Mind Reading

Unframed Direct Interior Monologue in European Fiction


In this book literary interior monologue is considered in relation to extraliterary phenomena, as well as narrative theory. The central question posed by this study is: what makes a particular interior monologue believable, given the unobservable nature of human thought? The discussion revolves around the unobservable counterpart of literary interior monologue, i.e., what is known in psychology as inner speech. Taking various experimental findings and theories from Soviet and American research on inner speech, the author compares them with literary interior monologue and tries to account for similarities and differences. Examples of literary interior monologue are analyzed in comparison with data from the linguistic study of real oral spontaneous discourse (also known as face-to-face communication). In the context of this interdisciplinary framework four examples of literary interior monologue are considered: V.M. Garshin's Four Days (1877), E. Dujardin's Les Lauriers sont coupés (1887), A Schnitzler's Leutnant Gustl (1900) and V. Larbaud's Amants, heureux amants... (1921). The inclusion of data from psychology and research on face-to-face communication makes a unique contribution not only to narrative theory, but also to the understanding of the relationship between literary and extraliterary communication.


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Table of contents

INTRODUCTION. 1. Interior Monologue: Direct and Indirect. 2. UDIM and the Question of Mimesis. 3. Addresser vs. Addressee: The Communicative Implications of the Self-Communication Premise. CHAPTER ONE. INNER SPEECH. 1.1. Inner Speech: Fact or Fiction? 1.2. Electromyographic and Other Experimental Data: Indirect Evidence. 1.3. Message Reduction in Inner Speech: Theme vs. Rheme. 1.4. Rheme Dominance. 1.5. The Realism of UDIM. CHAPTER TWO. VSEVOLOD GARSHIN: FOUR DAYS. 2.1. Background. 2.2. Now or Then? 2.3. Scene vs. Summary. 2.4. Framing. 2.5. Interior Dialogue. 2.6. Discourse Planning. 2.7. Explanatory Comments. 2.8. Time Span. CHAPTER THREE. EDOUARD DUJARDIN: LES LAURIERS SONT COUPÉS. 3.1. Background. 3.2. Sensorimotor Discourse vs. Internal Reflection. 3.3. Private Communication. 3.4. Discourse Abbreviation. 3.5. Unpolished Discourse. 3.6. Repetition. 3.7. Nominal Phrases. 3.8. Perception vs. Introspection. 3.9. Dialogue and the Dialogue-Framing Message. 3.10. Verba Dicendi and Dialogue. 3.11. Abbreviation vs. Expansion. CHAPTER FOUR. ARTHUR SCHNITZLER: LEUTNANT GUSTL. 4.1. Background. 4.2. Elements of Spontaneous Oral Discourse: Syntactic Dimension. 4.3. Discourse Abbreviation: Morphological Dimension. 4.4. Self-Guiding Interior Dialogue as a Plot Development Mechanism. 4.5. The Verbal Nature of Interior Dialogue: Thought as Discourse. 4.6. Interior Dialogue and the Mnemonic Process. 4.7. Plot Structure and Thought Association. 4.8. Sensorimotor Discourse. CHAPTER FIVE. VALÉRY LARBAUD: AMANTS, HEUREUX AMANTS... 5.1. Background. 5.2. Context vs. Syntax and Discourse Abbreviation: Echoes of Dujardin. 5.3. Verba Dicendi. 5.4. Inflections. 5.5. Missing Links and Cultural Echoes. 5.6. Unnaming. 5.7. Pronominal Privacy. 5.8. Passé Composé vs. Passé Simple. CONCLUSION. BIBLIOGRAPHY.