The topic of narrative order remains the one understudied component of Gérard Genette’s model of narrative. One significant exception to the neglect of order is Dorrit Cohn’s claim that first-person narratives may be classified according to whether they are narrated in chronological order or narrated achronologically. We readily accept Cohn’s hypothesis that a radically dechronologized order is typical of memory narratives and monologues but question her claim that autobiographical narratives and monologues follow a chronological order. Our own studies of narrative order have persuaded us that few if any narratives of even modest length proceed in chronological order. We present time maps for four of Cohn’s target texts, one representing each of her four categories, to test her claims about the relations between order and perspective.
Research Article|February 01 2018
Narrative Order in the First-Person Novel
Poetics Today (2018) 39 (1): 131-158.
William Nelles, Linda Williams; Narrative Order in the First-Person Novel. Poetics Today 1 February 2018; 39 (1): 131–158. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-4265107
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