Manfred Jahn (ret. 2005) taught English Literature at the U of Cologne. Research interests include narrative theory, narratology, focalization theory, theory of drama, narratological film analysis, artificial intelligence, cognitive approaches to literature, unreliable narration, constructivism.
PPP (Poems, Plays, and Prose) is a work-in-progress website dedicated to the theory of literary genres. The site offers the following documents: (1) A Guide to the Theory of Poetry (including "Minima Rhetorica", a survey of rhetorical figures), (2) A Guide to the Theory of Drama (mainly based on Pfister 1977), (3) Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative, (4) A Guide to Film Analysis. The documents are definition-oriented and include exercises and case studies. The whole package prints out to around 200 pages. The jump page lists the complete tables of contents of all four parts.
Recent years have seen the publication of several narratology-inspired studies on drama, some focusing on drama as literature and some focusing on actual performances. Composing Drama situates itself at the interface of these approaches, looking more closely (and speculatively) at the compositional processes that create an actual or virtual audiovisual realization. Composing Drama introduces itself by (1) setting up a simple model of audiovisual components, (2) reconceptualizing the superordinate dramatic narrator as a Dramatic Composition Device, and (3) defining external and internal modes of focalization as elements of composition. In its further sections, the essay uses Possible Worlds Theory and stack logic for an approach to staged dreams, visions, and memories, offers a test case analysis of the introductory monologue of Richard III, and concludes by making an attempt to integrate the concept of mindsets into existing theories of perspective structure.
Part of the PPP project, the narratology script covers basic terms, approaches and models of narrative analysis. Recent revisions focus on my extended model of 'constructivist focalization' (still the most innovative section and personal hobby-horse), a revised chapter on embedded discourses including a taxonomy of quotational styles (such as DD, ID, FID etc.), some new graphics, and three additional case studies.
This tutorial is mainly based on Manfred Pfister's Theory of Drama (first German edition 1977; English translation 1988). It offers a toolbox of basic concepts and shows how to put it to work in the analysis of plays. Now converted to PDF format, this updated version incorporates table-of-contents bookmarks, revised graphics, and some recent references.
This tutorial offers a toolbox of basic narratological concepts, approaches, and models and shows how to put it to work in the analysis of film. The revised text introduces an extended version of the 'filmic composition device' (FCD) and a film- specific adaptation of constructivist focalization.
[From David Herman's introduction:] The past several decades have seen an explosion of interest in narrative, with this multifaceted object of inquiry becoming a central concern in a wide range of disciplinary fields and research contexts. As accounts of what happened to particular people in particular circumstances and with specific consequences, stories have come to be viewed as a basic human strategy for coming to terms with time, process, and change -- a strategy that contrasts with, but is in no way inferior to, 'scientific' modes of explanation that characterize phenomena as mere instances of general covering laws. A cognitive style and discourse genre as much as a resource for both literary and nonliterary writing, narrative now falls within the purview of many social-scientific, humanistic, and other disciplines, ranging from sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, communication studies, literary theory, and philosophy, to cognitive and social psychology, anthropology, sociology, media studies, artificial intelligence, and the study of organizations. The Encyclopedia (to be published in 2005) seeks to help readers orient themselves within the 'narrative turn' that has unfolded in many fields of study over the past several decades. The volume thus focuses on narrative in all of its guises, taking into account a variety of media, formats, periods, genres, and subgenres. By the same token, the Encyclopedia adopts an interdisciplinary approach to the analysis of stories -- an approach in which narrative can be viewed as supporting a multiplicity of cognitive, communicative, and cultural activities, from spontaneous conversations, television sitcoms, and courtroom testimony to visual art, dance, and mythic and literary traditions. See project website, contributors' notes, sample entries, and draft list of entries at http://www4.ncsu.edu/~dherman/RENT.html.
Entries by M. Jahn: alteration, anachrony, analepsis, attributive discourse, authorial narrative situation, autodiegetic narration, cognitive narratology, dream narrative, epiphany, experiencing-I, figural narration, first-person narration, focalization, frequency, Freytag’s triangle, heterodiegetic narration, historical present, homodiegetic narration, hypertext and hypotext (Genette), hypodiegetic narrative, interior monologue, mediacy, narrating-I, narrative situations, narrative speed, palimpsest, paralepsis and paralipsis, point of attack, prolepsis, prospective narration, psychonarration, quotation theory, reflector, retrospective narration, second-person narration, simultaneous narration, syllepsis, third-person narration, transfocalization and transvocalization, unreliable narration
Originating in humanities departments, narratology has always prided itself on being a transparent and teachable discipline. The challenge addressed in this essay is the design of an interdisciplinary course in which students and theorists from literature, linguistics, pragmatics, philosophy, and cognitive psychology join forces in order to address the common subject of storytelling, memory, and cognition. Since narratology, in its most general definition, is the theory of stories and storytelling, and, in its postclassical guises, has become strongly aware of psychological and cognitive factors, it offers an ideal meeting ground as well as a promising point of departure. The essay is strongly indebted to Cynthia Freeland's (2001) articles on "Teaching Cognitive Science and the Arts", which are accessible online under http://www.aesthetics-online.org/ideas/freeland.html (for a larger project, see http://www.hfac.uh.edu/cogsci/index.html), and, following Freeland's example, it concludes by presenting a five-unit course pack of reading and discussion materials.
Narratology's standard objects of analysis are stories which exist in some physically tangible form -- 'external' stories such as one encounters in novels, anecdotes, movies, and plays. This paper argues that postclassical narratology must wake up to the existence of 'internal stories', too -- the stories which are stored in memory and performed in the mental theater of recollection, imagination, and dream. While theorists from various disciplines -- philosophy, anthropology, and cognitive science -- have emphasized the psychological and cultural importance of internal stories, their narratological relevance has generally escaped notice. Accepting internal stories as crucial counterparts of external stories, the essay presents a model of the 'cycle of narrative' which connects external and internal stories. Three test cases are used to point up the model's implications -- conversational storytelling in Billy Wilder's The Apartment, Coleridge's account of the genesis of 'Kubla Khan', and operatic storytelling in Richard Wagner's Ring.
This essay collates material from various draft versions (cp. Jahn 2000) on Stanley Fish's impact on foundational issues of postclassical narratology.
Tracing the linguistic, literary, and internet-cultural reception history of Chomsky's 'nonsense' sentence, I argue that the constructivist energy liberated in its various appropriations is a crucial aspect of meaning construction in general -- whether in interpretation of linguistic examples or of literary texts.
The essay addresses the question whether and to what extent drama, like epic narrative, admits of the narratological concepts of a narrating instance or a narrative voice. The main strategy to be pursued is to escape from the differences fixation and the exclusionary tactics of both the speech-act accounts of fiction and of classical narratology. The voice issue is first tackled by discussing traditional speech-act accounts of drama. The essay then reviews Seymour Chatman's argument for a show-er narrator and begins a tentative investigation of voice and other "signs of the narrating" (Gerald Prince) both in the dramatic text and in the dramatic performance. One of the main points argued here is that all narrative genres are structurally mediated by a first-degree narrative agency which, in a performance, may either take the totally unmetaphorical shape of a vocally and bodily present narrator figure (a scenario that is unavailable in written epic narrative), or be a disembodied "voice" in a printed text, or remain an anonymous and impersonal narrative function in charge of selection, arrangement, and focalization. In this framework, the playscript itself can no longer be treated as a past or future projection of a theatrical performance; rather, it must be accepted as a "readable" medium of its own.
