Volume 48, Number 2                                                                                               Summer 2014

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English Department at NIU

Northern Illinois University

Evgenii Kazartcev
Comparative Study of Verse: Language Probability Models

Alice Bell
Schema Theory, Hypertext Fiction and Links

Jeroen Vandaele
The Implied Author as an Ethical Buffer: An Argument from Translated and Censored Fiction

Philippe Carrard
Historiographic Metafiction, French Style

James Carney
Supernatural Intuitions and Classic Detective Fiction: A Cognitivist Appraisal

Reshmi D. Flanders
Concealment and Revelation: an interdisciplinary approach to reader suspense
 

Evgenii Kazartcev. “Comparative Study of Verse: Language Probability Models.” / 119
Russian verse studies are characterized by a distinctive tradition of applying quantitative methods to analyze poetic texts. The development of this tradition in the late 20th and early 21st century led to the formation of a cognitive poetics that uses methods of modeling processes of versification. This paper extends these methods to the comparative study of the processes involved in the emergence and development of analogous versification systems in different languages. In particular, the paper studies the origins and early phases of the evolution of syllabo-tonic versification in the 16-18th centuries in English, Dutch, German, and Russian. It shows that the German type of versification differs significantly from both the English and the Dutch. This difference is apparent in the greater constraints on versification and in the lesser degree of freedom it displays in the realization of rhythm-forming units. Due to the analogous conditions under which it emerged, early examples of Russian verse display similar constraints. 
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Alice Bell. “Schema Theory, Hypertext Fiction and Links” / 140
This article provides a method of analyzing hyperlinks in hypertext fiction. It begins by showing that hyperlinks in hypertext work associatively. It then argues that schema theory can be used to analyze the ways in which readers approach hypertext reading as well as how links function in hypertext fiction. The approach is profiled via an analysis of external links in a Web-based fiction, 10:01 by Lance Olsen and Tim Guthrie. It shows that links are used to provide an ideological context to the narrative as well as forging a relationship between the fictional and actual world. The article ends by suggesting that schema theory could be used to analyze links in other hypertext fictions as well as informational hypertexts. 
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Jeroen Vandaele. “The Implied Author as an Ethical Buffer: An Argument from Translated and Censored Fiction.” / 162
Narrative fiction obviously invites readers to adopt a fictionalizing stance, i.e., to assume that the narrated worlds and narrators are fictions. Less obviously, I argue that positing an Implied Author (IA) is also an intended part of this stance: when a flesh-and-blood author (FABA) publishes fiction, she intends that any values inferable from the text be attributed to an IA and not to the FABA: she intends readers to posit the IA as her ethical buffer. I illustrate this with Elvira Lindo’sManolitoGafotas and its censoring American translation. Whereas the censorship suggests that the original is ethically questionable (e.g., regarding racism), in my reading it is the IA who is rightfully ambivalent: the IA of fiction serves as the FABA’s ethical buffer. Furthermore, the censoring translation itself still illustrates the IA’s relevance: Lindo’s readers in different markets will construct different IAs, yet none will have constructed the FABA’s ethics.
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Philippe Carrard. “HistoriographicMetafiction, French Style.” / 181
One of the main trends in the French novel since the 1980s has been what different surveys have called a return to history. That return, however, has not been devoid of experimentation, as several recent novels fall under Hutcheon’s “historiographicmetafiction”: referring to actual events and characters, they are also self-reflexive. Littell’sThe Kindly Ones, Haenel’sThe Messenger, and Binet’sHHhH are prime examples of the French usage of that subgenre. All three works play with the conventions of the historical novel, whether explicitly (Binet) or implicitly (Littell, Haenel). These novels, moreover, have generated heated polemics, a reception that makes it possible to revisit issues related to the contract between text and readers in fictional works, especially when the latter represent historical occurrences and personages.
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James Carney. “Supernatural Intuitions and Classic Detective Fiction: A Cognitivist Appraisal.” / 203
Can detective fiction be illuminated by the psychology of religion? In this article I show (1) that classic detective fiction rhetorically accords the “privileged epistemic access” to mental states that we intuitively assign to punitive supernatural agents to the literary detective; and (2) that viewing the genre through this lens addresses several inconsistencies that have thus far resisted easy solution in the critical literature. I then make the argument (3) that this generic blurring results from competing historical pressures that simultaneously engendered greater levels of secularism and an increased propensity to believe in supernatural punishers in nineteenth century urban populations.
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Reshmi D. Flanders. “Concealment and Revelation: an interdisciplinary approach to reader suspense.” / 219
The “deliberate act of omission in detective discourse” is examined in the double function (DF) of linguistic features. It is the hypothesis that in DF there is replaying or re-experiencing of a narrative event in prospective reading in the form of rectification or omission of narrative information. DF is analyzed in linguistic elements like the participant role in transitivity analysis and in circumstantial elements. By using this functional approach, I examine how information flow is withheld in a participant shift in manipulated contexts of crime fiction. In her “Time in Agatha Christie Novel,’’ Carol De DobeyRijelij discusses these contexts as cluster of analepsis around certain times in the story, a defining characteristic of Christie novels (218).A manipulated context (forthcoming) is not a flashback; it is here that the process of filling in a gap or rectification takes place in an episode (a cluster of events that constitute an episode). The crime fiction used for this is Christie’s The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1993; Ackroyd). The framework used for analysis is the transitivity function for participant shift, the minor process in circumstantial elements and the ergative perspective in clauses. This is an interdisciplinary approach, where narrative discourse is analyzed in functional linguistics to investigate the grammar of the language of crime, and provide a further level of reader involvement in the narratology of ‘whodunit’ detective stories.
 
 

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