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Auf der Suche nach der Zeit als narratologische Analysekategorie. Mit Beispielen aus der setsuwa-Literatur


Balmes, Sebastian (2021). Auf der Suche nach der Zeit als narratologische Analysekategorie. Mit Beispielen aus der setsuwa-Literatur. Asiatische Studien / Études Asiatiques, 75(1):33-68.

Abstract

There are three levels on which time is constitutive for narrative discourse: a) without time events as well as the story world cannot be conceived; b) time is needed to tell a story; c) the recipient of a narrative text makes temporal connections by recalling something that happened earlier in the story or the way in which something has been told, or by wondering how the narrative will continue. An examination of these levels shows, however, that the underlying time concepts or temporalities differ significantly. In most narratological studies, the focus lies on the relationship between ‘narrated time’ and ‘narrating time’ (Günther Müller, “Die Bedeutung der Zeit in der Erzählkunst,” 1947), pertaining to what Gérard Genette (“Discours du récit,” 1972) has systematized under the categories of ‘order,’ ‘duration,’ and ‘frequency.’ While a textual analysis based on these concepts may lead to promising results, there are also limitations to this approach. Using examples from Japanese twelfth- to thirteenth-century setsuwa literature, I demonstrate that Meir Sternberg’s (“Telling in Time (II): Chronology, Teleology, Narrativity,” 1992) cognitive theory based on reception and centered around the temporal dynamics of suspense, curiosity, and surprise provides a useful toolkit to make sense of narratives where ‘classical’ theory fails. The application on a tale from Konjaku monogatari shū (24:11) has implications for our understanding of the transmission of the story and allows us to reject one existing theory of the historical development of the tale.

Abstract

There are three levels on which time is constitutive for narrative discourse: a) without time events as well as the story world cannot be conceived; b) time is needed to tell a story; c) the recipient of a narrative text makes temporal connections by recalling something that happened earlier in the story or the way in which something has been told, or by wondering how the narrative will continue. An examination of these levels shows, however, that the underlying time concepts or temporalities differ significantly. In most narratological studies, the focus lies on the relationship between ‘narrated time’ and ‘narrating time’ (Günther Müller, “Die Bedeutung der Zeit in der Erzählkunst,” 1947), pertaining to what Gérard Genette (“Discours du récit,” 1972) has systematized under the categories of ‘order,’ ‘duration,’ and ‘frequency.’ While a textual analysis based on these concepts may lead to promising results, there are also limitations to this approach. Using examples from Japanese twelfth- to thirteenth-century setsuwa literature, I demonstrate that Meir Sternberg’s (“Telling in Time (II): Chronology, Teleology, Narrativity,” 1992) cognitive theory based on reception and centered around the temporal dynamics of suspense, curiosity, and surprise provides a useful toolkit to make sense of narratives where ‘classical’ theory fails. The application on a tale from Konjaku monogatari shū (24:11) has implications for our understanding of the transmission of the story and allows us to reject one existing theory of the historical development of the tale.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Asian and Oriental Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:890 Other literatures
Language:English
Date:26 March 2021
Deposited On:10 Nov 2021 14:29
Last Modified:30 Dec 2022 14:32
Publisher:De Gruyter
ISSN:0004-4717
OA Status:Green
Free access at:Publisher DOI. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1515/asia-2021-0027
  • Content: Published Version