una época o cultura determinados? ¿a un credo o filosofía concretos? Explícalos y sitúalos brevemente en el contexto de la historia de las ideas. ¿Va el texto dirigido a sustentar o defender esas ideas explícitamente, o simplemente las presupone como parte de su visión del mundo?
Otro aspecto muy interesante a discutir es la representación de los sexos: ¿cómo se caracteriza a hombres o mujeres en el texto? ¿cuál es el género e ideología sexual de autor, narrador, personajes? ¿Cómo ayuda la retórica de la narración, las imágenes, metáforas, etc., a transmitir esa ideología sexual? ¿Qué sentido tienen hoy las ideas, nociones, etc. defendidas por el texto? ¿Qué otros aspectos relativos a la ideología del sujeto individual aparecen?
Redacción y documentación: ¿Que aspecto del texto te llama más la atención, y por qué? Intenta describir a qué se debe el que te parezca ese aspecto el más llamativo o interesante del texto. Concluye el comentario con una valoración de conjunto del tema central del texto según tu interpretación.
REDACTA CON COHERENCIA, ESTRUCTURANDO EL TRABAJO EN PÁRRAFOS QUE SEAN UNIDADES DE SENTIDO. NO ESCRIBAS UN MONTON DE FRASES SUELTAS. PROCURA QUE EL COMENTARIO ESTÉ ORGANIZADO EN TORNO A UNA INTERPRETACION O TESIS CENTRAL QUE EXPRESE LO QUE VES MAS IMPORTANTE PARA DECIR SOBRE EL TEXTO. REPASA LA CORRECCIÓN ORTOGRÁFICA Y GRAMATICAL DEL INGLÉS ANTES DE ENTREGARLO.
En cuanto al uso de bibliografía (en los trabajos hechos en casa): debe servir para apoyar o documentar y no para sustituir u oscurecer la propia lectura del texto. Se puede dialogar con un texto de otro crítico, refutarlo, o extraer información de él. Pero lo que es imprescindible es separar claramente lo que decimos nosotros de lo que dicen los demás, utilizando comillas y referencias precisas a las obras que utilizamos. Trata de usar un estilo que sea a la vez personal y correcto.
Notes taken c. 1988, from Walter Benjamin's book Illuminations, trans. Harry Zohn; introd. Hannah Arendt (New York: Schocken Books, 1969). Original German ed., Illuminationen (Frankfurt: Suhrkamp, 1955). Numbers on the left or between parentheses refer to the pagination of the American edition.
Introduction: Walter Benjamin: 1892-1940 (1-55) (by Hannah Arendt).
4- Benjamin: "Critique is concerned with the truth content of a work of art, the commentary with its subject matter." "The work's truth content is the more relevant the more inconspicuously and intimately it is bound up with its subject matter." They become separated in the text's afterlife. The basic question of criticism is (5) "whether the work's shining truth content is due to its subject matter or whether the survival of the subject matter is due to the truth content." History prepares critique. The critic is an alchemist: he is concerned with the flame; the commentator is a chemist, concerned with ashes.
12- Benjamin's belief in Goethe's Urphänomen, the concrete thing which is at once an archetypal phenomenon. Things reveal secret meanings to the flâneur. These are metaphorical, not rational or generally valid statements—they are all un-Marxist. The relation of superstructure to substructure is seen by Benjamin as metaphorical; that is why he looks "crude" or "undialectical." What gives Kafka or Benjamin the bitter sharpness of their criticism (32) "was never anti-Semitism as such, but the reaction to it of the Jewish middle class, with which the intellectuals by no means identified." Benjamin was both a Zionist and a Communist for years, then bitterly opposed ideologies. For him, truth concerns a secret which must be revealed (theological inspiration). But truth must be transmissible and revelable. Quoting is seen as breaking the spell of tradition and making it transmissible again. Collecting he sees as giving things an intrinsic worth, apart from use value (similar to works of art). Against the tradition: collecting is chaotic, guided by the uniqueness of the object. The collector levels all differences, versus the discriminative tradition. The early 20th century break with tradition is what makes valuable Benjamin's collector viewpoint. He has more in common with Heidegger than with the Marxists. His ideal of producing a work entirely of quotations. He holds an idea of the intrinsic value and meaning of things apart from their effect on society.
Unpacking My Library: A Talk about Book Collecting (59-67)
60- The profound disorder of collections. Items are not appreciated because of their use value; rather, they are loved as the scene of their fate. 61- "For him [the collector], not only books but also copies of books have their fates"; "to a true collector the acquisition of an old book is its rebirth." "Writers are really people who write books not because they are poor, but because they are dissatisfied with the books which they could buy but do not like." Collectors don't read their books. Books are bought to give them their freedom on the collector's shelves. 67- "ownership is the most intimate relationship that one can have to objects." (My commentary here, "Unpacking Benjamin", JAGL).
The Task of the Translator: An Introduction to the Translation of Baudelaire's Tableaux Parisiens(69-82)
69- "In the appreciation of a work of art or an art form, consideration of the receiver never proves fruitful". Against the notion of an "ideal" receiver. Art posits man's existence but is not concerned with his response. "No poem is intended for the reader, no picture for the beholder, no symphony for the listener." Translation conceived as transmission of information is inessential. Translation must not undertake to serve the original - just as the original is not for the reader. [Benjamin fija los valores absolutos, el contemplador perfecto, ¡en la mente de Dios!] 71- "Translatability is an essential quality of certain works." The works have a non-metaphorical life. The translation issues from the afterlife of the original, not from its life. The life of the original, anew in translation. 72- "the ultimate purpose toward which all single functions tend is sought not in its own sphere but in a higher one (...) Translation thus ultimately serves the purpose of expressing the central reciprocal relationship between languages." Languages are interrelated in what they want to express—There is a convergence. Against the traditional theory of rendering the original as accurately as possible. 73- "in cognition there could be no objectivity, not even a claim to it, if it dealt with images of reality"; likewise, "no translation would be possible if in its ultimate essence it strove for likeness to the original." The original has changed in its afterlife (f.i., it has become hackneyed). The translation changes alongside with the language (showing the manifest kinship of languages), while the original remains. Intentions underlying each language supplement each other, and form the intention underlying language as a whole. A translation is provisional. 75- "In translation the original rises into a higher and purer linguistic air, as it were" (...) "The transfer can never be total, but what reaches this region is that element in a translation which goes beyond the transmittal of subject matter." "thus translation, ironically, transplants the original into a more definitive linguistic realm since it can no longer be displaced by a secondary rendering" [¿Que no puede? Si es provisional. JAGL] This is different from the task of the poet: 76- "The task of the translator consists in finding that intended effect [Intention] upon the language into which he is translating which produces in it the echo of the original." —The poet's is an effort directed at language as such, as opposed to the translator's (who deals with language in context). [Ojo, en este punto la traducción inglesa es engañosa, y la he corregido. Siempre es recomendable acudir al texto original—JAGL] 77- There exists a philosophical yearning for a language beyond languages. A translation 78- "must incorporate the original's mode of signification, thus making both the original and the translation recognizable as fragments of a greater language, just as fragments are part of a vessel" [Esto es platonismo puro- JAGL]. "In the realm of translation too, the words en arkhe en o logos apply." Benjamin proposes literal, word-for-word translation. It is free translation, too: 80- "For the sake of pure language, he [the translator] breaks through decayed barriers of his own language." Translations are untranslatable [? - Quite often, though, translations of a translation are detectable! - JAGL] The unique place of Holy Writ: it is unconditionally translatable because it is the true language in all its literalness.
The Storyteller: Reflections on the Works of Nikolai Leskov (83-109)
Storytelling belongs to the past; the ability to exchange experience is taken from us. Experience has fallen in value in the modern world. Storytellers: travellers, vs. residents, even in later literature. The storyteller has "something useful" for his readers—counsel, information. "Wisdom", "the epic side of truth", is dying out, too. Narrative is being removed from the realm of living speech. The novel is not the same as a story or an epic, because it depends on the book form. (87) It has its birthplace in the solitary individual, uncounseled and uncounselling. The novel and the Bildungsroman as its natural form; an inadequacy to reality. The novel develops with the bourgeoisie. A new form of communication, too: the newspapers, dealing in information, vs. intelligence from afar. The explanation kills the story. Leskov does not explain: (91) "There is nothing that commends a story to memory more effectively than that chaste compactness which preculdes psychological analysis". Repeating stories is essential to storyteling: the listener must be bored and self-forgetful. The thought of eternity has declined nowadays; that of death too: it is less omnipresent and vivid, it is no longer a public process. The authority of the dying is at the source of the story. Repetition without explanation. Cf. the difference between chronicles and history. The listener's naive relationship to the storyteller is determined by his interest in retaining the story in his memory. The reader of the novel is alone (not with the storyteller). There is a need to determine characters by their death—or, alternatively, their figurative death: the end of the novel. The reader is warned with the character's fate in a way he never is by his own. The fairy tale is mankind's reaction to myth. There is a sympathy for idiots, crooks and tramps in storytelling. Brutality borders mysticism in Leskov. Storytelling bears a vital, craftsmanshiplike relationship to human reality.
Franz Kafka: On the Tenth Anniversary of His Death (111-40)
An opposition between the holders of power vs. the obliging and puzzled victims. Officials are similar to fathers in Kafka; the oppressive secret of the written law is beyond the accused. Only "assistants" are beyond the family circle. All are rising or falling in Kafka. The gesture in Kafka: like El Greco, Kafka tears open the sky, behind every gesture. 122- "In every case it is a question of how life and work are organized in human socity." The wide designs of mankind are beyond comprehension of the ordinary man. Kafka wants to be the ordinary man. In Kafka things ought to have been known, they have been forgotten. There is a veiled asceticism in Kafka: being awake, fasting. 134- "Even if Kafka did not pray—and this we do not know—he still possessed in the highest degree what Malebranche called 'the natural prayer of the soul': attentiveness."
Some reflections on Kafka (1938)
141- "Kafka's world is an ellipse with foci that are far apart and are determined, on the one hand, by mystical experience (iin particular, the experienve of tradition) and, on the other, by the experience of the modern big-city dweller." Also the experiences of today's physics; the individual is confronted with "that reality of ours which realizes itself theoretically"—no longer that of the individual; theres is a sickness of tradition. The consistency of truth has been lost. Kafka sacrificed truth for the sake of clinging to its transmissibility. There is no longer wisdom: only the products of its decay—rumour and folly. There is hope, but not for us—this is Kafka's hope, and the source of his serenity.
What Is Epic Theater? (147-54)
The Relaxed Audience (Vs. normal theater, and similar to novel-reading) in epic theater; creating interest and reacting in a well-considered way. Not an 'artless' presentation. Brecht: the masses "do not think without reason"; Benjamin thinks that the masses have a limited practice of thinking. (Benjamin parece contemplar la voluntad política como un medio para interesar a las masas en el teatro! - JAGL).
The Plot. Best dealing with familiar incidents (vs. the sensational and vs. suspense); the plot may cover the greatest spans of time (as against the Oedipus).
The Untragic hero. A thinker or observer as hero (cf. the French noblemen sitting onstage). There is an important and untheorized line of untragic drama since Christianity, —> Brecht. Epic theatre vs. dramatic theatre.
The interruption. Brecht eliminates the catharsis, producing astonishment, not empathy: (150) "not so much the development of actions as the representation of conditions", alienating them to discover them through the interruption.
The quotable gesture. Quoting as interruption An actor spaces his gestures [Benjamin refers to the actor's taking distance from his own gesture]
The didactic play. An interchange actors-spectators. The spectators particiapte; vs. the excitement of the public.
The actor must show his subject and show himself—a possibility of stepping out of character artistically, reflecting about his part (but not as in romantic irony, because here it has a didactic aim).
Theater on a dais, no orchestra pit. Thought the stage is still raised, it is nearer.
On Some Motifs in Baudelaire (155-200)
I. The first poem in Les fleurs du mal addresses unreceptive and spleenetic readers, the least rewarding audience. It marks the confinement of lyric poetry as a particular genre and the end of its widespread appeal; (156) "only in rare instances is lyric poetry in rapport with the experience of its readers". This is linked with the appearance of the difference between "true" vs. "standardized" experience; Dilthey, Jung—> and Fascism. Bergson's conception of memory springs from the age of big-scale industrialism, but he rejects any historical determination of memory.
II. His subject can only be a poet. Cf. Proust, but in him memory is involuntary, not a free choice as in Bergson (against voluntary meory at the service of the intellect). Newspapers now isolate news from the reader's experience; information is disconnected, and does not enter tradition. There is an increasing atrophy of experience in contemporary society. Proust represents an attempt to restore the story-teller. Both kinds of memory merge in rituals, ceremonies.
III. Freud's Beyond the Pleasure Principle. (160): For Freud, "consciousness comes into being at the site of a memory trace". Unconscious memories are the most powerful. Consciousness is conceived as protection against stimuli. In Valéry, recollection is an organization of past stimuli. Lyric poetry has as its basis an experience for which the shock experience (beyond consciousness into involuntary memory) is the norm. Related to the unconscious. (Aquí presenta Benjamin un cierto precedente de la "anxiety of influence" de Harold Bloom - JAGL).
IV. The shock experience is at the heart of Baudelaire's work. A close connection of contact with metropolitan masses, amorphous crowd—not a collective.
V. Marx's aim: to forge an amorphous mass into the proletariat. Vs. Sue's mass literature. Baduelaire feels the allure of the masses, he must defend himself. This is a part of him rarely described in his works—cf. "À une passante."
VI. "The Man of the Crowd" - Baudelaire attracted to the crowd, but recognizes it as inhuman. This is the ambivalence of "Crépuscule du soir".
VII. Man in the Crowd: a flâneur for Baudelaire; a man of leisure looking upon the crowd.
VIII. The crowd inspires fear, revulsion and horror in Poe, Heine, Hoffman; later, it is OK; the crowds need urgent stimuli, e.g. film, perception in the form of shocks. Marx says the workers learn to coordinate their movements to those of the machines. The crowd brings uniformity. Creation of skilled vs. unskilled workers.
IX. The shock experience of passers-by in the crowd is similar to that of the worker at the machine. Work vs. gambling: gambling precludes the use of experience.
X. The actualization of durée rids us of obsession with time. "Correspondances" are seen as something that is disappearing; something which sets to establish itself in a crisis-proof form. They are the data of remembrance, they are not simultaneous. Proust reverts to Baudelaire in Le Temps retrouvé. Spleen is associated to time; Baudelaire is past experiencing now, there is no consolation.
XI. (186): "If we designate as aura the associations which, at home in the mémoire involontaire, tend to cluster around the object of a perception, then its analogue in the case of a utilitarian object is the experience which has left traces of the practiced hand." Baudelaire was against photography; he denies it the spiritual realm. The contemplation of a photography is utilitarian; that of a picture is never satisfied. (187): "What prevents our delight in the beautiful form ever being satisfied is the image of the past." Photography is implicated in the phenomenon of the decline of the aura. Aura defined here by Benjamin as investing objects with the human quality of looking at us in return; it is linked to involuntary memory. In Baudelaire; always (189) "the expectation roused by the look of the human eye is not fulfilled"—he records the loss of aura, finds a mirrorlike blankness (cf. the eyes in the modern city, in public transport). Baudelaire is jostled by the crowd—the lyrical poet loses his halo.
The Image of Proust
I. All great works are unclassifiable: they found or dissolve a genre. Proust's conditions, not a model but exemplary: the greatest opposition between literature and life. Not the author or the plot, but the act of reflecting gives unity to the text. A frenzied quest for happiness. Discovering of similarities: an "elegiac" dialectics of happiness, an eternal repetition. Thence the image and its appearance.
II. Proust as the voice of the nineteenth century. A comic writer, shattering by laughter the pretensions of the bourgeoisie. (207): "Their return and reassimilation by the aristocracy is the sociological theme of the work." He finds a secret language of society beyond words; he is a connoisseur of ceremonies; his curiosity—a passion for servants. Analysis of snobbery, at the center of the work (beyond the apotheosis of art). Snobism as a view of life from the consistent point of view of the consumer. Feudalism as a mask—a class which camouflages its material basis. Much satire is still undiscovered (it is not yet perceptible).
III. A world of remambrance: of associations, correspondances, There is a constant attempt to charge an entire lifetime with the utmost awareness. Proust directs the reader, does not touch him. A symbiosis between his work and his malady.
The Work of Art in the Age of Mechanical Reproduction (217-51)
An epigraph by Valéry on the work of art in the age of mechanical reproduction. Marx predicts the development of capitalism: it will create the conditiosn to abolish itself. (217): "The transformation of the superstructure, which takes place far more slowly than that of the substructure, has taken more than half a century to manifest in all areas of culture the change in the conditions of production." Development of art under the conditions of production—vs. the notions of "creativity", "genius", "eternal value", etc.
I. History of mechanical reproduction.
II. A reproduction can't capture uniqueness or authenticity. The presence of the original is a prerequisite to the concept of authenticity. [Benjamin mete en el mismo saco las fotos de catedrales y las grabaciones de obras musicales—que no es lo mismo.—JAGL].The quality of presence is always depreciated; its authority is undermined. [Benjamin no entiende la oposición cine/teatro. Concibe el cine como teatro fllmado.—JAGL]. (231): "that which withers in the age of mechanical reproduction is the aura of the work of art." The object is detached from the domain of tradition. This is connected with contemporary mass movements. The social significance of film is limited to the liquidation of the traditional value of the cultural heritage. [!!]
III. Sense perception is not merely natural: also historically variable; it expresses social transformations. Neow there are social causes for the decay of aura. Aura = distance; the mass brings things "closer". It is the symptom of a perception that senses the universal equality of things; an adjustment of reality to the masses, and vice-versa.
IV. Art had had been integrated in tradition (originally in cult); later it always has a ritual function; the original use value is then displaced by authenticity. A secular cult of beauty from the Renaissance. Art pour l'art, a theology of art, against the first mechanical reproduction, photography. Now the work of art is emancipated from ritual: (224) "To an ever greater degree the work of art reproduced becomes the work of art designed for reproducitility." Film (a good analysis of sound films - JAGL). The work of art begins now to be based on politics— the authenticity criterion ceases to be applicable. (Eran los años 30... - JAGL).
V. From cult value of the work of art to exhibition value. It is a quantitative shift, but there is a qualitative transformation of the work (Brecht: now the work of art is a commodity).
VI. The cult value resists in photography in the form of the human countenance. When this disapperars, this has political consequences. Captions are needed (In film, previous images act as a caption).
VII. When the cult basis disappears, so does the semblance of autonomy of art. In the 19th century, a debate whether photography is an art. This does not raise the issue that photography has transformed the nature of art. Later, ritual elements are read into film—and the same happens.
VIII. Consequences of the presentation of an actor's performance by menas of a camera. There is no personal contact between the audience and the actor. An identification with the camera, "testing" approach, not a cult value of presence.
IX. The actor no longer acts for an audience, but for a mechanical contrivance. The aura is tied to man's presence. No replica is possible.