Stanley Fish is on record for holding that literary theory in general and narratology in particular are "impossible" projects. Narratologists usually reciprocate by marking him down as counterproductive or by pointedly ignoring what he is saying. The present essay, however, argues that narratologists can learn much from Fish's notion of a "literature in the reader." It begins by reviewing the phenomenon of ambiguity, a topic that has attracted a certain amount of renewed attention in recent reading-oriented approaches, and by reorienting and supplementing Fish's examples with the test cases cited in cognitive linguistics, pragmatics, and artificial intelligence. Fish's process-oriented analysis of ambiguity is seen as paving the way toward a cognitive model of context on the one hand and to an account of "recontextualisation" heuristics on the other. Building on Fish's recontextualisation experiments, the essay makes an attempt to identify the axioms that characterise the new narratological projects.
The essay deliberately takes a "process turn" paralleling that taken in cognitive linguistics (Bever 1970), discourse analysis (Brown and Yule  1989, ch. 1.3.3), and linguistic stylistics (Fludernik 1996b). The crucial linguistic test case elucidating "discourse-as-process" as opposed to "text-as-product" (Brown and Yule  1989, 24) is the "garden path sentence" - a type of sentence that traps the reader in a processing failure and requires an act of reanalysis to recuperate its actual structure and meaning. Interestingly, the cognitive mechanisms that trigger the garden path effect are precisely those that allow effortless comprehension of ordinary sentences in the first place. The mechanisms involved are quite ubiquitous, and researchers like Hockett ( 1977) noted from early on that garden path effects also occurred in jokes, riddles, and stories. The present paper will trace this widening circle of the garden path phenomenon, first by looking at the cognitive research into garden path sentences and introducing a set of basic concepts and models, then by discussing a garden path joke and a garden path riddle, and finally, by analyzing two garden path stories (James Thurber's "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty" and Ursula Le Guin's "Mazes"). The narratological conclusions that are drawn from this are almost entirely due to what is rapidly becoming a fruitful and promising interdisciplinary exchange between literary theory and Artificial Intelligence (Colomb and Turner 1989, Schank  1995, Ryan 1991, Cook 1994, Duchan et al. 1995, Herman 1997, Jahn 1997).
The essay pursues the methodological and practical consequences of "windows of focalization," a concept introduced in an earlier article (Jahn 1996). Focusing on cognitive and reading-oriented parameters, the essay first reviews and situates traditional point-of-view concepts within the narratological framework of Genettean and post-Genettean focalization theory. Generalizing from a mental model of vision, it argues that focalization rests on "vectored indicators of subjectivity," a reconceptualization that provides a more comprehensive set of analytic criteria and paves the way toward an improved typology of "degrees of focalization". Further exploiting the windows metaphor, the essay also makes an attempt to look into patterns of window shifting and window overlap, and to analyze the phenomenon of "deictic diffusion."
The article presents a model-oriented approach to how third-person narratives are read and probably is the first one to use the term "cognitive narratology'. Building on Minsky's (1979 ) theory of frames, Jackendoff's (1983, 1987) concept of preference rules, Perry's (1979) theory of literary dynamics, and Sternberg's (1982a) Proteus Principle, its main aim is to conceptualize third-person narrative situations (Stanzel 1984) in terms of cognitive models, and to explore the mechanics of top-down/bottom-up hermeneutic processes. Avoiding classical "low structuralist" narratology's "normal case" approach, the essay also proposes new ways of analyzing protean phenomena like description, free indirect discourse, and parenthetical discourse, presents an integrative account of primacy/recency conflicts, and sketches the possible direction of a genuinely reading-oriented narratology.
This is the printed version of the German language forerunner of Plays, Poems and Prose (Jahn, current). Out of print, unfortunately.
