SF as Metaphor, Parable and Chronotope (with the Bad Conscience of Reaganism)
O. In this study, I wish to explore the depth presuppositions for analysing SF as a specific kind of narrative. So, to begin with, what is a narrative text? Assuming that any text unfolds a thematic-cumattitudinal field, and that fiction does so by presenting relationships between fictional agents (primarily by means of events in spacetime)1 — how does, within the domain of fiction, a narrative text differ from a metaphoric text? All of these theoretical questions have been, quite properly, subjects of entire book-shelves, to which I hope to be contributing in the near future. To supply a first answer pertinent to understanding SF, I shall first discuss metaphor and larger ‘metaphorical texts’, touch upon the central analytic categories of model, paradigm and possible world, and then focus on the connecting link between a metaphoric and a narrative text, the parable. My hypothesis is that all fictional texts are — by way of their paradigm or model — based on metaphoricity, but that the narrative texts add to this a defined presentation in space and time, the chronotope. I shall conclude by applying this hypothesis to SF as a specific type of story and by analysing an SF story by Cordwainer Smith, in order to test how much illumination the hypothesis may provide.
KeywordsNarrative Text Mustard Seed Semantic Domain Social Addressee Literary Genre
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