X. The actor and the ruler are similar. Their images are trasnported for the public. The shriveling of aura is responded with the artificial build-up of the star system. But also, any man can lay claim to being filmed (only in Russia, though (¿¿¿!!! - JAGL)). The press undermines the difference author/public—anyone can publish.
XI. The opposition between painter and cameraman is similar to the one between magician and surgeon— i.e. opposition between a natural distance from reality vs. penetrating into it; or the total picture vs. multiple fragments assembled under a new law. For modern man, film is truer, it offers "precisely because of the thoroughgoing permeation of reality with mechanical equipment, an aspect of reality which is free of all equipment. And that is what one is entitled to ask from a work of art."
XII. A fusion in film of progressive reaction of the audience and of progressive creation. (234): "The greater the decrease in the social significance of an art form, the sharper the distinction between criticism and enjoyment by the public" —vs. painting (Painting is never in a position to offer simultaneous collective experience).
XIII. Film has brought along a deepening of apperception—filmed behavior lends itself more readily to analysis. The artistic function of film is a scientific function, it introduces us to unconscious optics.
XIV. A historical lag: the aspiration of one art form can often be realized in a new art form. (Dadaism is natural in film). Dadaists attacked the aura. There is an endless destruction of the object of contemplation by the moving image.; a physical shock effect, away from moral Dadaism.
XV. The mass has produced a qualitative change in art, the mode of participation is new. Cf. the "tactile" appropriation of architecture through use and habit. Reception in a state of distraction (film) may form such habits, putting the audience in a critical position, but absent-mindedly.
In fascism, an use of aesthetics to give the masses their image and cheat them from property. (241): "All efforts to render politics aesthetic culminate in one thing: war". Communism responds to fascism by politicizing art.
Theses on the philosophy of History
(Notes from 2015):
I. Historical materialism as a trick, the Turkish chess player moved by a hidden midget—Theology, "which today, as we know, is wizened and has to keep out of sight" (253). (A self-critique? - JAGL).
II. We are free of envy from the past, happiness is bound to things we know, "indissolubly bound up with the image of redemption" (?). The past is also referred to redemption, "There is a secret agreemnt between past generations and the present one", we have "a weak Messianic power" (Here Benjamin seems to recognize our hindsight bias on the past, but not really to critically see it as a distortion - JAGL). III. A chronicler who records everything is writing for Judgment Day: "only a redeemed manikind receives the fullness of its past". (Another critique of retrospection - but retrospection and hindsight bias is necessary for a non-redeemed mankind, then - JAGL).
IV. Spiritual things come from the class struggle. (Cf. Darwin- JAGL). But they are not the result of the spoils, they are not carried away by the victor: rather they are the "courage, humor, cunning, and fortitude" (of the oppressed and the defeated, one understands. Cf. Hegel on the master-slave relationship - JAGL). "They have retroactive force and will constantly call in question every victory, past and present, of the rulers" (255). (Here Benjamin understimates the spiritual benefits of victory and dominance - JAGL). (Another image of hindsight bias in our understanding of the past follows now - JAGL): "As flowers turn toward the sun, by dint of a secret heliotropism the past strives to turn toward that sun which is rising in the sky of history. A historical materialist must be aware of this most inconspicuous of all transformations" (255).
V. Historical materialism vs. Gofffried Keller's notion that the truth (of the past) remains: "For every image of the past that is not recognized by the present as one of its concerns threatens to disappear irretrievably" (255). (I.e., the survival of the past is a function of present concerns. Cf. G. H. Mead's notion of the past as an operation in the present, a kind of self-communication for future use, within the present. See his Philosophy of the Present- JAGL).
VI. Vs. Ranke's notion of the retrieval of the past "as it really was". The retrieval of the past is linked to danger (Or, one might say, to present concerns & future plans. Danger is only one case of these present concerns—JAGL). Tradition must be continually wrestled away from conformism; "The Messiah comes not only as the redeemer, he comes as the subduer of the Antichrist" (255) (Cf. Bakhtin's notion of the word as a space of confrontation and dialogical debate - JAGL). One must be aware that "even the dead will not be safed from the enemy if he wins" (i.e., victors write or rewrite history, and the past of the tradition is retroactively generated - JAGL. One might link this notion to other perception of retroactive dynamics, see e.g. "Understanding Misreading").
VII. (One of the most celebrated passages in this work - JAGL:) "To historians who wish to relive an era, Fustel de Coulanges recommends that they blot out everything they know about the later course of history." (This would seem like Michael André Bernstein's diatribe "against apocalyptic history" in Foregone Conclusions, but for Benjamin historical materialism must beware of this; he associates this view to Romantic melancholia, Flaubert, etc. Adherents of historicism always empathize with the victor; historical materialists criticize this identification with the rulers. "Whoever has emerged victorious participates to this day in the triumphal procession in which the presen rulers step over those who are lying prostrate. According to traditional practice, the spoils are carried along in the procession. They are called cultural treasures, and a historical materialist views them with cautious detachment. For without exception the cultural treasures he surveys have an origin which he cannot contemplate without horror. They owe their existence not only to the efforts of the great minds and talents who have created them, but also to the anonymous toil of their contemporaries. There is no document of civilization which is not at the same time a document of barbarism. And just as such a document is not free of barbarism, barbarism taints also the manner in which it was transmitted from one owner to another. A historical materialist therefore dissociates himself from it as far as possible. He regards it as his task to brush history against the grain." (256-57). (Cf. the Darwinian view of complex and beautiful life-forms being produced by widespread death, natural selection of the fittest, and the struggle for life. Benjamin sides with the victims of history, Fanon's "wretched of the Earth"—but by his own argument we students of the Documents of Civilization count ourselves among the survivors and among those who stand on the pile of horrors - JAGL).
(257) VIII. "the 'state of emergency' in which we live is not the exception but the rule"; "The current amazement that the things we are experiencing are 'still' possible in the twentieth century is not philosophical" — this rests on an untenable theory of history; out theory of history must come to terms with this (OK so far, JAGL) and "it is our task to bring about a real state of emergency" (?? —meaning, subordinating the task of the historian to a revolutionary project? This is not very clear, and if this is what Benjamin means, it is not very historiographic, at least not in a praiseworthy sense - JAGL). IX. (The famous passage on the Angel of History. I commented on this one here, "El ángel de la historia"). (Epigraph from Scholem, "Gruss fom Angelus", the angel who can't stay, "ich kehrte gern zurück"—this angel seems to want to turn back TO HEAVEN, not the point here anyway). The angel of history seems to pity the victims of history, and to look back on them, but is caught in history himself and is hurled into the future "to which his back is turned, while the pile of debris before him (i.e. in the past) grows skyward. This storm is what we call progress" (This seems to be associated with retrospection, as I comment in my paper—but the question seems to be the difference between his perspective and "ours"—who are "we"? Men, no doubt; we see "a chain of events" whereas he sees "a single catastrophe". Benjamin, as an "angelic historian", seems to partake of this supernatural vision, and to be likewise horrified; a critique of "progress" then, a progress built on oppression, war, etc., as he says in section VII. But note that the "we" in "we see", "we call progress", is ambivalent; Benjamin dissociates himself from "our" common views, but cannot really escape and must acknowledge that he, too, calls this progress. We are no angels, etc.).
X. Further dissociation from the current ideal of "progress"; "opponents of Fascism" (Stalin, the Communists, I guess? - JAGL) betray their own cause and place their faith in progress, their "mass basis", and servitude to an uncontrollable apparatus. Benjamin as a monastic ascete, turning away from the world in order to be able to conceive a different view of history.
XI. Mistaken and corrupted identification of German workers with progress and industrialism. Vs. glorification of work as dignity (if it involves explotiation); it is manipulative, Fascist. Benjamin pro Fourier, vs. this exploitation of nature and of the worker alike. Benjamin advocates cooperation between workers and with Nature, "delivering her of the creations which lie dormant in her womb as potentials" (259). Vs. the corrupted conception of labor against nature. (One wonders, though, how one might extract the "dormant creations" of nature without the industry necessary to do so... JAGL).
(260) XII. The oppressed class as the depository of historical knowledge. A critique of the Social Democrats who make the working class forget oppression and hatred, by assigning to the working class the role of redeemer, forgetting "enslaved ancestors". (Not easy to understand what Benjamin is aiming at. Unless he is really aiming at the Soviet continuing oppression of the peasants, in the name of the industrial worker, in a nation of peasants not industrial workers? One wonders—JAGL).
XIII. Further arguments against the "Social Democrat" notion of the progress of mankind, conceived as "the progress of mankind itself (and not just advances in men's ability and knowledge)." Benjamin rejects its boundelessness and infinity, or its irresistible nature. Ultimately, this mistaken notion of progress of mankind rests on "the concept of its progression through a homogeneous, empty time" (261).
XIV. Epigraph: "Origin is the goal" (Karl Kraus, Worte in versen, I— (An emphasis on hindsight bias- JaGL). "History is the subject of a structure whose site is not homogeneous, empty time, but time filled by the presence of the now [Jetztzeit]" (Again, like G. H. Mead, an argument against abstract time and in favour of conceiving both past and future as functions of the present and its needs—JAGL). (E.g., Robespierre saw Rome as a Republican model). But this takes place "in an arena where the ruling class gives the commands". (An unclear phrase about Marx's understanding of history dialectically, as the same "leap in the open air of history". Benjamin's metaphors do not always make for clarity—JAGL).
XV. Calendars as celebratory time, the exceptional and inaugural time of revolutions, which institute a new history (vs. clock time). (262): French revolutionaries firing against the clocks of the towers in Paris (trying to stop history). (Curiously enough Benjamin only records, somewhat amused, this attitude of revolutions—is its ABYSMAL STUPIDITY to be presupposed? Not really, it seems. But nothing could show in a clearer way the difference between a revolutionary and a historical materialist. Benjamin is a historical materialist, but he is fascinated by revolutionaries to the point of foggy thinking— JAGL).
