It must have relevance to the writer's now - so don't ever pretend you live in ; or make sure the reader knows it's a pretence. In an appended comment, dated "October 27, ", he writes that he finished the first draft of the novel at about , words.
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Throughout the essay, Fowles describes multiple influences and issues important to the novel's development, including his debt to other authors such as Thomas Hardy. Set in the mid-nineteenth century, the narrator identifies the novel's protagonist as Sarah Woodruff, the Woman of the title, also known as "Tragedy" and as "The French Lieutenant's Whore". She lives in the coastal town of Lyme Regis as a disgraced woman, supposedly abandoned by a French ship's officer named Varguennes who had returned to France and married. She spends some of her limited free time on The Cobb , a stone jetty where she stares out to sea.
Ernestina tells Charles something of Sarah's story, and he becomes curious about her. Though continuing to court Ernestina, Charles has several more encounters with Sarah, meeting her clandestinely three times. During these meetings, Sarah tells Charles of her history, and asks for his emotional and social support. During the same period, he learns of the possible loss of place as heir to his elderly uncle, who has become engaged to a woman young enough to bear a child. Meanwhile, Charles's servant Sam falls in love with Mary, the maid of Ernestina's aunt.
In fact, Charles has fallen in love with Sarah and advises her to leave Lyme for Exeter. Returning from a journey to warn Ernestina's father about his uncertain inheritance, Charles stops in Exeter as if to visit Sarah. From there, the narrator, who intervenes throughout the novel and later becomes a character in it, offers three different ways in which the novel could end:.
Before the second and third endings, the narrator appears as a character sharing a railway compartment with Charles. He tosses a coin to determine the order in which he will portray the other two possible endings, emphasising their equal plausibility.
They are as follows:. Like many other postmodern novels , Fowles uses multiple different stylistic and structural techniques to highlight his thematic interests in The French Lieutenant's Woman. When discussing these stylistic concerns, many literary critics comment on the importance of the narrator and the narration, the intertextual references to other literary works, and the multiple endings. Throughout the novel, the omniscient narrative voice, alongside a series of footnotes , reflect with an objective tone on a number of plot devices: the author's difficulty controlling the characters; the conventions that are expected of a "Victorian novel"; and, analyses of differences in 19th-century customs and class.
The narrator often returns to topics of interest to literature and scholarship from the period, like the theories of Charles Darwin and Charles Lyell , the radical politics of Karl Marx , and the works of Matthew Arnold , Alfred, Lord Tennyson , and Thomas Hardy. Through a metafictional and metahistorical voice, the contemporary, postmodern narrator questions the role of the author and the historian in thinking about the past.
Beyond the narrator intervening and emphasizing particular interpretations of the text, the book's metafictional approach often relies on intertextual references to provide further commentary. In the epigraphs for each chapter, the book gestures towards a number of important 19th-century texts and ideas. Partially, references to other texts act in "ironic play" , parodied by how the novel emulates other Victorian conventions throughout the text.
In his discussion of science and religion in the novel, John Glendening notes that both character commentary on Darwin's publications along with the epigraphs mentioning those works as direct contributor's to the novels emphasis on science superseding religion. Often critics will comment on the novel's multiple endings. Each offers a possible ending for Charles's pursuit of Sarah: the first ends with Charles married to Ernestina, the second with a successful reestablishment of a relationship with Sarah, and the third with Charles cast back into the world without a partner. Michelle Phillips Buchberger discusses these endings as a demonstration of "Fowles's rejection of a narrow mimesis " of reality; rather Fowles presents this multiplicity of endings to highlight the role of the author in plot choices.
It is not enough to suggest that the novel with its multiple endings is a mere experiment with the narrative form.
It is Sarah Woodruff "the content of whose character produces multiple and contradictory possibilities" for the narrative. Though a bestseller , the novel has also received significant scrutiny by literary critics. Especially during the s and 70s, a novel with great popularity and significant academic scrutiny is unusual; in literary study, the canon and its academic defenders often focused on " high literary " works that didn't have large popular followings.
In her study of postmodernism, Linda Hutcheon described The French Lieutenant's Woman' s binary of popular and academic interest as a paradox similar to the postmodern thematic binaries produced within the novel's content. Some of the most popular concerns for the novel are its discussion of gender, especially questioning "Is the novel a feminist novel? The novel creates a number of binaries between men and women. Michelle Phillips Buchberger argues that The French Lieutenant's Woman, along with Fowles two earlier novels The Collector and The Magus , portrays a fundamental binary between the male and female characters: the female characters act as an elite set of "creators" or "educated, visionary, and predominantly female" characters who provide the facilitation for evolution "in existential terms" of the male "'collectors', whose traits are present in all of Fowles's flawed male protagonists.
