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Articles

In this category users will find original, preliminary, and parallel versions of articles by members of the Interdisciplinary Center for Narratology (ICN).

Anja Cornils, Wilhelm Schernus, Jörg Schönert, Susanne Warda (2003a)

Kanonische Texte der Narratologie in deutschsprachigen Kodifikationen

Translation of the title: Canonical works of narratology in German codifying texts
Abstract: The following charts evaluate the reference to ‘canonical texts’ in German codifying publications dated between 1958 and 2001. ‘Codifying texts’ we term publications that attempt to define the discipline’s fundamentals, subjects, methods and results as commonly accepted knowledge. Codifying publications take the form of textbooks, compendia, anthologies, general introductions into the discipline, introductions into specific fields of research, as well as handbooks and reference works. In works of this type the disciplinary knowledge is – more or less – deproblematized and presented systematically for (auto-) didactic purposes.

For the following investigation (parts I-III), we selected introductions into the analysis of narrative texts, general introductions into the study of German, English or French literature respectively, as well as handbooks and several entries in reference works concerning ‘narrative theory’ (in the broadest sense). In analysing the codifying texts we ascertained which works of disciplinary research were referred to in their presentation of basic narratological knowledge. The aim of the investigation is to establish a corpus of works (from the viewpoint of selected codifying texts) seen to be particularly relevant to the reception and imparting of narrative theory/ narratology since the late 1950s.

For those interested in narratology the evaluation opens up three perspectives: Which texts of narrative research form the ‘mainstream’ in academic practice? Phased chronological ordering of texts helps to make apparent the changes of the canon over time. In addition, a detailed listing (currently under progress) of the history of international publications in narrative research records the reception of this research within the codifying texts. This listing includes works that do not belong to the canon themselves.

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File p1_download_teil_i.pdf
File p1_download_teil_ii.pdf
File p1_download_teil_iii.pdf
File p1_download_uebersicht.pdf

Anja Cornils et al. (2003b)

Forschungsberichte und forschungsgeschichtliche Überblicke zur Erzähltheorie / Narratologie. Eine bibliographische Kooperation der Projekte 1, 3 und 4 der Forschergruppe Narratologie an der Universität Hamburg

Translation of the title: Research reports and overviews of the history of research on narrative theory / narratology. A bibliographical cooperation of the projects 1, 3 and 4 of the research group 'narratology' at the University of Hamburg
Abstract: The following list includes research reports as well as overviews of the history of research on narrative theory / narratology. Such texts can be found in monographs, essays and articles in anthologies. References to the delevopment or the state of narratology also appear in introductions (for instance) of anthologies or essay collections, which were therefore also taken into account.

The titels refer to publications of the modern languages (entries from the field of Slavic Studies will be added in the near future). The list should not be considered as complete; it is to be amplified and expanded.


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File download_forschungsbericht.pdf

Robert Hodel (2006)

Textkohärenz und Narration in realistischer und modernistischer russischer Literatur

Translation of the title: Textual coherency and narration in realistic and modernist russian literature
Abstract: In Lichačev’s dichotomous model of the epoch Modernity is defined as a secondary style-formation. According to Lichačev, a simple, rational, and norm-establishing primary-style (Romanticism, Renaissance, Classicism) is followed by a secondary-style (Gothic, Baroque, Romanticism). The latter takes up the devices of the primary-style and forms them. Following Žirmunskij (1967), Flaker (1976), Gumbrecht (1978), Buerger (1992) and such modern writers as Merežkovskij, Belyj, and Zamjatin Modernity (including the Avant-garde) can be understood ex negativo as a disintegration of Realism according to the following aspects:

  1. critique of rationalism and of the rationalistic worldview
  2. rejection of the moral codex
  3. shifting of the subject-object-relation in favor of the subject
  4. decontextualization of the writer as a citizen and as an author
  5. extension of the cultural field towards the exotic and the primitive
  6. literalization and semioticalization of reality
  7. declarative character of art
  8. hybridization of genre
  9. retarded reception (prose)
  10. self-referential language (synaesthesia, the break with the norm of the literary language, extension of the language-register, speech-immanent
  11. means of reference to the author)
  12. focalization of the ‘demiurgical’ author as a central factor of text-coherence
  13. dissolution of the fable
  14. dissolution of the hierarchical perspective and of the versatile interior monologue
  15. metaphorization and universalization of the reality of the text
  16. noticeable recurrence
  17. punctuation as an expression of changed intonation.

