Advanced search
1 file | 466.19 KB Add to list

The philosophy Is in the telling : how narrativity embodies cogitation in Javier Marías's 'The infatuations"

Jeroen Vandaele (UGent)
(2018) NEOPHILOLOGUS. 102(4). p.451-470
Author
Organization
Abstract
The celebrated Spanish novelist Javier Marias is often called a philosophical fiction writer, whereas he himself claims that novelsalso his novelsare sui generis, quite unlike philosophy. To him, narrative fiction offers a unique kind of literary thinking not subject to reason yet leading to the recognition of truths, however contradictory these recognized truths. Thus, Marias actually frames the novel less as narrative than as fictionas a world of fiction that paradoxically reveals truth. As I analyze his novel The Infatuations, I agree that Marias illustrates a unique aspect of novelistic literary thinking, but I suggest that this uniqueness is more about the narrative process of swinging between knowledge and ignorance than about finding truth and recognition in fiction. Though said to be devoid of plot, the novel orchestrates the reader's ignorance and doubt so as to produce strong narrativity for the page-turning mind (Sternberg in Poet Today 13(3):463-541, 1992; Narrative 9(2):115-122, 2001; Poet Today 31(3):507-659, 2010) and this ignorance-based narrativity makes the reader feelthat is, embodiesthe philosophical ideas praised in Marias's oeuvre: ignorance, doubt, hypothesis, truth, fact, knowledge, bias, untrustworthiness, and evil. The Infatuations does have a thin plot but it uses narrative gapping techniques, digression eminently included, to give philosophy a feel and to become a kind of philosophical crime fiction. Marias is therefore more philosophical than he might be willing to concede, though by way of (fictional) narrative. The essay intends to draw Marias experts to the relevance of Sternberg's narratological framework and to show how Marias's oeuvre throws light on narrativity.
Keywords
Narrativity, Philosophy, Embodiment, Digression, Fiction, Javier Marias

Downloads

  • (...).pdf
    • full text (Published version)
    • |
    • UGent only
    • |
    • PDF
    • |
    • 466.19 KB

Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

MLA
Vandaele, Jeroen. “The Philosophy Is in the Telling : How Narrativity Embodies Cogitation in Javier Marías’s 'The Infatuations".” NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol. 102, no. 4, 2018, pp. 451–70.
APA
Vandaele, J. (2018). The philosophy Is in the telling : how narrativity embodies cogitation in Javier Marías’s 'The infatuations". NEOPHILOLOGUS, 102(4), 451–470.
Chicago author-date
Vandaele, Jeroen. 2018. “The Philosophy Is in the Telling : How Narrativity Embodies Cogitation in Javier Marías’s 'The Infatuations".” NEOPHILOLOGUS 102 (4): 451–70.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Vandaele, Jeroen. 2018. “The Philosophy Is in the Telling : How Narrativity Embodies Cogitation in Javier Marías’s 'The Infatuations".” NEOPHILOLOGUS 102 (4): 451–470.
Vancouver
1.
Vandaele J. The philosophy Is in the telling : how narrativity embodies cogitation in Javier Marías’s 'The infatuations". NEOPHILOLOGUS. 2018;102(4):451–70.
IEEE
[1]
J. Vandaele, “The philosophy Is in the telling : how narrativity embodies cogitation in Javier Marías’s 'The infatuations",” NEOPHILOLOGUS, vol. 102, no. 4, pp. 451–470, 2018.
@article{8565186,
  abstract     = {{The celebrated Spanish novelist Javier Marias is often called a philosophical fiction writer, whereas he himself claims that novelsalso his novelsare sui generis, quite unlike philosophy. To him, narrative fiction offers a unique kind of literary thinking not subject to reason yet leading to the recognition of truths, however contradictory these recognized truths. Thus, Marias actually frames the novel less as narrative than as fictionas a world of fiction that paradoxically reveals truth. As I analyze his novel The Infatuations, I agree that Marias illustrates a unique aspect of novelistic literary thinking, but I suggest that this uniqueness is more about the narrative process of swinging between knowledge and ignorance than about finding truth and recognition in fiction. Though said to be devoid of plot, the novel orchestrates the reader's ignorance and doubt so as to produce strong narrativity for the page-turning mind (Sternberg in Poet Today 13(3):463-541, 1992; Narrative 9(2):115-122, 2001; Poet Today 31(3):507-659, 2010) and this ignorance-based narrativity makes the reader feelthat is, embodiesthe philosophical ideas praised in Marias's oeuvre: ignorance, doubt, hypothesis, truth, fact, knowledge, bias, untrustworthiness, and evil. The Infatuations does have a thin plot but it uses narrative gapping techniques, digression eminently included, to give philosophy a feel and to become a kind of philosophical crime fiction. Marias is therefore more philosophical than he might be willing to concede, though by way of (fictional) narrative. The essay intends to draw Marias experts to the relevance of Sternberg's narratological framework and to show how Marias's oeuvre throws light on narrativity.}},
  author       = {{Vandaele, Jeroen}},
  issn         = {{0028-2677}},
  journal      = {{NEOPHILOLOGUS}},
  keywords     = {{Narrativity,Philosophy,Embodiment,Digression,Fiction,Javier Marias}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{4}},
  pages        = {{451--470}},
  title        = {{The philosophy Is in the telling : how narrativity embodies cogitation in Javier Marías's 'The infatuations"}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11061-018-9569-5}},
  volume       = {{102}},
  year         = {{2018}},
}

Altmetric
View in Altmetric
Web of Science
Times cited: