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Reviews343 divides mind from nature" (p. 55) as restatements of mat Western dialectic of self and odier, dien die book's wide-ranging dieoretical aUusions merely assume what uiey pretend to prove. The book's assumptions preach to die converted, and its undeveloped arguments deserve better. Only one example: Kronick's provocative reading of Whitman includes a convincing analysis of Whitman's use of chiasmus, but he mars his case widi a spectacular misreading of the "dumb, beautiful ministers" of "Crossing Brooklyn Ferry" as Whitman's apostrophe to his readers rather than to the sights along die coast. Texts do not mean whatever die interpreter wants diem to mean. Syntax counts. Kronick's argument for constant reinterpretations can serve to keep history alive. Reminding us that "the continuity of history depends upon die infinite process of interpretation that renders die past for die future," he would rescue history from being "merely a funerary monument" (pp. 102, 227). But when he argues diat all evidence and selection must be random and arbitrary, he opens "an abyss ofendiese interpretations" widiout significance (pp. 102, 257). If mat view wins die day, then historians will continue to have my sympathy. Central Missouri State UniversityMarkJohnson A Theory of Narrative, by F. K. Stanzel; translated by Charlotte Goedsche; xvi & 308 pp. New York: Cambridge University Press, 1984, $39.50. This book is a dioroughly stimulatingjourney around fiction. Stanzel believes that what is central to fictional narrative is die mediation of die story, that is, who teUs it and how. "Mediacy is the generic characteristic which distinguishes narration from odier forms of literary art" (p. 4). That leads him to propose three categories which enable die mediation of a fiction to be described. They areperson, perspective, and mode. Person is the category which accounts for die narrator : who he or she is, and whedier the narrator inhabits die same world in which die characters exist and die story happens. The category oí perspective allows for die description of die extent to which die narrator himselfor herselfis involved in die story, and the category of mode "refers to the contrast between transmission by a teller-character and transmission by a reflector-character . . ." (p. 144). Each of diese categories in turn has a small number ofexponents. The category mode has two. In the case of person there is the division between first- 344Philosophy and Literature and third-person narrators. For perspective it is a matter of internal and external perspective. The three major categories and dieir primary distinctions are arranged by Stanzel in a diagram around a circle which he calls "The Typological Circle." This is supposed to show metaphorically that they merge one into anodier, there being no clear demarcation lines between any of diem. "The idea of open borders and zones of transition is . . . central to my concept of die typological circle" (p. 228). On die odier hand, "die narrative situations are conceived as ideal types" (p. 8). This seeming contradiction comes about in part because Stanzel tries, often very successfully, to deal with requirements which he himself feels to be contradictory: "It is clear that no systematization of narrative forms can meet both the requirements of dieory and interpretation equally — die demands of conceptual order and consistency, on die one hand, and the suitability of texts and applicability in interpretation, on die odier" (p. 53). But notwidistanding this, there is a very full and informative discussion of die interaction of aU the categories since die categories always interact. First-person narrators may be distant from the action uiey relate or near to and involved in it. They may teU die story from an internal or external perspective. Thus die diree major categories provide a rich taxonomy for describing narrative and narratives. This taxonomy is one of die great strenguis of Stanzel's work, since he does both provide a dieory and exemplify it extensively. Throughout die work there are detailed analyses of die narrative structure of small quoted passages as well as whole novels. These support Stanzel's dieory and are revealing in diemselves. They also provide a compendium for all those who are interested in die nature of narrative fiction. Many of diem seem good candidates...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1086-329X
Print ISSN
0190-0013
Pages
pp. 343-344
Launched on MUSE
2011-10-05
Open Access
No
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