Reading: The Chronology of Episodes in Gravity's Rainbow

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The Chronology of Episodes in Gravity's Rainbow

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Steven Weisenburger

University of Kentucky
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Abstract

The differences between narrative "story" and "discourse" are well established. Story, known among Russian formalists as fabula and among French structuralists as histoire, is that sequence of events understood to have occurred diachronically (Todorov, Barthes). The discourse of a narrative, its sjuzet or discours, takes that sequence and unfolds it synchronically, for example through the agency of point-of-view and plot. Following Gerard Genette, Christine Brooke-Rose further divides the narrative discourse into the lexical groupings of words as we read them, the "microtext," and the larger episodical groupings of events in a plot, the "macrotext." Reading at the micro level gives access to that figure in the carpet she calls the underlying or base structure, while the macrotext shapes that visual model of a plot, its surface structure (Brooke-Rose, 189-90).
How to Cite: Weisenburger, S., (1984). The Chronology of Episodes in Gravity's Rainbow. Pynchon Notes. (14), pp.50–64. DOI: http://doi.org/10.16995/pn.401
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Published on 01 Feb 1984.
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