By Jo Alyson Parker (auth.)

ISBN-10: 0230607217

ISBN-13: 9780230607217

ISBN-10: 1349539325

ISBN-13: 9781349539321

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Additional resources for Narrative Form and Chaos Theory in Sterne, Proust, Woolf, and Faulkner

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25 With the quasi-authoritative discussion of noses, sausages, and buttonholes, Sterne points playfully to the (mis)interpretations over which he has no control. We can also speak of the reading process as itself being determined. Although Tristram Shandy may be nonlinear in its approach to temporal order, we read it linearly, from first page to last. 26 Yet local violations of the linear determination of the text can take place. ”27 Sterne’s sly directive at the outset of a new chapter that the inattentive reader “turn 46 NARRATIVE FORM AND CHAOS THEORY back” to the previous one “and read the whole chapter over again” (56)—a situation that could entrap us in a loop—and his withholding of the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters in volume nine point to his acknowledgment that even the global determinism of the linear reading process can be subverted by the local randomness of our idiosyncratic readings.

4 A Lorenz or butterfly strange attractor in a computer simulation, the representation evolves infinitely in the multidimensionality of state space. As we watch the trajectory move through state space, the memory of initial conditions is lost as new information replaces it. Because the finite bounds of the strange attractor must encompass exponentially diverging orbits (a potentially infinite process), a stretching and folding operation takes place, analogous to the stretching and folding that occur as we knead bread dough.

In the ninth volume, chapters 18 and 19 follow chapter 25, and CLOCKWORK HEGEMONY 39 their proper place is filled by white pages, falsely representing the climax (the text’s, Toby’s) that cannot occur. In one volume, we may be traipsing around Europe with Tristram the narrator, the narrating instance itself evolving in time; in the next, we may be privy to the emotional modulations of Toby in love. Each of these sequences is itself riddled with interpolations and temporal jumps. With regard to the text’s temporal (dis)ordering, we thus find similarity across scale, that characteristic of dynamical systems whereby structural similarities occur at both global and local levels.

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Narrative Form and Chaos Theory in Sterne, Proust, Woolf, and Faulkner by Jo Alyson Parker (auth.)


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