This overview is followed by the analysis of two text-excerpts (the beginnings of Belyj’s Peterburg and Tolstoj’s Anna Karenina) under the forementioned aspects.

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File p7_zsfg_russ.pdf
File real_modern_russ.pdf

Peter Hühn, Jens Kiefer, Jörg Schönert, Malte Stein (2005/2007)

Zur narratologischen Analyse von Lyrik. Zwei Beispiele zu T. S. Eliot und B. Brecht

Translation of the title: The Narratological Analysis of Lyric Poetry. Two examples: T. S. Eliot and B. Brecht
Abstract: Large numbers of lyrical texts share two basic constituents (and their distinctness) with narrative fiction: a chronological sequence of events and their perspectival mediation. These common structures justify the application of a narratological approach to poetry analysis. We propose a narratological analysis of all texts conventionally labelled as lyrical, not only those usually classified as narrative verse. The aim of this project is not to subject lyrical texts rigorously and uncritically to narratological categories but to clarify the specifics of the genre of poetry by the transgeneric application of narratological concepts and terms.

In an article for Poetica (volume 2002) Peter Hühn and Jörg Schönert have presented theoretical arguments and suggested concrete categories for a narratologically oriented text analysis. They suggest an analytical procedure in eight steps, which, however, is not meant to be applied schematically in this order but has to be adapted to the specific narrative setup of the text in question. The practical method based on this approach is outlined here and applied to one English and one German poem from 1910s and '20s: Thomas S. Eliot's "Portrait of a Lady" and Bertolt Brecht's "Terzinen über die Liebe".

Both essays have been published:

Peter Hühn/Jens Kiefer: The Narratological Analysis of Lyric Poetry. Studies in English Poetry from the 16th to the 20th Century. (Narratologia 7). Berlin/New York 2005, pp. 157-175 (Eliot).

Jörg Schönert/Peter Hühn/Malte Stein: Lyrik und Narratologie. Text-Analysen zu deutschsprachigen Gedichten vom 16. bis zum 20. Jahrhundert. (Narratologia 11) Berlin/New York 2007, pp. 227-240 (Brecht).

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File p6_brecht.pdf
File p6_eliot.pdf

Peter Hühn, Jens Kiefer, Jörg Schönert, Malte Stein (2003)

Narratologisches Begriffslexikon

Translation of the title: Dictionary of Narratological Terms
Abstract: This dictionary of narratological terms does not lay claim to completeness. It only covers terms which (a) we think relevant to a narratological analysis of poetry, and which (b)are in need of a more precise definition.

Most of these terms have a history in the different traditions of narratology. Althoughwe are aware of these differences in definition or status and discussed them within our research group, these discussions are not included in the dictionary. Some terms have been given alternative definitions by our research group. We wish to underline that the dictionary is a “work in progess” and therefore open to modification and addition.

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File verlinktes_p6_lexikon_200603.pdf

Peter Hühn und Jörg Schönert (2005/2007)

Introduction to „The Narratological Analysis of Lyric Poetry“ (Narratologia, Vol. 7)

Abstract: After the publication in 2005 of „The Narratological Analysis of Lyric Poetry” by the publishing house of de Gruyter, there is now available a companion volume on German poetry („Lyrik und Narratologie“, cf. German-language version of this item). Time to remember the English antecedant:

Peter Hühn and Jens Kiefer: The Narratological Analysis of Lyric Poetry. Studies in English Poetry from the 16th to the 20th Century. Translated by Alastair Matthews. (Narratologia, vol. 7). Berlin / New York: de Gruyter, 2005. ISBN 3-11-018407-9.

