Making time : world construction in the present-tense novel / Carolin Gebauer. (Text)Call no.: PR889 .G43 2021Series: Narratologia: v. 77.Publication: Berlin : De Gruyter, Description: xiii, 378 p. : illISBN: 9783110708028 (hbk.); 3110708027 (hbk.)Subject(s): English fiction -- 21st century -- History and criticismNarration (Rhetoric)LOC classification: PR889 | .G43 2021
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Includes bibliographical references and indexes.
List of Figures and Tables -- Abbreviations of Titles -- Introduction -- Present-Tense Usage in Contemporary Narrative Fiction : a New Debate -- Theoretical Preliminaries : the Relation between Present-Tense Narration, Time, and Narrative Worldmaking -- Beyond the 'Grammatical' Fallacy : Key Arguments and Structure of this Book -- Part I : Mapping the Research Field on Present-Tense Narration -- Linguistic, Narratologlcal, and Philosophical Considerations on Tense Usage in Narrative Fiction -- The Beginnings of a Theoretical Engagement with Fictional Tense Usage : Käte Hamburger's Thoughts on the Epic Preterite and Their Consequences for Present-Tense Narration -- Diachronic Approaches to Present-Tense Narration : the Evolution of the Present Tense as a Genuine Tense of Narration -- Synchronic Approaches to Present-Tense Narration : Investigating the Present Tense from an Interdisciplinary Perspective -- Linguistic Approaches : Present-Tense Usage as a Disqualifier of Narrative -- Narratologlcal Approaches : the Structuralist Understanding of Narrative and the Problematic Case of Present-Tense Narration -- Conceptual Problems of Fictional Present-Tense Usage : Implications of Simultaneous Narration for the Narratologlcal Paradigm -- Alternatives to Simultaneous Narration : Attempts at 'Naturalizing' the Fictional Present Tense -- Philosophical Approaches : On the Irrelevance of a Tensed Understanding of Time in Narrative Fiction -- Part II : A Narratological Model of Present-Tense Usage in Narrative Fiction -- The 'Grammatical' Fallacy, or : Why We Need a Descriptive and Analytical Model of Present-Tense Narration -- The Formal-Structural Dimension of Fictional (Present-)Tense Usage : Textual Distribution and Narrative Orchestration -- Formal Criteria for Determining the Distribution of Tense Usage in Narrative Fiction : Variety, Scope, and Prominence -- Structural Criteria for Analyzing the Orchestration of Tense Usage in Narrative Fiction : Tense Alternation and Foregrounding of Tense -- The Functional Dimension of Fictional Present-Tense Usage : Uses and Functions of Present-Tense Narration -- Encoding the Here-and-Now : Present-Tense Narration and Narrative Worldmaking -- The Referential Function -- The Immersive Function -- The Metareferential Function -- The Communicative Function -- The Synchronizing Function -- The Thematic Function -- The Rhetorical Function -- The Transmodal Function -- Modeling the Process of Worldmaking in Present-Tense Narration, or : the Functional Matrix of Fictional Present-Tense Usage -- The Syntactic Dimension of Fictional Present-Tense Usage : Correlations between (Different Kinds of) Present-Tense Narration and Other Narrative Strategies and=or Phenomena -- The Multifunctionality of Fictional Present-Tense Usage -- The Functional Interplay of Present-Tense Narration with Other Narrative Strategies and=or Phenomena -- Part III : Uses and Functions of Present-Tense Narration in Contemporary Narrative Fiction -- Narrative of Reformation : the Revision of History and Narrative Form in Hilary Mantel's Wolf Hall (2003) and Bring Up the Bodies (2012) -- The Revisionist Character of Mantel's Tudor Narratives : Turning a Historical Villain Into a Fictional Hero -- Creating a Likeable Character : the Empathic Impact of Mantel's Referential Use of the Fictional Present -- Foresight Instead of Hindsight : Representing History as Future Turning Points -- Witnessing History in the Making : Spatial Non-Contextuallzatlon, Associative Storytelling, and the Immersive Potential of Mantel's Present-Tense Usage -- Narrative of Punishment : Experientlallty, Immersion, and the Representation of Narrative Space in Margaret Atwood's Oryx and Crake (2003) -- Encountering Unknown Worlds to Come : Anthropocene Fiction as a Model for Reality -- Before and After the Apocalypse : Temporalizing Atwood's Heterogeneous Use of Fictional Tense -- Posthuman