Download e-book for kindle: Fictional dialogue : speech and conversation in the modern by Bronwen Thomas

By Bronwen Thomas

ISBN-10: 0803240317

ISBN-13: 9780803240315

ISBN-10: 0803244517

ISBN-13: 9780803244511

Experimentation with the speech of characters has been hailed by means of Gérard Genette as “one of the most paths of emancipation within the glossy novel.” discussion as a stylistic and narrative equipment is a key characteristic within the improvement of the radical as a style, but it's also a phenomenon little said or explored within the serious literature. Fictional Dialogue demonstrates the richness and flexibility of discussion as a story process in 20th- and twenty-first-century novels by means of concentrating on prolonged extracts and sequences of utterances. It additionally examines how assorted types of debate will help to normalize or idealize yes styles and practices, thereby aside from replacement chances or eliding “unevenness” and differences.


Bronwen Thomas, via bringing jointly theories and versions of fictional discussion from quite a lot of disciplines and highbrow traditions, exhibits how the topic increases profound questions touching on our knowing of narrative and human communique. the 1st examine of its variety to mix literary and narratological research just about linguistic phrases and types, Bakhtinian conception, cultural heritage, media conception, and cognitive methods, this publication can also be the 1st to concentration extensive at the discussion novel within the 20th and twenty-first centuries and to compile examples of discussion from literature, well known fiction, and nonlinear narratives. past critiquing latest equipment of study, it outlines a promising new approach for examining fictional dialogue.

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Extra resources for Fictional dialogue : speech and conversation in the modern and postmodern novel

Sample text

Davis seeks to distinguish between conversation, as the product of the immediate context, and dialogue, which he characterizes as monolithic, non-negotiable, and non-egalitarian and subject to the absolute control of the novelist. Thus for Davis the free-flowing, rational exchanges we find represented in novels serve “to display for us that there is really no problem in social organization” (177), but this is only because they are “denuded of most of the heteroglossia and popular strength of actual conversation” (178).

Thus while I fully accept the need to interrogate the stance toward the real which these representations offer us, my emphasis is not on tabulating current practice or evaluating it according to how far it approximates to the real, but on arguing for a wholesale shift of attention away from what can often be a sterile debate about the putative authenticity of this or that isolated instance of speech, toward establishing a new approach that allows for the active involvement of the reader in participating in bringing scenes of dialogue to life.

For some critics and theorists, however, it is necessary to reflect on whether fictional representations themselves help to instantiate an “idea of dialogue” that has an impact not only on how we conduct our everyday verbal interactions but also on our wider social and political relations. Central to such rethinking is work drawing on Bakhtin’s (1981) dialogical principle and the influence of linguistic theories and models that have demonstrated the importance of approaching conversational interaction as a microcosmic social system in which the distribution of power may be uneven.

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Fictional dialogue : speech and conversation in the modern and postmodern novel by Bronwen Thomas


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