According to the introduction of the volume by Peter Hühn and Jörg Schönert, the essays on English Poetry „are a practical demonstration of how the analytical methods and concepts of narratology can be used to provide detailed descriptions and interpretations of poems.“

In addition, the introduction attached as PDF-File above talks about the intersection of narrativity and lyric poetry, the status of the lyric in genre theory, and the narratological framework of the authors.

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File narratologische-lyrikanalyse-einleitung.pdf

Tom Kindt, Hans-Harald Müller (2002)

The "Implied Author". Explication and Use of a Controversial Concept

Abstract: The paper is an attempt to explicate Wayne C. Booth’s controversial concept of the “implied author”. We begin by briefly reconstructing the intellectual framework within which the concept was first shaped and defined. The second part of our paper looks at the response of literary critics to the concept, using selected examples of its academic reception. A classification of the reception types provides an indication of the purposes served by a concept such as the "implied author" and the contexts in which it is needed. Finally, we set out proposals for replacing the concept in two of these contexts: "description" and "interpretation".

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Tanja Lange und Jörg Schönert (2002)

Ein Plädoyer für das WWW: Möglichkeiten eines Internet-Portals (auf der Basis eines WCMS / Redaktionssystems) für die Geisteswissenschaften

Translation of the title: Pleading for the WWW: Aspects of an internet-portal (based on a Web Content Management System) for the humanities
Abstract: The system complex e-port / NarrPort developed for the FGN is to support and strengthen cooperative research activities by information technologies (IT), in order to use the possibilities of these modern technologies, in particular the WWW, in a prototypic effort for the humanities. Thus 'traditional' communication is not to be replaced but extended and intensified.

The system complex includes the internet portal NarrPort, based on a web content management system (WCMS), the groupware-system e-Port and modules for internal communication and the working processes of the FGN. The components and tools of e-Port / NarrPort had been developed for the specific needs in the humanities.

The project is described as a model for internet and intranet-supported communication and cooperative research in the humanities; the conception and the structure of e-Port / NarrPort are outlined also by means of diagrams. The authors give a report of the realization of the project, in order to make up a preliminary balance of the experiences in handling e-Port / NarrPort.

In: Kugler, Hartmut et al. (Ed.), www.germanistik2001.de. Vorträge des Erlanger Germanistentags, Bielefeld 2002, pp. 769-782.

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File internetportal_tl_js.pdf

Volkmar Lehmann (2003)

Narrativität jenseits der Narratologie

Translation of the title: Narrativity beyond Narratology
Abstract: Narrating and narrativity are the object of several academic disciplines. Literary criticism is one of it, but it deals not only with narrating. Therefore narrating is the object of interdisciplinary research, in which Narratology is involved, but Narratology is not per se interdisciplinary. In this paper I try to explain this statement from a linguistic point of view.

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File vl_narrativity_byd_narratology.pdf

Jan Christoph Meister (2002)

'Narrativität' und 'Ereignis': ein Definitionsversuch

Translation of the title: 'Narrativity' and 'event': an attempt at definition
Abstract: A constant factor in the discussion of 'narrativity' has been the search for a functional definition of narrativity as the constitutive feature of a narrative text, as a specific form of the symbolic representation of events. This study argues that narrativity is not something which is simply either present or absent, but rather a question of the gradual realisation of specific logical conditions which can be defined in terms of what might be called a 'matrix of events'. Everything that meets the conditions of the 'matrix of events' qualifies as a 'construct of events', but only those constructs of events (and consequently underlying texts) can truly be described as narrative in which the temporal order is not simply reduced to the sequentiality of symbolic signs.

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File jcm_narrativitaet_100603.pdf

Jan Christoph Meister (2003a)

The Metalepticon

Abstract: What would a computational model of metalepsis look like – and what can it tell us about metalepsis in terms of its logical structure?
 

