- English (4) (remove)
- Lyric - keeper of the past : on the poetics of popular poetry in T. Percy's "Reliques of Ancient Poetry" and J.G. Herder's "Volkslieder" (2000)
- Both Percy and Herder establish popular poetry within the horizon of modern literature, accentuating its strangeness compared to learned poetry or "Kunstdichtung". But there is a decisive difference between Percy's and Herder's handling of this strangeness. Percy tries to bridge the gap by way of historico-philological explanation and reconstruction. In the „Reliques“, he not only chooses, corrects and groups his poems. He also adds four historical essays to his edition […] and provides numerous introductory remarks, footnotes, bibliographical references, and glossaries of archaic words and idioms. Contrary to Percy, Herder preserves and even enforces the strangeness of the texts. On the other hand, he also wants his reader to bridge the gap […] through the modern reader's empathic grasping of the supposed archaic face-to-face-communication between poet-singer and audience. In order to reach this goal, the reader must try to supplement the fragmentary text through the intuition of the authentic situation in which the text originally was communicated. Such a supplement seems possible because popular poetry deals with stock situations common to all people. […] In order to reach this goal, by the way, Herder simulates in the „Auszug aus einem Briefwechsel“ and in the introduction to the „Volkslieder“ the same attitude which he wants to convey to his readers. Both essays display the rhetoric of an emphatic, fragmentary and consensual dialogue between friends.
- Delightful horror : urban legends between fact and fiction (2004)
- These […] stories are chosen from anthologies with texts called 'urban legends' (sometimes they are also referred to as 'contemporary legends', or 'urban myths'). Bearing this name in mind, we tend to read these texts as 'Iegendary' narratives that relate ficticious stories of events which never happened. But what if somebody told you these stories as factual accounts of events that really happened to the friend of a friend: wouldn't you believe them to be true – or at least consider seriously the possibility of their truthfulness? Before entering in a discussion of this question, I want to introduce in more detail the kind of narrative I am seeking to analyze.
- Narratology and theory of fiction: remarks on a complex relationship (2003)
- In his book "Fiction and Diction", Gerard Genette bemoans a contradiction between the pretense and the practice of narratological research. Instead of studying all kind of narratives, for Genette, narratological research concentrates de facto on the techniques of fictional narrative. Correspondingly, Genette speaks of a "fictional narratology" in the pejorative sense of a discipline that sets arbitrary limits on its area of study. In his objection, the narratology that literary scholars practice considers fictional narrative to be at least the standard case of any narrative. In other words, what is merely a special case, within a wide field of narratives, is here elevated to narrative par excellence. According to Genette, narratology does not omit the domain of non-fictional narratives from its investigations with any justification, but rather annexes it without addressing its specific elements. What are possible ways in which this perspective, which Genette criticizes as truncated, can be set right? Can the problem, as outlined, simply be solved by expanding the area of study in narratological research? Or are there not, perhaps, important differences between fictional and nonfictional narratives which seem to encourage narratological research, understood as a fundamental discipline of literary study, under the heading of "fictional narratology"? In order to come to an answer here, we will first discuss the problem of differentiating between fictional and non-fictional narratives, as well as the possibility of a connection between narrative and fictionality theory. Second, we will expand our considerations to encompass pragmatic and historical aspects of narratives in order to delineate the scope of our proposal.
- Dos Passos instead of Goethe! : Some observations on how the history of narratology is and ought to be conceptualized (2012)
- Taking as starting point some collective volumes since the year 2000 which aspire to provide new views on narratology, this essay discusses the problem of how to conceive the history of narratology in a way that is more enlightening than the linear narrative used so far to tell this story. It lists some aspects which are neglected by the usual narrative and favors a decentered conception of narratology’s development.