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Beginnings, unnatural

Definition

An unnatural beginning occurs when a text defers excessively the presentation of its fabula or when the authority of a fabula’s onset is later undermined by another beginning

Examples

Many modernist texts display a frayed, self-problematizing inception that Melba Cuddy-Keane labels a “ragged edge,” which gestures toward but does not narrate numerous relevant events before the beginning of the ostensible story. Examples include Calvino’s If on a winter’s night a traveler, Beckett’s Molloy and Robbe-Grillet’s In the Labyrinth 

Analytical consequences

Debates

J. Hillis Miller, Brian Richardson (“Beginnings”) and others have argued that all posited beginnings are fabrications and therefore to some degree antimimetic.  

References


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