Time in "Tristram Shandy"

GRIN Verlag
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Essay from the year 1998 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 1 (A), University of Aberdeen (English Department), course: Tristram Shandy, 4 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Metafiction, according to Patricia Waugh, consists of ‘the construction of a fictional illusion (as in traditional realism) and the laying bare of that illusion’. Tristram Shandy, I will argue in this essay, undermines fictional illusion by foregrounding ‘the most fundamental set of all narrative conventions: those concerning the representations of time’ (Waugh 70). I will exemplify this by trying to apply a conventional set of narratological terms to Tristram Shandy. I will show that these terms, which are based on conventional narratives, are neither exhaustive nor distinctive when one tries to use them for Tristram Shandy. Narrative fiction, Rimmon-Kenan states, has three main aspects: story, text and narration: ‘Story’ designates the narrated events, abstracted from their disposition in the text and reconstructed in their chronological order, together with the participants in these events. Whereas ‘story’ is a succession of events, ‘text’ is a spoken or written discourse which undertakes their telling. ... Time is essential for all of these three aspects, as will become clear in my discussion. Time in itself, following Rimmon-Kenan, can be viewed in three respects: order, duration, and frequency (p. 46). I will focus on the first two aspects since they are more essential to the novel than frequency.4 Finally, I will discuss whether, after my discussion of Tristram Shandy’s time structure, one can conclude that the novel is a metafiction according to Waugh’s definition of the term.
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GRIN Verlag
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Published on
Jun 30, 2003
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Language Arts & Disciplines / Linguistics / General
Literary Criticism / European / English, Irish, Scottish, Welsh
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Essay from the year 1998 in the subject American Studies - Culture and Applied Geography, grade: 1 (A), University of Aberdeen (English Department), course: Read the City - Read the Text, 11 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: Edward W. Soja called Los Angeles ‘the quintessential postmodern metropolis’. This, however, shall not be the premise of my argument in this essay, because of the obvious danger of circularity. Yet I will use postmodern critics and compare my findings to postmodern models of culture, space and society. I will not discuss the term postmodernism itself, simply because the range of this essay does not allow my entering this ongoing debate. The term will be used as denoting both a period, beginning, for my purposes, in the 1960s, and a theory of cultural tendencies in contemporary life. For this essay, I will assume that postmodernism is a fact, a part of everyday reality, and that it differs substantially from modernism. The main body of this essay will consist of a discussion of the fundamental factors which define Los Angeles as postmodern space. I will focus on particularities that distinguish Los Angeles from other cities, most of all from those which have not yet crossed the threshold of postmodernity. Firstly, I will investigate the geographical instability of the city; the fact that it is threatened to be annihilated by natural forces such as earthquakes and the desert. Secondly, I will address the idea of the city as a desert, its horizontality, its vastness, its lack of centre. Thirdly, the structure on this flat surface will be addressed; the freeways as an arterial network, and the structure of segregating walls, both literal and metaphorical. Finally, I will conclude by investigating the parallels between the idea of instability that underlies all of the factors I discuss, and the notion of the unstable in postmodernism.
Seminar paper from the year 1998 in the subject American Studies - Literature, grade: 2 (B), University of Aberdeen (English Department), course: Chicano Fiction, 9 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In this essay, I will address the question of Chicano identity by investigating two very different texts, that both deal with a quest for identity in a Mexican-American context: Tomás Rivera’s ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Richard Rodriguez’ Hunger of Memory: The Education of Richard Rodriguez. I will first discuss the contextual differences between the two works. Then I will consider the definitions of identity upon which the texts are based. Going deeper into the works themselves, I will finally discuss along which lines the two quests for identity develop. In conclusion, I will connect my investigations to the question of whether Chicano identity is unified or fragmented. Both Tomás Rivera’s ...And the Earth Did Not Devour Him and Richard Rodriguez’ Hunger of Memory are about an individual searching for his identity. In both works, the protagonist is a Mexican-American or ‘Chicano’. However, the differences between the two books are huge. The generic difference is most obvious: Rivera’s work is a fictional narrative, which Héctor Calderón termed ‘novel-as-tales’.1 Rodriguez, referring to his book, speaks of ‘[e]ssays impersonating an autobiography’ (p. 7). This entails that the subject searching for identity is, in Rodriguez’ case, the author himself, or rather his literary image. In Rivera’s case, the subject is purely fictional, although some critics have identified this literary subject with the author.
Essay from the year 1998 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2 (B), University of Aberdeen (English Seminar), course: Romantics and Revolutionaries, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, abstract: In this essay, I will approach the term ‘Jacobin novel’ with several definitions, attempting to cover as many aspects of William Godwin’s novel Caleb Williams and its background as possible. I will discuss with each definition whether it is applicable to the novel, or not. In the first part of the essay, the definition will be concerned with the political background of the author, mainly. Then I will consider the political philosophy inherent in the novel itself. Finally, I will investigate the aesthetics of Caleb Williams, and discuss whether these contradict the political content of the novel. The first difficulties when trying to define the term ‘Jacobin novel’ arise with the word ‘Jacobin.’ It has been used in the English Revolution debate of the 1790s mainly by the conservatives, counter-revolutionaries, or ‘Anti-Jacobins’ to name, or rather denounce, the supporters of the French Revolution. These had rather little to do with the particular political movement of revolutionary France which went under that name. [T]he term ‘Jacobin’ itself is misleading, since most of those in Britain who bore that label were in fact Girondins in their principles and beliefs, and took their political thought from native rather than French precedents. The name ‘Jacobin,’ however, was at least partly accepted by the English supporters of the French Revolution (Kelly 2), and is useful as an umbrella term for the relatively heterogeneous group of progressive political forces in the 1790s.2 As the author of Enquiry Concerning Political Justice and several pamphlets, Godwin was “obviously directly involved in organized English Jacobinism in the early 1790s” (Kelly 4).
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