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 January 2018

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 June 2017

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 January 2017

 Volume 14/2: includes forum "Modern Jewish Spaces"
 June 2016

 Volume 14/1: includes forum Saul Bellow as a Novelist of Ideas
 January 2016

 Volume 13/2: includes forum Comics and the Canon
 

 Volume 13/1: includes forum The Ghetto as a Victorian Text
 

 Volume 12/2: includes forum The Novel and Theories of Love
 June 2014

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 January 2014

 Volume 11/2 includes Forum: Translating Philip Roth
 June 2013

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 Volume 9/2: Dickens: Uneasy Pleasures
 June 2011

 Volume 9/1
 January 2011

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 June 2010

 Volume 8/1 includes forum The Ethics of Temporality
 January 2010

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 June 2009

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 Volume 6/2: Narrative Knowing, Living, Telling
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 Volume 4/2: Narrative as a Way of Thinking
 June 2006

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 June 2004

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   Newest Articles

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 Inge Arteel

 Singing Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
 Anahita Rouyan

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 Agatha Frischmuth

 Musical Macrostructures in The Gold Bug Variations and Orfeo by Richard Powers; or, Toward a Media-Conscious Audionarratology
 A. Elisabeth Reichel

 New Modes of Listening
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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 4, Number 2 (June 2006) : 115-29
Judgment, Progression, and Ethics in Portrait Narratives
The Case of Alice Munro’s “Prue”
James Phelan
Rubric A: Narrative as a Way of Thinking

Abstract

Alice Munro’s “Prue” (1984) is a formally innovative short story that eschews epiphany or any other sign of change or movement on the part of its protagonist and that nevertheless offers its audience a highly moving experience. I attempt to account for the story’s effective unconventionality by examining the interrelations between its form and its ethical dimension. I locate those interrelations in the interactions of narrative judgment and narrative progression. More specifically, I identify three main kinds of narrative judgment — interpretive, ethical, and aesthetic, and their connections to three main kinds of progression — those we associate with narrativity, lyricality, and what I call portraiture.  Portraiture is a mode, familiar in the dramatic monologues of Browning, in which the main goal is the representation of character. By examining the interaction of judgment and progression in “Prue,” I argue that it is both a highly successful hybrid form, one that synthesizes narrativity and portraiture, and that this understanding leads us to its ethical dimension. I close with some observations about larger implications of the analysis for our understanding of both other hybrid forms and the utility of this rhetorical approach to form and ethics.


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