The Intralinguistic Shift Of The Novel: From The Enunciative To The Poetic


There was a traditional view of Novel analysis that, much popular in the nineteenth century, posed that if we are to reduce the range of the term Novel to nothing but verbal instances, then the Novelistic style would consist of a compromise between the scientific use of language, i.e., the narrative, classically responsible for the mimesis, and the poetic, the embellisher. Therefore, a Novel shall bear a symbiosis between both.

Nevertheless we are dealing with the coexistence rather than the fusion between the narrative and the poetic, in its variety of dosage and juxtaposition. Both terms will only articulate efficiently to reach aesthetic excellence if the Novelist’s talent proves qualified to solve the expected and inevitable attritions and intolerances between both.

This dichotomy ceased to satisfy some twentieth century writers who felt there ought to be a new modus vivendi between the narrative and the poetic since the former definitions had edges which were blurred enough not to allow for a clear understanding of the dichotomical misunderstanding that exploded within the Novel, the rupture of the entente cordiale between the narrative and the poetic.

The conflict was, however, not bidirectional. The narrative, or the enunciative use of language was, per se, too passive to interfere with the poetic stance. Its innate submission to the object that it attempts to allude to lacks in autonomy, rendering it solely an instrumental function. On the other hand, the poetic element seems to grow in frequency and popularity among turn of the century novels, thus assuming a rector function and disabling the traditional role of its counterpart.

Doutorando do Programa de Pós-Graduação em Letras da Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul na especialidade Literaturas de Língua Inglesa.

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