Structuralism and Interpretation Ernest Hemingway's Cat in Ther Ain

Topics: Narrative, Narratology, Cat Pages: 25 (9293 words) Published: March 24, 2011
Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics

Analysis and Interpretation of the Realist Text: A Pluralistic Approach to Ernest Hemingway's "Cat in the Rain" Author(s): David Lodge Source: Poetics Today, Vol. 1, No. 4, Narratology II: The Fictional Text and the Reader (Summer, 1980), pp. 5-22 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: . Accessed: 14/03/2011 05:14 Your use of the JSTOR archive indicates your acceptance of JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use, available at . JSTOR's Terms and Conditions of Use provides, in part, that unless you have obtained prior permission, you may not download an entire issue of a journal or multiple copies of articles, and you may use content in the JSTOR archive only for your personal, non-commercial use. Please contact the publisher regarding any further use of this work. Publisher contact information may be obtained at . . Each copy of any part of a JSTOR transmission must contain the same copyright notice that appears on the screen or printed page of such transmission. JSTOR is a not-for-profit service that helps scholars, researchers, and students discover, use, and build upon a wide range of content in a trusted digital archive. We use information technology and tools to increase productivity and facilitate new forms of scholarship. For more information about JSTOR, please contact

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A Pluralistic Approach to Ernest Hemingway's "Cat in the Rain' * DAVID LODGE English, Birmingham

I It is a commonplace that the systematic study of narrative was founded by Aristotle, and scarcely an exaggeration to say that little of significance was added to those foundations until the twentieth century. Narrative theory in the intervening period was mainly directed (or misdirected) at deducing from Aristotle's penetrating analysis of the system of Greek tragedy a set of prescriptive rules for the writing of epic. The rise of the novel as a distinctive and eventually dominant literary form finally exposed the poverty of neoclassical narrative theory, without for a long time generating anything much more satisfactory. The realistic novel set peculiar problems for any formalist criticism because it worked by disguising or denying its own conventionality. It therefore invited - and received - criticism which was interpretative and evaluative rather than analytical. It was not until the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries that something like a poetics of fiction began to evolve from the self-conscious experiments of novelists themselves, and was elaborated by literary critics. At about the same time, developments in linguistics, folklore and anthropology stimulated a more broad-ranging study of narrative, beyond the boundaries of modern literary fiction. For a long time these investigations were pursued on parallel tracks which seldom converged. In the last couple of tradition of formalist criticism, decades, however, the Anglo-American essentially empirical and text-based, theoretically rather underpowered but has encountered the more systematic, critically productive, abstract, and "scientific" tradition of European structuralist theoretically rigorous * Paper presented at Synopsis 2: "Narrative Theory and Poetics of Fiction," an international symposium held at The Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics, Tel Aviv University, and the Van Leer Jerusalem Foundation, 16-22 June 1979. For the text of the story - see Appendix. ? Poetics Today, Vol. 1:4 (1980), 5-22



criticism. The result has been a minor "knowledge explosion" in the field of narrative theory and...
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