In this article I propose a logical explication of metalepsis which can, in fact, be implemented computationally in terms of a program called the metalepticon. However, my discussion of the metalepticon focuses not on technological aspects, but rather on metalepses’ semiological consequences for the communicative contract entered into by author, narrator and reader of fictional narratives, a contract which in turn presupposes the validity of an even more fundamental—though mostly implicit—agreement which one might call the representational contract. The underlying hypothesis is that this contract is negated by metalepsis, but can be ‘normalized’ (restituted) by certain subsequent operations. The methodological consequence, therefore, is that metalepsis should not – as the ontological approach implies – be conceptualised as an absolute phenomenon, but rather as a case of representation turned self–referential to the extreme. The logic of this process and its inherent tendency towards neglecting the concept of referentiality are demonstrated by way of the metalepticon.

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File jcm-metalepticon.pdf

Jan Christoph Meister (2003b)

Tagging Time in PROLOG: The Temporality Effect-Project

Abstract: The article discusses the philosophical, narratological and technological tenets of the computer-based approach towards modelling narrated time in the Temporality Effect. This project is aimed at developing a new model of narrative time, or more precisely: a model that will enable us to describe how and on the basis of which textual cues readers of narrative texts build the complex mental image of a temporally structured world.

Our narratological project equally falls into the domain of humanities computing in that the methodology of textual mark-up, data modelling, combinatorial data analysis and computer aided visualization of time constructs play a crucial role in it. What sets our model apart from other approaches is its foundation in a particular philosophy of time (McTaggart) which integrates non-temporal (sequential and logic) as well temporal principles of ordering in phenomena. This perspective holds three important advantages. One, it allows for the joint modelling of subjective time experience and objective time structures. Two, it provides a strong conceptual basis for a computational analysis of the temporality effect triggered by narratives. And thirdly, seen in combination these two characteristics of our project’s philosophical foundation open up the possibility of a dynamic visualisation of time experience.

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File jcm-tagging-time.pdf

Wolf Schmid (1999)

"Dialogizität in der narrativen "Kommunikation"

Translation of the title: "Dialogicity" in the Narrative "Communication"
Abstract (German):
In welchen Grenzen ist es sinnvoll, die Kategorien „Dialog“ und „Dialogizität“ auf jene narratologischen Relationen anzuwenden, die gemeinhin als Formen von „Kommunikation“ modelliert werden? Eine Antwort auf diese Frage zu versuchen ist Ziel der vorliegenden Skizze. Als Beispielcorpus soll dafür das Werk Dostoevskijs dienen. Kaum ein Autor der Weltliteratur hat den Widerstreit von Bedeutungspositionen so eindringlich und beharrlich modelliert wie dieser zwischen zwei Extremen Schwankende, der so gerne eine unzweideutige Botschaft verkündet hätte. Natürlich ist hierbei auch auf Michail Bachtin einzugehen, der mit größter Wirksamkeit angeregt hat, Dostoevskij unter dem Aspekt der Dialogizität zu betrachten.

In: Lunde, Ingunn (Ed.), Dialogue and Rhetoric. Communication Strategies in Russian Text and Theory. Bergen 1999, pp. 9-23.

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File schmid_dialogizitaet.pdf

Wolf Schmid (2003)

Abstrakter Autor und abstrakter Leser

Translation of the title: Abstract author and abstract reader
Abstract: This study considers the status of the abstract author and the abstract reader, two semantic entities which, although not confined solely to narrative environments, are discussed primarily in the context of narrative theory. We begin by examining the semiotic features of these two anthropomorphic hypostatizations, survey their development in the Slavonic (primarily Russian, Czechoslovakian, and Polish), then Western theoretical literature, and propose a systematic definition of both concepts. We respond to the well-known doubts concerning the narratological relevance of these notions with arguments which suggest it is perfectly sensible for narratologists to employ such entities even though they are not unique to narrative texts.

