Intro to Fiction

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Intro to Fiction
2011-12-04 18:19:24
English 213 Terms

Terms for Final
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  1. "always already"
    • Paradoxical relationship between causes and effects (what appears to be a symptom may in fact be the mark of a predisposition)
    • A character's "nature" is a result of the character's position or function within a structure
    • Thus it is impossible to find a first casue or first instance of a particular behavior or effect
  2. Lucy's paleness is an example of this
    "Always Already"
  3. Ambivalence
    • The state of possesing multiple meanings or attitudes
    • Not the same thing as ambiguity (the multiple meanings/attitudes are specifiable)
    • The multiple meanings are often in conflict with one antoher, perhaps even mutually contradictory
  4. Johnathan Harker's opinion of the vampiresses is an example of this
  5. Binary Opposition
    • Pair of concepts whose terms contradict, oppose or exclude one another
    • Binary oppositions tend to affiliate with other binary oppositions, to line up symmetrically with analogous oppositions
    • Binary oppositions tend to be hierarchal
    • Binary oppositions are particularly susceptible to reversal or inversion (if too rigid they begin to break down)
  6. Plato's description of writing and original thought is an example of this
    Binary Opposition
  7. Diachronic
    • Diachronic relations are relations of sequence or temporality
    • Histoire and recit are both types of diachronic relations; both the events and their narration take place in time
    • Diachronic relations need to be distinguished from synchronic relations
  8. Histoire
    • Refers to the sequence of events as the "really" took place in the world referred to by a text, fiction or narrative
    • As opposed to recit, histoire is open-ended; it has no formal beginning end or divisions
    • Though there are multiple recits, there is only one histoire
  9. Logocentrism
    • Narrowly- priveleging of speech over writing
    • More generally- privileging originals over copies
    • Idea that mediation is distortion
    • Paradox of logocentrism is that every copy can become in turn an original
  10. Mediated Desire
    • Desire is always an imitation of someone else's desires, not an attraction to something intrinsic in object
    • Mediated desire is thus partly a desire to be like someone else
    • Mediated desire thus usually takes the form of a triangle, with two rivals desiring the same person or object
  11. Mediation
    • Mediation means both communication and representation
    • Mediation by definition takes place within a concrete medium (speech, writing, images, etc)
    • opposed to immediacy
  12. Metaphor
    • A figure of speech in which you literally state that something is what it is not ("my love is a red rose")
    • Metaphor implies the noting of a similarity
    • Metaphor is usefully distinguished from metonymy, in which things are connected by proximity or habitual association rather than by identity
  13. Metonymy
    • a figure of speech in which you refer to something by naming something that is proximite or habitually associated with it (ex: the white house)
    • Metonymy is usefully distinguished from metaphor; metaphor emphasizes relationships of similarity, whereas metonymy emphasizes relationships of connection or contiguity
    • Metonymy is usefully distinguished from synecdoche, which is relation of part to whole
  14. Narrative Desire
    • The desire to get to the end, the solution, of a story (a desire for closure)
    • Paradoxically, it is also the desire to prolong or delay the ending, to keep reading
    • Technically, narrative desire takes place at the level of the reader or the narrative as a whole, rather than being experience by individual characters, though individual characters may be figures for this process
  15. Paternal Indicition
    • Literally, what the father prohibits you from doing; but more generally, a prohibition issued by a strong authority figure
    • The interdicion functions to thwart or redirect desire
    • Paradoxically, the interdictio functions to incite desire
  16. Primal Scene
    • The "primal scene" refers to the witnessing of your own creation or conception
    • The primal scene is always expereinced or remembered retrospectively; thus it is unverifiable
    • the primal scene is traumatic
  17. Recit
    • the sequence of the narration (importantly distiguished from histoire, that is, from events in the order they took place in the world referred to by the text
    • Recit always takes place (is enunciated- though this term isn't necessary) within a particular medium
    • All formal organizing devices such as chapter breaks, flashbacks, nested narratives, etc are an aspect of recit, not histoire
  18. Spectrum of Male Homosocial Relation
    • Spectrum of all intensely-freighted emotional relationship between men
    • the exact valence, configuration or nature of the realtionship is not as important as the intensity of the bonding; for instance, rivalry and loyalty are both example of homosocial bonding
    • Spectrum runs from homoeroticism and homosexulality at one end to homophobia at the other end
    • high exclusive of women, often to the point of misogyny
  19. Synchronic
    • Relations of simultaneaity
    • Within a narrative, everything that does not depend on sequence is part of the synchronic structure
    • This includes parallel plots, themes, symbolism, imagery
  20. Zeno's Paradox
    • Technically, the paradoxical fact that if you keep reducing the distance between two things exactly in half, the distance never disappears
    • One implication is that representation can never catch up with experience; writing can never catch up with the action that it is narrating
    • Narrative is inevitably retrospective
  21. Ariadne's Thread
    • more narrowly: clue, it replicates the shape of the puzzle
    • more generally: interpretation retraces structure of object being interpretted
    • Thus all critique risks taking on character of thing it is criticizing
  22. Cinematic Apparatus
    • The technique used to create point-of-view in film
    • It uses shot-reverse-shot, which is never 180 degrees apart
    • It divides characters (assigns them) into active and passive roles
    • It makes us identify with a particular charaacter
  23. Cultural Relativism
    • Belief that no meanings or values are intrinisic or natural
    • Meanings and values are always culturally specific
    • The same fact can ahve different meanings; meaning is subjective
  24. Essentialism
    • The belief that some qualities or behaviors are intrinsic or natural
    • Such values or ideas would be trans-historical and trans-cultural
    • Resulting meanings could not be variable or subjective
  25. Mirror Stage
    • Your first sense of identity is always visual
    • Your first sense of identity is always mediated (you see yourself as someone else)
    • There is a discrepancy between our self-image and our
    • internal sensations
    • Visual images (particularly idealized images of human form are henceforth satisfying but also alienating, frustrating
  26. Oral Culture
    • Culture organized principally around conversation, storytelling, call and response, music
    • Oral activities entrusted with preserving and transmitting collective experience
    • Oppositional relation to "official" culture
    • Distinction between active and passive, speaker and listener, not static or fixed
  27. Plain Style
    • A linguistic style characterized by simple vocabulary and syntax, minimal ornamentation or elaboration
    • Not necessarily clearer than other styles
    • The plain style has no intrinsic effect
  28. Print Culture
    • Culture organized principally around printed documents (ex: declarations, constitutions, etc)
    • Literacy, access to literacy, demographics of literacy, are political issues
    • Printed material has significance beyond its content; it is a sign of power
    • The teaching of reading isn't just a technical skill; it's an initiation into a community and its values
  29. Signifier
    • Words or verbal signs, are divided into two parts: signifier and signified
    • The signifier is the purely material component of the verbal sign (the sound of the word, its visual appearnce on the page) the signified is the idea or object that the word stands for
    • The signifier is pure form without meaning
    • (don't confuse "signifier" with "word" Think of a signifier as a word with its meaning subtracted!)
  30. Visual Culture
    • Culture organized primarily around the production and consumption of images
    • Priveleges images over other kinds of media
    • Consequently images become commodities
    • Consumption of images offered as a substitute for real power
    • Real power lies in production of images
  31. Synecdoche
    • Synecdoche is a figure of speech in which the part stands in for the whole ("all hands on deck")
    • Synecdoche implies a natural, intrinsic, organic relation, rather than a relationship of mere proximity (as in metonymy) or resemblance (as in metaphor)