Mind Reading: Unframed Interior Monologue in European Fiction

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Rodopi, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 142 pages
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In this book literary interior monologue is considered in relation to extraliterary phenomena, as well as narrative theory. The central question posed by this study is: what makes a particular interior monologue believable, given the unobservable nature of human thought? The discussion revolves around the unobservable counterpart of literary interior monologue, i.e., what is known in psychology as inner speech. Taking various experimental findings and theories from Soviet and American research on inner speech, the author compares them with literary interior monologue and tries to account for similarities and differences. Examples of literary interior monologue are analyzed in comparison with data from the linguistic study of real oral spontaneous discourse (also known as face-to-face communication). In the context of this interdisciplinary framework four examples of literary interior monologue are considered: V.M. Garshin's Four Days (1877), E. Dujardin's Les Lauriers sont coupés (1887), A Schnitzler's Leutnant Gustl (1900) and V. Larbaud's Amants, heureux amants... (1921). The inclusion of data from psychology and research on face-to-face communication makes a unique contribution not only to narrative theory, but also to the understanding of the relationship between literary and extraliterary communication.

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The Communicative Implications of the Self
Chapter One Inner Speech
Four Days
Les Lauriers sont coupes
l0 Verba Dicendi and Dialogue
Amants heureux amants

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Page 1 - Le monologue intérieur est, dans l'ordre de la poésie, le discours sans auditeur et non prononcé, par lequel un personnage exprime sa pensée la plus intime, la plus proche de l'inconscient, antérieurement à toute organisation logique, c'est-à-dire en son état naissant, par le moyen de phrases directes réduites au minimum syntaxial, de façon à donner l'impression
Page 9 - ... individual, configurative meaning. The polysemantic nature of the text and the illusion-making of the reader are opposed factors. If the illusion were complete, the polysemantic nature would vanish; if the polysemantic nature were all-powerful, the illusion would be totally destroyed. Both extremes are conceivable, but in the individual literary text we always find some form of balance between the two conflicting tendencies. The formation of illusions, therefore, can never be total, but it is...

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