The abstract author is defined as the semantic correlate of all index signs in the text which refer to the sender. The abstract author is treated neither as a fictive (i.e. represented) instance nor as an intentional creation of the concrete author. He is not identical with the narrator but embodies the principle which informs the fabrication of a narrator and every aspect of the represented world. He has no voice of his own, no text. His word is the entire text with all its levels, the entire work in its totality.

The abstract author is real but not concrete. His existence in the work is no more than implicit and virtual; the traces left by the original creative acts are the only indication of his presence in the work, and only with the reader’s intervention does he become concrete. He therefore exists in two ways. On the one hand, he is objectively present in the text as a virtual symptomatic complex; on the other hand, his nature depends on the subjective acts of reading, comprehension, and interpretation which bring him into being. The abstract author is constructed, or rather reconstructed, by the reader on the basis of how he reads the work.

Every creative act which produces the work can be a symptom of the abstract author’s presence: the invention of a story with its situations, characters, and plots; the design of a specific plot logic with a more or less substantial philosophical component; the instantiation of a narrator; the transformation of the story into a narrative with the help of specific methods such as flattening simultaneous happenings into a linear sequence and rearranging the original historical order; and last of all the presentation of the narrative in its final linguistic form.

The abstract reader should be understood as the content of the author’s conception of the recipient as set out by particular index signs in the text. However, our two abstract entities do not have the diametrically opposing compositions that this might suggest. The abstract reader (i.e. the hypostatized concept of the target of the text) is ultimately an attribute of the abstract author reconstructed by the concrete reader. The abstract reader is therefore just as dependent as the abstract author on the individual reading and comprehension with which the concrete reader internalizes the text.

In contrast to many other contemporary theories, we make a clear distinction between the abstract reader and the fictive reader (narrataire), the narrator’s addressee. Two hypostatizations of the abstract reader must be distinguished on the basis of the functions which he can perform as the target of the text. First, the abstract reader can be an assumed, postulated addressee at whom the work is aimed and whose linguistic codes, ideological norms, and aesthetic concepts are adopted by the work in such a way that it is comprehensible to him. In this role, the abstract reader represents the codes and norms assumed to prevail among the factual audience. Second, the abstract reader can function as an image of the ideal recipient, whose understanding of the work is closest to the original and who accepts the interpretation which the work calls on him to adopt.

We conclude our discussion by considering the objections which narratologists have raised to the construction of the ideal recipient.

German Version of an excerpt from chapter 2 in: Wolf Schmid: Narratologija [russ.]. Moskva 2003.

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Wolf Schmid (2004)

Erzählperspektive

Translation of the title: Perspective
Abstract: After a review of several influential theories of narrative perspective, point of view, and focalization (Stanzel, Genette, Bal, Uspenskij, Lintvelt, Rimmon), a new way of modelling perspective is proposed. It is based on the hypothesis, drawn from Uspenskij’s four-level model of pont of view, that perspective operates on several distinct levels. Perspective is defined as a set of conditions, bound to a particular standpoint and shaped by internal and external factors, that determine how events are conceptualized and related. Perspective operates on five levels, identified in a thought experiment involving witnesses in court.

The levels are (1) perceptual perspective, (2) ideological perspective, (3) spatial perspective, (4) temporal perspective, and (5) linguistic perspective. On each of these levels, the narrator chooses between narratorial and figural modes. (The existence of a third, neutral form of perspective is rejected, as are the concepts of zero focalization and the perspective-free story.) The narratorial/figural and non-diegetic /diegetic (‘he’/‘I’) dichotomies are combined to yield a set of four basic types. Of these, figural perspective in diegetic narration is analysed in more detail. The forms taken by narratorial and figural perspective on all five levels are illustrated with examples, and feature sets provided for compact and distributive perspectives (i.e. the perspectives produced when the dichotomous poles selected are the same or different respectively across the five levels). The study concludes with a consideration of key issues that must be borne in mind when constructing a simplified approach to the analysis of perspective.

