A note on Woloch

I have supplied a PDF with just the assigned pages from Woloch, but you would learn a great deal if you read the whole of his chapter on Pride and Prejudice. You would learn even more if you also read all his endnotes, which you would have to download separately; the notes for the chapter we are reading begin on p. 347.

Woloch uses a slightly different narratological vocabulary than the one you have learned. Here is how to translate his terms into ours:

discours, discourse
either the text layer or the sjužet layer of narrative or both
histoire, story
the fabula layer of narrative
omniscient narrator
the kind of EN particular to novels like Pride and Prejudice, who seems to be fully informed about everything that is going on, including inside characters’ heads

As I said in class, not everyone uses the same terms for the narrative layers, though almost everyone recognizes the basic distinctions between them. Indeed, Bal’s term for sjužet is “story.” Since Woloch uses “story” to refer to fabula, I thought that term would be too confusing for us. “Plot” is used by some people to refer to the fabula, by others to the sjužet. There are even more terms out there, in various languages! For a lengthy overview of the different terminologies various theorists of narrative use, see Michael Scheffel, Narrative Constitution, in The Living Handbook of Narratology, 2013.

Author: AG

Associate Professor, Department of English, Rutgers University, New Brunswick