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|Additional Physical Format:||Online version:
Six walks in the fictional woods.
Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press, 1994
|Named Person:||Gérard de Nerval|
|All Authors / Contributors:||
|Description:||153 p. ; 22 cm.|
|Contents:||1. Entering the Woods --
2. The Woods of Loisy --
3. Lingering in the Woods --
4. Possible Woods --
5. The Strange Case of the Rue Servandoni --
6. Fictional Protocols.
|Series Title:||Charles Eliot Norton lectures, 1993.|
The range of Eco's examples is astonishing - from fairy tales, through Flaubert, Poe, and Manzoni, to Ian Fleming, Mickey Spillane, and Casablanca. In a detailed analysis of one of his favorite texts, Gerard de Nerval's Sylvie, Eco examines the uses of temporal ambiguity, demystifying the "mists" in the literary forest. In another chapter, he takes detective fiction and pornography as a basis for discussing narrative pace - strategic speeding up and slowing down - and the relationship between real time and narrative time. And in yet another chapter, we follow Eco as he shadows the musketeer D'Artagnan through the streets of seventeenth-century Paris, a trail that leads us to the uncertain boundary between story and history. Fiction is parasitically dependent on reality; but reality, too, feeds on fiction.
Here, the book reveals its serious side. What are the implications for society when the line between reality and fiction becomes blurred? How are stories ("plots" in the most insidious sense of the word) constructed over the course of time? In order to be responsible citizens of the world, Eco shows, we must be skilled and incisive readers. Getting lost in the blurry region where the real and the fictional merge can be a disturbing experience. But Eco's unerring sense of direction gives us confidence, encourages us to explore. We learn how to be better readers - how to question texts, even as they are subtly influencing us. In Eco's company, this dark forest becomes a realm of curiosity, discovery, and sheer delight.
- Fiction -- Technique.
- Narration (Rhetoric)
- Nerval, Gérard de, -- 1808-1855. -- Sylvie.
- Fiction -- Composition (Arts)
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