Acts of Narrative: Textual Strategies in Modern German Fiction


205 pages
Contains Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-8020-0982-4
DDC 833'.910923




Marguerite Andersen is a professor of French Studies at the University
of Guelph. She is the author of Courts métrages et instantanés and La


In this fresh and very interesting study, Patrick O’Neill, who teaches
German at Queen’s University, applies the principles of structuralist
and poststructuralist narratology to the works of such modernist and
postmodernist authors as Mann, Kafka, Hesse, Canetti, Grass, Johnson,
Handke, and Bernhard.

O’Neill is concerned not just with literary texts per se, but also
with the role of the reader—who, in his or her time and in his or her
way, transforms the narrative. As an advocate of semiotic formalism, he
is fascinated by the play of textual strategies and by “the systemic
intersection of particular ways of writing and particular ways of
reading.” His analysis of such works as Mann’s Death in Venice,
Kafka’s The Trial, Hesse’s Steppenwolf, and Grass’s The Tin Drum
directs us toward more active ways of reading.

While Acts of Narrative will be read primarily by scholars, it will
also appeal to readers with an interest in modern and postmodern German


O'Neill, Patrick., “Acts of Narrative: Textual Strategies in Modern German Fiction,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 16, 2024,