Aesthetics of Narrative Space
While Aristotle’s classic definition of plot (mythos) as ‘a sequence of events’underlines the fact that narrative unfolds in time, it cannot be denied that space too does play an important role in narratives. Events require temporality to unravel and develop, but characters, locales, settings, and parallel narration of events cannot occur without the spatiality of the narrative. The spatial dimension of narrative remained ignored till the twentieth century, when the American literary scholar and critic Joseph Frank published a seminal essay “Spatial Form in Modern Literature” in 1945. In the essay, Frank highlighted the spatiality of narrative and its special significance in the fiction of modernist writers of early twentieth century. The present article builds upon Joseph Frank’s ideas to explore the existence and role of spacetime continuum in fiction. The structural and interpretive significance of space is examined, and the poioumenon novel, or the novelâ€“withinâ€“novel genre of fiction, is discussed for the first time. The important characteristic of the article is the concrete examples from nineteenth and twentieth centuries that are analyzed to illustrate theoretical concepts.
How to Cite