Volume 4, Number 2 (June 2006) : 163--74|
Narrative Enthymeme -- the Examples of Sterne and Joyce
Rubric A: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
Following Aristotle’s Rhetoric, the figure of the “enthymeme” is understood as a syllogism in which one of the premises is missing or non-valid. Much of the wit of Sterne’s Tristram Shandy is based on this figure, and in Stuart Gilbert’s scheme, the technique of the Aeolus episode on Joyce’s Ulysses is listed as “Enthymemic.” But are there narrative phenomena that can be regarded as enthymemes? The paper argues that the notion of the enthymeme is a useful tool for the analysis of reference and signification. In Joyce’s “The Sisters,” in particular, it is a mechanism through which the external and the internal fields of reference enrich each other.