Abstract

Abstract:

Foregrounding aspects of the lyric genre that are "not reducible to story," Jonathan Culler's Theory of the Lyric evokes a conflict between lyric and narrative fiction that is underwritten by British literary tradition. The tradition exhibits conflicting double vocations—as storytellers and as lyric poets—in the cases of Scott, Kipling, Hardy, and Lawrence. At issue in the contest of genres is the authority the novelists grant to narrative events and historical discourse. The novelists' lyric productions undermine that authority, even if their prose stories do not. Lyric promises an escape from constraints on expressive utterance that history and narrative exact, especially given history and narrative's involvements with established political ideologies. Not only British tradition exhibits the impact of differences between lyric and novel. H.D.'s experimental novel Palimpsest is an earlier U. S. corroboration. The Algerian novelist Assia Djebar's So Vast the Prison exemplifies the continuing contemporary relevance of lyric's opposition to narrative and history. Djebar's text associates its lyric components with a liberating, pacific flight from narrative's—and the novel form's—involvement with cultural and political aggressions.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1080-6539
Print ISSN
0300-7162
Pages
pp. 44-66
Launched on MUSE
2018-10-24
Open Access
No
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