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Narrative Structure and Philosophical Debates in Tristram Shandy and Jacques le fataliste

Narrative Structure and Philosophical Debates in Tristram Shandy and Jacques le fataliste

by Margaux Whiskin
Paperback
Publication Date: 02/01/2014
  $35.08
Contrary to what might be expected from a philosophical novel, Sterne and Diderot do not impose their own views upon the reader. The author's voice is but one amongst many others. Margaux Whiskin's argument hinges on Bakhtinian dialogism, which can be defined as the presence of interacting voices and views. In Tristram Shandy and Jacques le fataliste, dialogism occurs through the narrative structure allowing for the confrontation of the contradictory discourses in the philosophical debates, and enabling them to engage in dialogue, instead of establishing the authorial voice as the sole valid discourse in the text. Through those contradictions, the philosophical content takes on a different form, that of a refusal of systematic discourse. Sterne and Diderot do not offer a solution to the various questions debated in their novels. However, they do offer a philosophical approach whereby the confrontation of contradictory ideas creates a dynamic for the pursuit of truth.
By engaging in dialogue and constantly opening questions where there is no single right answer, Sterne and Diderot redirect the focus of the reader and invite him to perceive truth not as a destination to be reached, or as a closed conclusion, but as being present in the quest itself, in the ongoing dialogues and debates. Margaux Whiskin is a teaching fellow in the Department of French Studies at the University of Warwick.
ISBN:
9781781880173
9781781880173
Category:
Literary studies: general
Format:
Paperback
Publication Date:
02-01-2014
Publisher:
Modern Humanities Research Association
Country of origin:
United Kingdom
Pages:
176
Dimensions (mm):
234x156x9mm
Weight:
0.26kg

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