Narrative Perspective and Irony in Selected Chinese and American Fiction

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This study reconsiders irony by blending classical and contemporary critical notions. It revamps the notions of authorial perspective, plot, emotional effect, and other generic features of fiction by incorporating socio-historical analysis of practice, ideology, and discourse. In discussing Chinese texts, it shows how narrative structure breaks down and authoritative dogma and myth fall apart under a critical irony, shifting narrative stances, and multi-voiced language. The second part deals with works by Austen, James, Flaubert, Dickens, and Woolf, illustrating how a variable narrative perspective affects plot structure, and how cherished moral assumptions are questioned and debunked. It will help teachers and students analyze multi-cultural texts from East and West with aesthetic sensitivity, and provide new readings of classic texts.

Table of Contents

Table of contents:
Introduction: Irony, Ideology, and Multi-Voiced Discourse
1. Reading for Irony in Classical Chinese Fiction
2. Irony and Social Criticism in Lu Xun’s Fiction
3. Citation of Discourse and Ironic Debunking in Ah Cheng’s Work
4. Rhetoric of the Absurd: the Grotesque in Yu Hua and Lu Xun
5. Fiction as Discursive Practice
6. Plot as a Structure of Meaning and Emotion: The Case of Emma
7. Narrative Point of View and the Creation of Mystery in Great Expectations
8. Narrative Stance and the Reader’s Response
9. Self-Irony in First-Person Narrative
10. Dramatic Irony and Ideological Conflict
11. Representation of the Psyche and the Modern Novel
Bibliography; Index

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