The Theory and Practice of Narrative Digression
Edited by Rhian Atkin
Miguel de Cervantes
Legenda: Oxford, 2011
Digression is a crucial motif in literary narratives. It features as a key characteristic of fictional works from Cervantes and Sterne, to Proust, Joyce and Calvino. Moving away from a linear narrative and following a path of associations reflects how we think and speak. Yet an author’s inability to stick to the point has often been seen to detract from a work of literature, somehow weakening it. This wide-ranging and timely volume seeks to celebrate narrative digressions and move towards a theoretical framework for studying the meanderings of literary texts as a useful and valuable aspect of literature. Essays discussing some of the possibilities for approaching narrative digression from a theoretical perspective are complemented with focused studies of European and American authors. As a whole, the book offers a broad and varied view of textual wanderings.
Rhian Atkin teaches Portuguese and Brazilian Studies at the University of Manchester, and is completing a PhD at the University of Leeds.
With the contributions:
J. J. Long — Introduction: ‘Perfume from a dress...’: On Not Getting to the Point