The Unnaturalness of Narrative Poetry single work   criticism  
Issue Details: First known date: 2013 2013
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

Brian McHale investigates the unnaturalness or artificiality of narrative poetry. More specifically, he analyses William Shakespeare’s Venus and Adonis as well as Les Murray’s Fredy Neptune to show that artificial segmentation functionalizes and semanticizes nonsemantic patterns, such as rhyme, that are irrelevant and even inaudible in unsegmented prose. Furthermore, artificial segmentation occasionally coincides with narrative segmentation, enhancing and amplifying it. Sometimes, instead, it cuts across segmentation, setting up counterrhythms, syncopating and counterpointing narrative shifts. In any case, by introducing a series of minuscule gaps and interruptions, artificial segmentation jars us out of our automatic (or “natural”) attitude toward such a narrative. For McHale, artificial segmentation counters the template of natural narrative with a competing unnatural one.' (Authors introduction)

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

  • Appears in:
    y A Poetics of Unnatural Narrative Jan Alber (editor), Henrik Skov Nielsen (editor), Brian Richardson (editor), Columbus : Ohio University Press , 2013 7250364 2013 anthology criticism

    'This text offers a collection of foundational essays introducing the reader to the full scope of unnatural narrative theory: its meaning, its goals, its extent, its paradoxes. This book brings together a distinguished group of international critics, scholars, and historians that includes several of the world's leading narrative theorists. Together, they survey many basic areas of narrative studies from an unnatural perspective: story, time, space, voice, minds, narrative levels, realism, nonfiction, hyperfiction, and narrative poetry. Rarely have these fundamental concepts been subjected to such an original and thoroughgoing reconceptualization. Much of the book is directed toward an investigation of experimental and antirealist work. Each essay focuses on texts and episodes that narrative theory has tended to neglect, and each provides theoretical formulations that are commensurate with such exceptional, albeit neglected, works. This book articulates and delineates the newest and most radical movement in narrative studies. ' (Publication summary)

    Columbus : Ohio University Press , 2013
    pg. 199-222
Last amended 15 Apr 2014 09:42:14