Space, Episodic Plot Structure, and the Thematic and Descriptive Functions of the Fictional Present -- Dynamic Descriptions and the Immersive Function of Present-Tense Narration -- Narrative of Reminiscence : Intercultural Understanding and Narrative Empathy in Nadeem Aslam's Maps for Lost Lovers (2004) -- Nurturing the Intercultural Mind : the Empathic Potential of Intercultural Narratives -- Addressing an Out-Group Readership : Tense-Switching and the Communicative Situation of Aslam's Novel -- Foregrounding Narrative Space : the Topochronic Dynamics of Aslam's Narrative -- Narrative Immediacy and Hyper-Analepsis as Means of Strategic Empathizing -- Narrative of Deception : Narrative Progression, Suspense, and Surprise in Don Winslow's the Power of the Dog (2005) -- About Drug Lords, DEA Agents, and Webs of Deception -- Spatial Disorientation, Narrative Sequentiality, and Temporal Immersion : Winslow's Chronotopic Present-Tense Narration -- Leading the Reader Up the Garden Path : Covert Omniscient Narration and Orchestrated Multiperspectivity -- Creating Suspense and Surprise : the Narrative Dynamics of the Thriller -- Narrative of Emergence : Metanarration, Intertextuality, and the Disclosure of Worldmaking in Ian McEwan's Nutshell (2016) -- First Contact with a Narrating Fetus -- Framing the Narrative Scenario : Metareferential Present-Tense Narration as a Means to Naturalize McEwan's Antimimetic Narrator -- Delayed Exposition, Emerging Plot, and Narratorial Inferences : Combining Synchronizing, Thematic, and Descriptive Uses of the Fictional Present -- The Play with Generic Conventions : McEwan's Intertextual References to the Detective Novel -- Narrative of Emancipation : Character-Centered Illusion, Cognitive Dissonance, and Narrative Unreliability in Emma Donoghue's Room (2010) -- 'Strange' Narrators, Cognitive Dissonance, and Character-Centered Illusion -- Exploring "Room" : Jack's Strange Perception of the World and the Dominant Use of Thematic Present-Tense Narration -- Taking Jack's Perspective : Immersive Present-Tense Usage, Unreliable Narration, and Suspense -- Adapting to "Outer Space" : Descriptions, Explanations, and the Transmodal Function of the Fictional Present -- Narrative of Life : Orality, Narrative Authority, and the (Broken) Illusion of Immediacy in Irvine Welsh's Skagboys (2012) and Dead Men's Trousers (2018) -- Narrative Expansion and the Representation of Time : Some Preliminary Thoughts on the Temporal Structure of Prequels, Coquels, and Sequels -- A Different Kind of Narrative Illusion : the Communicative Function of Present-Tense Narration, Small Stories, and Narrative (In)Coherence -- Oral Storytelling vs. Written Narrative : the Nexus between Fictional Tense Usage and Narrative Authority -- The Broken Illusion of Narrative Immediacy: Why the Concept of 'Telling to the Moment' Is Not Always Successful -- Concluding Remarks, or : the Future of Research on Present-Tense Narration -- What This Book Has to Offer... -- ... What Else Could Be in Store... -- ... and What the Present-Tense Novel Can Tell Us about Contemporary Culture -- Works Cited -- Author Index -- Subject Index.
Responding to the current surge in present-tense novels, Making Time is an innovative contribution to narratological research on present-tense usage in narrative fiction. Breaking with the tradition of conceptualizing the present tense purely as a deictic category denoting synchronicity between a narrative event and its presentation, the study redefines present-tense narration as a fully-fledged narrative strategy whose functional potential far exceeds temporal relations between story and discourse. The first part of the volume presents numerous analytical categories that systematically describe the formal, structural, functional, and syntactic dimensions of present-tense usage in narrative fiction. These categories are then deployed to investigate the uses and functions of present-tense narration in selected twenty-first century novels, including Hilary Mantel?s Wolf Hall, Margaret Atwood?s Oryx and Crake, Ian McEwan?s Nutshell, and Irvine Welsh?s Skagboys. The seven case studies serve to illustrate the ubiquity of present-tense narration in contemporary fiction, ranging from the historical novel to the thriller, and to investigate the various ways in which the present tense contributes to narrative worldmaking.