In general, focalization theory addresses the options and ranges of orientational restrictions of narrative presentation. Gérard Genette first associated focalization with a "focal character" and the questions "who sees"? and "who perceives?" Following Mieke Bal, however, many narratologists now believe that focalization covers a much wider scope than either vision or perception and that the narrator is a potential "focalizer," too. First-generation narratologists like Genette and Seymour Chatman view this expanded scope with considerable skepticism, and despite such convincing recent applications as William Edmiston's Hindsight and Insight, focalization theory at present is caught in a dilemma of conflicting approaches. My attempt to sort out these various approaches begins by reviving the original field-of-vision conception as the basis for defining a general framework and key concepts of focalization. Section 2 deconstructs the major axioms of focalization expounded by Genette. Section 3 traces the theme of "seeing" in fiction to Henry James's "house of fiction" and its million windows: drawing from George Lakoff and Mark Johnson's treatment of natural metaphors, Ray Jackendoff's theory of cognitive interfaces, and Werner Wolf's concept of aesthetic illusion, I reclaim James's window metaphor as a core model of focalization, defined on the basis of cognition and reception. Finally, section 4 considers Chatman's argument against focalizing narrators and the problem of "embedded" focalization. Throughout, my aim is to argue for an interdisciplinary, integrative, and non-dichotomous approach towards focalization.
Der Übergang vom realistischen Roman des 19. Jahrhunderts zum modernen Roman der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts stellt eine Umwälzung dar, die insbesondere von Henry James und Virginia Woolf vorausgeahnt, theoretisch reflektiert und literarisch ausgeführt wurde. Henry James forderte schon in den achtziger und neunziger Jahren des 19. Jahrhunderts eine Abkehr vom viktorianischen Roman und eine Hinwendung zu straffer durchstrukturierten, schärfer perspektivierten und 'dramatischer' erzählten Texten. Virginia Woolf löste diese Forderungen nicht nur durch eine Reihe eigener experimenteller Erzähltexte ein, sondern legte darüber hinaus in ihren kritischen Essays die Schwachstellen ihrer weiterhin traditionell realistisch schreibenden Zeitgenossen bloß. Vor allem den 'Materialisten' Arnold Bennett, H.G. Wells und John Galsworthy machte Woolf zum Vorwurf, sich mit der Abbildung einer äußeren, oberflächlichen Wirklichkeit zufrieden zu geben. Ins Zentrum ihres Gegenentwurfs stellte Woolf die andere Wirklichkeit des menschlichen Bewußtseins und die damit verknüpften neuen Inhalte und Darstellungsformen. Der von Woolf programmatisch umrissene Bewußtseinsroman entwickelte sich zur wichtigsten literarischen Form der ersten Hälfte des 20. Jahrhunderts, und die englischsprachige Literatur stellt mit den Hauptwerken von Woolf und Joyce -- Woolfs Mrs Dalloway, To the Lighthouse und The Waves, Joyces Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist, Ulysses, Finnegans Wake -- einen beträchtlichen Anteil an den Schlüsselwerken des modernistischen Kanons. Schwerpunkt der folgenden Ausführungen wird sein, Inhalte, Darstellungsformen und die historische Entwicklung der modernistischen Bewußtseinskunst zu charakterisieren.
Der Beitrag umreißt Grundlagen und Tendenzen einer literaturwissenschaftlichen Disziplin, die sich wegen ihrer Lehr- und Lernbarkeit, ihrer plastischen Modelle und ihres weitgefächerten Anwendungspotentials seit rund 25 Jahren nahezu ungebrochener Popularität erfreut. Da bereits eine Reihe leicht zugänglicher Überblicksaufsätze vorliegt und die Standardtexte selbst in aller Regel gut lesbare und verständliche Einführungen darstellen, kann hier auf eine zusammenfassende Übersicht über den einschlägigen Wissensstand verzichtet werden. Die folgende Darstellung versucht vielmehr, einzelne Entwicklungslinien und Problembereiche in den Ansätzen von hauptsächlich sieben Theoretikern -- drei Hauptvertretern (Genette, Chatman, Stanzel), zwei Modifikatoren (Lanser, Bal) und zwei Neuerern (Nünning, Fludernik) -- herauszuarbeiten.
