Studies in the Rhetoric of Fiction investigates the contemporary novel's relation to its forerunners, the picaresques, romances and sentimental novels of the 18th century. Henry Fielding, Laurence Sterne and Jane Austen are stable landmarks, while, of the contemporary practitioners, a handful recur from one chapter to the next, particularly Julian Barnes, Ian McEwan and Kazuo Ishiguro. The chapters share an interest in the rhetoric of fiction, broadly understood as the way in which fictional works achieve their effects on readers, whether by directly addressing a hypothetical reader, using irony and parody, orchestrating competitions between divergent narratives, imitating musical structures, inviting intertextual readings, or openly taking issue with traditional conventions and expectations. Chapters focusing on narrative strategy and metanarrative comment, therefore, alternate with those interrogating reading practices and readerly participation in the rhetorical interchange. This collection of essays however does not propose a consistent theory of the rhetoric of fiction; nor does it claim any generalisable validity for its findings.
Rather, it consists of a series of readings that address various formal aspects of the novels they focus on, showing rhetoric in action, pointing out the complex ways in which its means and strategies change in time and across genres and media. It restores a sense that whatever old tricks the author or narrator is perceived to be up to, they are an invitation to the reader to take part in the fun. The book will appeal to students and scholars in the early stages of their research, encouraging readings that identify rhetorical strategies that challenge conventional forms and expectations. It is, therefore, largely free of rhetorical terminology, making sparing use of it when distinctions must be drawn and the more technical aspects of novels are interrogated.
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
Number of pages: 199
Weight: 236 g
Dimensions: 212 x 148 mm
Edition: Unabridged edition