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The Ohio State University Press
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summary
Brian Richardson presents a study that explores in depth one of the most significant aspects of late modernist, avant-garde, and postmodern narrative. Unnatural Voices analyzes in depth the creation, fragmentation, and reconstitution of experimental narrative voices that transcend familiar first- and third-person perspectives. Going beyond standard theories that are based in rhetoric or linguistics, this book focuses on what innovative authors actually do with narration. Richardson identifies the wide range of unusual narrators, acts of narration, and dramas with the identity of the speakers in late modern, avant-garde, and postmodern texts that have not previously been discussed in a sustained manner from a theoretical perspective. He draws attention to the more unusual practices of Conrad, Joyce, and Woolf as well as the work of later authors like Beckett and recent postmodernists. Unnatural Voices chronicles the transformation of the narrator figure and the function of narration over the course of the twentieth century and provides chapters on understudied modes such as second-person narration, “we” narration, and multiperson narration. It explores a number of distinctively postmodern strategies, such as unidentified interlocutors, erased events, the collapse of one voice into another, and the varieties of postmodern unreliability. It offers a new view of the relations between author, implied author, narrator, and audience and, more significantly, of the “unnatural” aspects of fictional narration. Finally, it offers a new model of narrative that can embrace the many non- and anti-realist practices discussed throughout the book.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Title Page, Copyright, Dedication
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  1. Table of Contents
  2. pp. vii-viii
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  1. Preface
  2. pp. ix-xii
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  1. Acknowledgments
  2. pp. xiii-xiv
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  1. 1. Introduction: Transgressing Self and Voice—Contemporary Fiction and the Death of the Narrator
  2. pp. 1-16
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  1. 2. "At First You Feel a Bit Lost": The Varieties of Second Person Narration
  2. pp. 17-36
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  1. 3. Class and Consciousness: "We" Narration From Conrad to Postcolonial Fiction
  2. pp. 37-60
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  1. 4. I, etcetera: Multiperson Narration and the Range of Contemporary Narrators
  2. pp. 61-78
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  1. 5. Three Extreme Forms of Narration and a Note on Postmodern Unreliability
  2. pp. 79-105
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  1. 6. Unnatural Narration in Contemporary Drama
  2. pp. 106-113
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  1. 7. Implied Authors, Historical Authors, and the Transparent Narrator: Toward a New Model of the Narrative Transaction
  2. pp. 114-133
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  1. 8. Conclusion: Voicing the Unspeakable
  2. pp. 134-140
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  1. Appendix: Bibliography of “We” Narratives
  2. pp. 141-142
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  1. Notes
  2. pp. 143-150
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  1. Works Cited
  2. pp. 151-160
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  1. Index
  2. pp. 161-166
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  1. Other Titles in the Series
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Additional Information

ISBN
9780814272473
Related ISBN
9780814251577
MARC Record
OCLC
1229912905
Pages
200
Launched on MUSE
2021-01-10
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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