Textual processing is simple and effective on a low level of sophistication, and an uphill battle from then on. Why is it that so many ambitious projects -- grammar checking, text-to-speech and speech-to-text conversion, parsing, and machine translation -- usually bottom out with no other result than a list of complaints? FOX and TreeCad are two small, PC-based programs written in Icon and using that language's powerful prototyping capabilities. FOX is an experimental parser; TreeCad is a utility for designing and manipulating syntax trees. On a very small scale, the two programs illustrate the potential and the limits of computational textual analysis.
Having taught classes in the analysis of fiction for many years, we believe that narratology, far from being an academic game played in an ivory tower, can contribute much of practical value to undergraduate (as well as graduate and postgraduate) classes, and that familiarity with narratological models can help students acquire the skills and the motivation to interpret narrative texts. Trying to come to terms with narratology, however, is not exactly easy, particularly for novices. To help overcome some of the terminological hurdles, we produced a 32-page "Concise Glossary of Narratology" (nicknamed CoGNaC - Jahn/Molitor/Nünning 1993) for use in our own classes. After describing this project in the European English Messenger (the newsletter of the European Society for the Study of English), we received some 100 letters from university teachers in fifteen European countries, all requesting a copy of the glossary. Further feedback included inquiries from two publishers, and an invitation to write the present article. All our correspondents stressed the need for a comparative survey of narratological models because they felt that this would suggest ways of integrating the variant systems and help overcome the daunting terminology barrier. Of course, the following survey can cover only a fraction of the mass of narratological scholarship. It is mainly based on a selection of influential studies published over the last fifteen years, particularly on books and articles that deal with the problem of narrative mediation. Focusing on the semi-canonical models introduced in the writings of what might be called the "first generation" of narratologists - Stanzel (1984 ), Chatman (1978; 1986; 1990), Genette (1980 ; 1988 ) - as well as on those of "second generation" narratologists - Bal (1981, 1983, 1985), Rimmon-Kenan (1983), Lanser (1981) - the article will present a miniature overview of the aims and methods of narratology.
Fludernik's voluminous monograph - a 500+ page Vienna Habilitation - presents a uniquely integrative analysis of literary and non-literary speech and thought representation around the focus of free indirect discourse (style indirect libre, erlebte Rede). Building on the seemingly incompatible models proposed in Pascal's The Dual Voice and Banfield's Unspeakable Sentences, Fludernik draws on pragmatic, frame-theoretical, and narratological postulates to arrive at a remarkable synthesis. Acting according to Wittgenstein's demand in the conclusion to the Tractatus (6.54), Fludernik throws away these ladders after she has ascended them. The paper assesses the methodological and practical consequences arising from Fludernik's argument.
Ehrlich (1990) is a recent discourse analytical study which provides a welcome extension of the controversial work on represented speech and thought begun by Ann Banfield. The article reviews Banfield's findings and the critical comments and counterexamples that have appeared in the wake of Unspeakable Sentences. It then takes a close look at Ehrlich's new proposals for contextualizing represented speech and thought in an integrated model comprising point of view and reading strategies.
The claim that the techniques developed by modern linguistics can be applied to literary data and used in literary theory to arrive at significant insights is nowadays often discredited as pure idealism. Yet Banfield's (1982) book is idealistic in just that sense. Approaching typically literary sentences with the system of Chomskyan generative grammar, Banfield explores stylistic features of narrative texts that were hitherto considered beyond linguistic analysis. The results have prompted one recent reviewer to go so far as to say "The book should be required reading for literary critics (and also for linguists)" (Epstein, 1982, p. 1280). Indeed, linguistic theory may find itself indebted to her for her analysis of free indirect discourse and the supporting evidence for the theory, first proposed by S.-Y. Kuroda (1973), that there are sentences which express something without at the same time communicating anything, in other words, that expressing something is an autonomous function of language (cf. Lyons, 1982); whereas the literary theorist may be brought to reconsider his position on traditional notions such as point of view, the mediatedness of narrative texts, and "dual voice" interpretations. Then again, the present formulation of the theory still provokes many counterexamples, an effect which Banfield's theses, developed in a number of articles from 1973 onwards, have produced in the past.