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Gérard Genette (1930 - )

Related: narratology - French literature - intertextuality - paratext - literary theory

Paratexts : Thresholds of Interpretation (1987) - Gérard Genette [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]

Gérard Genette published the only full length history of phonosemantics – Genette (1976). In 450 pages, Genette colorfully details the evolution of the linguistic iconism both among linguists and poets, in syntax, morphology and phonology. [Apr 2006]


Gérard Genette (born 1930) is a French literary theorist, associated in particular with the structuralist movement and such figures as Roland Barthes and Claude Lévi-Strauss, from whom he adapted the concept of bricolage. He is largely responsible for the reintroduction of a rhetorical vocabulary into literary criticism, such terms as trope and metonymy now used as frequently in American universities as those in France; additionally his work on narrative, best known in America through the selection Narrative Discourse: An Essay on Method, has been of considerable importance. His conscious influence in America is not as great as that of Barthes and Lévi-Strauss, as his work is more often included in selections or discussed in secondary works than studied in its own right, but even for those outside of the study of structuralism it is difficult not to encounter terms and techniques originating in his vocabulary and systems. His most important work is the four-part Figures series, of which Narrative Discourse is a section, but he has continued teaching and writing up to this day.--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%A9rard_Genette [Aug 2005]


Before presenting Genette’s framework and assessing its value for a study of the hypertextualized scholarly archive, some differences of focus are worth pointing out. First, while there is a universal ambition in the concept of transtextuality, Genette studies primarily literary fiction, which differs from scholarly communication in many respects (e.g. systematic references, abstracts, practices of quoting). Second, Genette deals exclusively with the printed book, whereas the significance of the medium is part of the investigation here. Finally, Genette’s interest in transtextual devices is their influence on the reading and reception of texts, whereas my interest is how they influence the reading of the archive, or in other words, navigation among texts. -- Hypertext and the Scholarly Archive: Intertexts, Paratexts and Metatexts at Work, Rune Dalgaard, http://imv.au.dk/~runed/pub/dalgaard_acmht01.html [May 2004]

Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method () - Gerard Genette

  1. Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method () - Gerard Genette [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK]
    This book should be required reading for anyone who wants to look seriously at narrative theory. Genette's analysis of the construction of time in narrative discourse is the still the model for theorists writing since then. Such categories as order, frequency, and duration in the narrative presentation of story-time show how narrative decisions on the part of authors can have dramatically different rhetorical effects. Genette views these narrative strategies as a form of rhetorical figuration and gives them terms drawn from classical rhetoric (e.g., "prolepsis" for a flashing forward, "analepsis" for a flashback). Genette's work is one of the clearest of all the French theorists of the 1970s and 1980s who became popular among literary critics and theorists in the US. His work is easily the most empirical of his academic geration of French theorists and perhaps the most likely to be useful in generations to come. --Richard Aberle via amazon.com

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