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Terminologisation

  • Mark Currie
Chapter
Part of the Transitions book series (TRANSs)

Abstract

The language of literary criticism and theory has become the ugliest private language in the world. Narratology has been one of the places where the most offensive terminology has taken hold, particularly in its structuralist and poststructuralist phases. Often the problem lies in a puerile overuse of abstract nouns like textuality, discursivity, narrativity, historicity, referentiality, intertextuality, supplementarity, iterability, synchronicity, subjectivity, specificity, directionality, positionality, contiguity, multiplicity, intentionality, plurality, structurality, intelligibility, heterogeneity, homogeneity, temporality, postmodernity, transverbality, linearity, specularity, canonicity, hypercanonicity and hyperreality. Then there are all those new processes invented by criticism which also become abstract nouns: focalisation, reification, problematisation, characterisation, naturalisation, defamiliarisation, totalisation, structuration, identification, interpellation, contextualisation, recontextualisation, acceleration, duration, actualisation and historicisation. Narratology in particular raided the terminology of linguistics and classical rhetoric for formal descriptors too numerous to list, some of which will feature in the argument of this chapter.

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Copyright information

© Mark Currie 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mark Currie

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