(262) XVI. "A historical materialist cannot do without the notion of a present which is not a transition, but in which time stands still and has come to a stop. For this notion defines the present in which he himself is writing history." (A confusion. A historical materialist must be aware that history is written from the present, retroactively, with hindsight bias, etc. But this does not mean, not in the least, that the present should not be concieved as far as it is possible to do so as a transitional time! It is significant that (after the image of the revolutionaries shooting clocks in §XV, Benjamin now shoots his own clock and commands time to stand still and come to a stop—a notion which is as remote as can be to materialist thought, or to thought in general. "Historicism gives the 'eternal' image of the past; historical materialism supplies a unique experience with the past." (But it is the experience of a present NOT UNRELATED with the past, not an exceptional present, but one continuous with the past. An excessive emphasis on the present as experienced is not critical, or materialist - JAGL). "The historical materialist leaves it to others to be drained by the whore called 'Once upon a time' in historicism's bordello. He remains in control of his powers, man enough to blast open the continnum of history". (A curious image of sexual continence as giving the energy for revolution. Because this "historical materialist" is evidently enough a revolutionary activist, a man of action, not one who observes and understands history, but one who acts upon it with a certain violence. Revolutionary aims seem once more to be the priority and the guiding aim of the radical intellectual, rather than a balanced and detached understanding of history. He is a partisan, a Party member, or at the very least a sputnik. Much materialism, not to mention other matters, is lost along the way in these allegiances; Benjamin is once more a paradigmatic 20th-c. intellectual.— JAGL).
XVII. Materialistic historiography vs. the historicism which culminates in universal history. "Universal history has no theoretical armature. Its method is additive; it musters a mass of data to fill the homogeneous, empty time. Materialistic historioraphy, on the other hand, is based on a constructive principle" (262). Materialist thinking arrests and crystalizes history into a monad, "the sign of a Messianic cessation of happening, or, put differently, a revoliutionary chance in the fight for the oppressed past" (263). Again, "blasting" an era out of the course of history; "or a specific work out of the life work"; this messianic time is aufgehoben. (Again the notion of the "special" or "messianic" time of the present associated to the Revolution - JAGL). (263) XVIII. "In relation to the history of organic life on earth," writes a modern biologist, "the paltry fifty millennia of homo sapiens constitute something like two seconds at the close of a twenty-four-hour day. On this scale, the history of civilized mankind would fill one-fifth of the last second of the last hour." The present, which, as a model of Messianic time, comprises the entire history of mankind in an enormous abridgment, coincides exactly with the stature which the history of mankind has in the universe." (Benjamin on Big History as "empty clock time". He opposes to it his model of "Messianic" time, time not physical but eventful and significant. The equation goes thus: Universal time (empty) vs. human history (eventful) / human history (empty) vs. present occasion (eventful). But the present needs the perspective of the past history, just as human history is understood better (in its significance as an event) when placed in the context of Big History - JAGL).
A) (On hindsight bias and the retroactive generation of "historical events" through a critique of causality - JAGL): "Historicism contents itself with establishing a causal connection between various moments in history. But no fact that is a caue is for that very reason historical. It became historical posthumously, as it were, through events that may be separated from it by thousands of years. A historian who takes this as his point of departure stops telling the sequence of events like the beads of a rosary. Instead, he grapsts the constellation which his own era has formed with a definite earlier one. Thus he establishes a conception of the present as the 'time of the now' which is shot through with chips of Messianic time."
(One might deduce from this that the "Messianic" significande of the present can never be a historical event in this sense, since it will be the future events that will determine the historicity of the present. The way in which the present is significant —a "Messianic" significance— is different from the way the past is significant. And yet the whole of the past, not just that "definite earlier time" grasped by the materialist historian, is a function of present needs and priorities. Only those priorities are not too narrowly defined. Again the danger of the deliberate distorition of historical clear-sightedness because of a political agenda rears its head here— JAGL).
(264) B) The (future) time of soothsayers is not homogeneous or empty; nor is the time of remembrance of the past (again, the time of history is significant time, focusing on significant events - JAGL). "We know that the Jews were prohibited from investigating the future. The Torah and the prayers instruct them in remembrance, however. This striipped the future of its magic, to which all those succumb who turn to the soothsayer for enlightenment. This does not imply, however, that for the Jew the future turned into homogeneous, empty time. For every second of time was the strait gate through which the Messiah might enter."