Revised version in German of chapter 3 in: Wolf Schmid, Narratologija [russ.], Moskau 2003.

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File w_schmid_erzaehlperspektive.pdf

Wolf Schmid (2009)

Russische Literaturtheorie und internationale Narratologie

Translation of the title: Russian Literary Theory and International Narratology

In: Dierken, Jörg & Stuhlmann, Andreas (Eds.), Geisteswissenschaften in der Offensive. Hamburger Standortbestimmungen. Hamburg 2009, pp. 100-116.

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File schmid_russlit+internnarrat.pdf

Jörg Schönert (2004)

Empirischer Autor, Impliziter Autor und Lyrisches Ich (mit einem Nachtrag)

Translation of the title: Empirical author, implied author and lyrical I (persona) (with an addendum)
Abstract:
The term ‘lyrical I (persona)’ was introduced by Margarete Susman in 1910 to raise doubts in literary criticism about the widespread categorical identification of the first-person-speaker of a poem with the actual author. During the following decades, the scope of the term was increased, so that in numerous case-studies the ‘lyrical I (persona)’ served as a leading idea for a history of ‘lyrical subjectivity’. This approach, however, is challenged today by attempts to define the phenomenon in a more precise as well as restrictive way. In this notion, the term ‘lyrical I (persona)’ is applicable only to modes of representation where the speaker either actually uses the form of first person singular/plural or is referrable by his addressing a ‘You’. So-called ‘unmediated speech acts’ of a character outlined in the text, usually noted as indicator for the ‘dramatic monologue’ or the ‘Rollengedicht’, should not be accounted for as ‘lyrical I (persona)’.

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File schoenert_lyrich_narrport.pdf

Jörg Schönert (2006)

Was ist und was leistet Narratologie? Anmerkungen zur Geschichte der Erzählforschung und ihrer Perspektiven


Link: http://www.literaturkritik.de/public/inhalt.php?ausgabe=200604


Translation of the title: Goals and Proceedings of Narratology. Some Remarks on History and Perspectives of Narratological Research
Abstract:
A special of essays and reviews focuses on the vast research in the field of narratology with its recent and forthcoming developments in Volume 4 (2006) of the German review internet portal literaturkritik.de.

In the article "Was ist und was leistet Narratologie? Anmerkungen zur Geschichte der Erzählforschung und ihrer Perspektiven"(Goals and Proceedings of Narratology. Some Remarks on History and Perspectives of Narratological Research) mentioned above, Jörg Schönert discusses the ubiquity of narratives as well as areas of application for narratological approaches. Furthermore, the article addresses history and current tendencies in narratological research and points out perspectives for future studies.]

In addition, the volume comprises several book-reviews, namely on publications by members of the Narratology Research Group: Harald Weilnböck takes account of the anthology Narratology beyond Literary Criticism edited by Jan Christoph Meister, Dietmar Till reviewed the monograph Figur und Person (Charakter and Person) of Fotis Jannidis, Ursula Kocher discusses Wolf Schmid's Elemente der Narratologie (Elements of Narratology). All of these are part of the Narratologia-series by the publisher de Gruyter.

Jan-Noël Thon (2006)

Toward a Model of Perspective in Contemporary Computer Games

Abstract: The paper proposes a model that distinguishes between three dimensions of perspective in computer games, drawing on models of perspective developed within classical narratology, film theory and computer game studies. The first dimension is that of spatial perspective, which is determined by the point of view, i.e. the spatial position from which the game space is presented audiovisually. The second dimension is that of actional perspective, which is determined by the point of action, i.e. the position from which the player can interact with the game space. The third and most complex dimension is that of the ideological perspective structure, which is determined by the various positions from which the events in the game are evaluated. Although we mainly discuss the question of how characters in computer games evaluate events and situations, this dimension also refers to other instances within the game, namely that of the player and the implied game designer. With reference to the spatial perspective determined by the point of view and the actional perspective determined by the point of action, we propose to speak here of an ideological perspective that is determined by the point of evaluation.

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