|Module Title||NARRATOLOGY AND POETICS|
|Semester||Intended For Use In Future Years|
|Next year offered||N/A|
|Next semester offered||N/A|
|Other staff||Mr Peter Barry, Dr Timothy Woods|
|Course delivery||Tutorial||2 hours every other week for Semester One|
|Assessment||Essay||One piece of written work (5,000 words), which will focus upon a critical engagement with a theoretical essay from an imaginative perspective.|
The key aim of the module is to encourage students to think systematically about elements of writing, seeing composition as a series of choices from within a finite set of options concerning such elements as plot, viewpoint, and poetic form. The module will be in two sections, with three sessions on narratology, followed by two on poetics. The emphasis will be on the practical analysis of selected literary works, from a practitioner's point-of-view rather than that of the literary critic.
1. Plot Repertoires
The idea of plot repertoires will be introduced using the early structuralist work on folk narratives by Vladimir Propp and
Alexander Greimas. Students will be asked to consider any corpus of tales known to them in these terms (for example, sea tales
by Joseph Conrad, stories for children such as the "William" books, or romantic stories by a specific author or from a specific
This session will introduce such notions as the implied reader (from Wayne Booth), the narratee (from Gerald Prince), and the
heterodiegetic narrator (from Gerard Genette), and investigate their usefulness in practical analysis.
This session will focus on the practice of "narratorial self-conciousness", especially in modernist fiction, exploring the possibilities
and the limitations of the "text which is known to itself". The question asked will be whether a text can undercut the illusion of
its own realism with impunity.
4. Modernist Poetics
This session essentially asks the same questions as the previous one, but of poetry rather than prose. It will experiment with
transposing a "unified/linear" poem to a fragmented, spatial, free-verse format.
5. Postmodernist Poetics
This session asks, firstly, if there exists a distinctive poetics which can be termed "postmodernist". A number of candidates for
this category will be looked at, including brief video extracts of poets performing their own work.