The Opacity of Narrative by Peter Lamarque PDF

By Peter Lamarque

What is narrative? what's distinct concerning the nice literary narratives? In advantage of what's a story fictional or non-fictional? during this very important new e-book Peter Lamarque, one of many major philosophers of literature at paintings this day, explores those and comparable inquiries to carry new readability and perception to debates approximately narrative in philosophy, severe conception, and narratology.

He highlights 'opacity' as a characteristic of literary narratives and examines the consequences for our figuring out of fictional worlds and fictional characters. all through he demanding situations bought perspectives approximately narrative, wondering the indispensability of narrative in an individual's self-conception and the significance of either fact and emotion as measures of literary greatness. He displays at the 'non-fiction' novel arguing that it doesn't weaken the excellence among fiction and no-fiction.

The publication bargains a compelling and unique account of those and different concerns, creating a serious contribution to topical and wide-ranging debates.

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Extra resources for The Opacity of Narrative

Sample text

But weaker versions retain the constraint of fact and locate the “constituting” only in larger “shapes” and structures. Notions like the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, and the Hundred Years’ War are indisputably artefacts of historical narrative. A kind of transparency is important in history even if it is not of the photographic kind. For one thing, historical narrative should aspire to extensionality in its references, or, put in another way, readers of these narratives should read for extensionality.

He goes on to say, “The existence of that selfconception is what gives meaning to what I am doing now, and is the basis for my capacity to formulate narratives about myself when I do so” (63). This seems to imply that it is not the narrative that provides the self-conception but the self-conception that makes it possible to formulate a narrative. 17 It is helpful to remind ourselves of Hayden White’s dictum: “Stories are not lived. . Stories are told or written, not found” (1999, 9). Narratives are representations, they are not events, even connected events, in the world; they need to be narrated to become narratives.

A history might involve egregious error but still be history; a fiction might include descriptions largely true (of the real world) and still be fiction. Needless to say, characterising the “practice” of history in any more substantial way is difficult and controversial; it might be useful to postulate more than one such practice for different kinds of history (not all history is narrative). But that need not undermine the value of drawing the distinction in this way. In fact, we shall see that even within the category of fiction, there are different practices.

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