Popular historical writing from a narratological perspective
Rather, the binaries demonstrate what she calls a gendered "scopic politics", or a politics created by a gaze not dissimilar from the "male gaze" noticed in cinema studies , that constructs an artificial gender binary within Fowle's early novels as opposed to a multiplicity of socially constructed genders. A number of critics have treated the novel as a feminist novel.
The novel's narrator demonstrates and proclaims a feminist approach to women:  Sarah is presented as a more liberated and independently willed woman as compared to the other model female characters, such as Ernestina and her aunt. In a interview by Jan Relf , Fowles declared himself a "feminist". But with the distinction in mind, it seems obvious that the only way to learn about history, the past, is history, the fruit of the study of the past, and that all you need to understand the past is the right history of it. Because the narratives that the field of history has provided have been harmful to the health, well-being, and the very lives of most people down through the chain of historical events.
Stories historians tell are deeply implicated in more misery and death than probably any other aspect of human culture. Many disputes between peoples are intractable owing to the histories each side tells itself.
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Perhaps the most obvious current example of how history hardens two parties in conflict is provided by Israel and Palestine. If only the Israelis and Palestinians accepted that stories fan emotional flames rather than confer understanding, they might cease to grant them authority over how the future should be arranged. The wars of nationalism, religion, imperialism, colonialism — and anticolonialism, for that matter—begin and persist because of grievances often fueled by historical narratives.
Why do I say that most historical narratives are harmful, damaging to people, instead of saying that some are also uplifting and inspiring? Have I made a count, totting up numbers and weighing the baleful effects of some against the benevolent effects of others?
The xenophobia, racism, and patriarchy that ruled long before the advent of the nation-state were already clothed in histories of who did what to whom. The nation-state, when it arrived, was just a more efficient means to raise the death toll of narratives. The Old Testament is only the best known of these vehicles of in-group bonding and out-group enmity. These cultural practices were selected for owing to their effectiveness, first, in killing large animals and, then, in killing — or, even worse, enslaving — other humans. There is a reason why stories and histories of war and killing have been more popular than the lives of saints or artists since Homer.
The reason is not, however, given in a history. We will have to recognize that even the best histories we can contrive are mostly wrong or, when right, are right by accident, that they fail to identify the real causal forces that drive events, that they obstruct efforts to really understand our past, and that they serve as harmful tools of the worse angels of our nature. More like heroin than milk, this love is an addiction to history, however, not a mere taste for it.
Even when we come to recognize its harmful effects, we continue to crave the sensation it produces. Historians will of course be outraged by these assertions, and confident about how to refute them. But the celebrated popular historians whose explanations turn out to be mainly wrong will protest just as vigorously. Meanwhile, there are several things we need to consider that should make us skeptical about narrative history as a path to understanding. Read the textbooks, scientific journals, attend the seminars and colloquia where they present their results to one another.
Facts, data, evidence, observations are all important, and though many are about past events, recent or distant, all they do is provide evidence for scientific results, findings, models, or theories.
Abstract Strategic narrative is a useful frame for the history-theory relationship in qualitative, historical research. Fingerprint narrative. Beyond history versus theory: Strategic narrative and sociological explanation. Stryker, RS , ' Beyond history versus theory: Strategic narrative and sociological explanation ' Sociological Methods and Research , vol.
Free download. Book file PDF easily for everyone and every device. This Book have some digital formats such us :paperbook, ebook, kindle, epub, fb2 and another formats. Hayden White, The Question of Narrative in Contemporary Historical Theory - PhilPapers This means that the mechanistic mode aims to search for the casual laws that determine the outcomes of processes discovered in the historical field.
My shirt has a tongue. Bourne , H. Fox , Matabeleland and the Chartered Company , [ ]. Bowles , G. The Boy Makes the Man; or, Stories of the boyhood and manhood of famous men , Bradley , A. Brereton , F. Brown , William H. Buchan , John , Greenmantle first edition , Buckland , A. Burnham , Frederick R. Butler , Harold E. Butler , William F. Carnegie , D. Chambers , Stracey , The Rhodesians. Sketches of English South-African Life , Churchill , Winston S.
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Studies in Metahistory (Pocket Guide)
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