(—And yet the Jews are defined as those who, by definition, will keep on waiting for the Messiah until the end of time.... This would seem to be an unconscious acknowledgement of the utopian nature of the Revolution as a funcional, regulatory ideal, really a mythical one. The revolution will forever be in the making, never to be realized. And yet Benjamin seems both to propose this critical view and to share in the Jewish hope that the Messiah might just come this minute, although the other half of his head knows this won't happen until the End of Time, which is by definition not immediate at all. Perhaps this ambivalence, in both skeptically analyzing the Messianic revolution and partaking of the myth is the theological midget, wizened and hidden within the falsely mechanical chess player of Historicism—JAGL).
Comentaremos en este artículo la obra teatral de George Bernard Shaw Too True to Be Good (1931) como modelo de cartografía narrativa, y especificaremos algo más esta noción conceptual desarrollada con vistas al análisis narrativo en un marco consiliente. La noción de consiliencia ha sido desarrollada recientemente por E. O. Wilson en Consilience (1998) y ofrece un marco científico deseable, por las razones que allí se exponen, al que remitir las investigaciones de los fenómenos culturales. El presente artículo pretende contribuir al estudio de las estructuras narrativas desde una perspectiva consiliente.
Too True to Be Good: Narrative Mapping
This paper comments George Bernard Shaw's drama Too True to Be Good (1931) as a paradigm of narrative mapping, and further specifies this conceptual tool, developed for narrative analysis within a consilient framework. The notion of consilience recently propounded by E. O. Wilson in Consilience (1998) provides a valuable scientific paradigm for research into cultural phenomena. This paper is a contribution towards a consilient perspective on narrative structures.
Par la mise en relation de deux textes de Derrida écrit à trente ans d’intervalle, le chapitre 2 de "De la grammatologie" (1967) et « Le livre à venir » (1997), il s’agit de comprendre l’évolution de la pensée derridienne par rapport à la question du livre. Le paradigme structuraliste est ainsi abandonné au profit d’un style qui emprunte largement au vocabulaire des nouvelles technologies et qui fait du livre une autre figure de la survie. En Savoir +
Contestando a Claudia en México, que me pregunta sobre el realismo fantástico y la no fiabilidad del autor implícito:
- con respecto al "realismo fantástico", ¿lo entiendes de modo parecido al "realismo mágico" de García Márquez, Salman Rushdie, etc.? Yo tiendo a ver en ese realismo mágico una literatura básicamente realista, con alta consciencia de la literariedad, la metaficción, etc., y en lo que se refiere al ingrediente mágico, o fantástico, está presentado de modo un tanto irónico, es decir, se sabe deslindar lo que es mágico de lo que sería puramente realista en un sentido digamos estilo Zola o Balzac o Galdós. Lo mágico proviene de creencias populares, pensamiento mágico o mítico, etc., que se asocia a los personajes, pero que de alguna manera aquí se literaliza, y se presenta como si impregnase el mundo objetivo que el autor sin embargo (básicamente realista) no ve así, no lo ve como sus personajes, digo, y por eso resulta un género escrito de manera un tanto irónica, o que requiere la complicidad del lector - por ej., que la telepatía en Midnight's Children de Rushdie sea un recurso ficcional pero que ni el lector implícito ni el autor implícito crean en la existencia cotidiana de la telepatía. Otra cosa es lo que digan el narrador y los personajes, que sí pueden vivir en ese mundo. En fin, supongo que hay otras perspectivas posibles sobre el realismo mágico - o sobre el realismo fantástico, si te refieres a algo distinto de lo que estamos diciendo con esto.
En el caso que digo no veo que se pueda hacer sistemática una combinación de "autor implícito no fiable" con "narrador fiable" para caracterizar un género. De hecho esta caracterización de no fiabilidad afecta a la relación de lectura, a la ideología, etc., pero no veo que dé lugar a un género distintivo. Quiero decir que dos novelas realistas, con narrador fiable pero escritas desde perspectivas ideológicas distintas (una del autor implícito nazi, pongamos, y otra de un autor implícito con el que estemos en sintonía) seguirían siendo dos novelas realistas, y con narrador fiable, aun cuando fuese tan distinta nuestra sintonía con la ideología de la novela, encontrando una repelente y la otra no.
Por cierto que en el caso del narrador fiable creado por el autor implícito no fiable, bien podría ser que nos produjese una impresión de no fiabilidad en cierto modo, pero esa impresión iría más lejos, y englobaría al autor implícito—es decir, nos resultaría repugnante la ideología del narrador, y esa repugnancia no tendría una compensación estética porque no iría marcada con la distancia irónica que nos hiciese interpretar a ese narrador como no-fiable tanto para nosotros como para el autor. No sé si me explico! En realidad son maneras de clasificar experiencias de lectura y relaciones ideológicas que pueden variar mucho en un continuo, y presentar ligeras diferencias de una obra a otra; ten en cuenta que he estado presuponiendo una no fiabilidad "ideológica" o "moral", pero que puede haber otras dimensiones de la falta de fiabilidad, como "intelectual", "científica", o "cognitiva" referida ésta a las limitaciones de perspectiva con relación a la propia historia que se nos cuenta.