Call for Articles - DIEGESIS 4.1, summer 2015 (publié le 20 février 2014)
Topic: Narration and Lies
Deadline for the submission of abstracts: 31 March 2014
Deadline for the submission of articles: 31 December 2014
Not every lie is a story, nor is every story a lie. Yet, an investigation of the relationship between narration and lies promises to open up perspectives on various phenomena: There is a long tradition of fabricated stories, from Lucian’s True History to Münchhausen’s unbelievable narratives, to contemporary tall tales. Not identical with, but related to the tall-tale genre is the phenomenon of narrative unreliability. The relationship between narration and lies is also pertinent to certain forms of fictionality, such as paratextual or performative instances of forgery, fictional witness reports or autofiction.
Literary explorations of the relationship between narration and lies have prompted a remarkable amount of poetological or metapoetological texts. Plato does not specifically discuss narrative, but, as is well known, he objects to poetry on the grounds that it cannot represent things as they really are, but is always removed from the truth. Many truths (and, by the same means, lies) rely on narrative, though. This is the case with myths in the sense of Hans Blumenberg, who defines myths as chains of tales meant to tell an alternative truth against the pluralist backdrop of other mythical truths in an attempt to ‘work on myth’ and in order to ‘bring myth to an end’: the pagan myths of Greek and Roman mythology, the pious legends of Christianity, the adventure tales of the Middle Ages and the romantic tales of historical narratives have successively become the objects of literary negotiation and re-processing, resulting in stories about stories, such as Don Quixote, Tristram Shandy or L’Éducation sentimentale.
To the ‘work on myth’, modernism adds the ‘work on fiction’, which attempts to transgress the borders of literary (and thus also of narrative) communication. An anecdote about Franz Kafka can illustrate this: He is said to have told a girl who had lost her doll that this doll had only gone on a long journey. Subsequently, the author supports his lie by sending the girl several letters supposedly written by the doll, until the happy conclusion of the correspondence, in which the doll, recently enamoured and now happily married, apologizes that her new situation will not allow her to continue the correspondence. “The lie had to be turned into truth through the truth of fiction”, concludes Dora Diamant, to whom we owe this anecdote. (Dora Diamant: “Mein Leben mit Franz Kafka”. In: Hans-Gerd Koch [Ed.], “Als Kafka mir entgegenkam …”. Erinnerungen an Franz Kafka. Berlin 1995, p. 174-185).
For the next issue of the e-journal DIEGESIS we invite articles dealing with the relationship between narrating and lying. Issues that may be addressed include – but are not restricted to – narrative aspects of tall tales, lying narration from the perspective of historical narratology, forms and functions of lying with respect to unreliable narration or an analysis of meta-narrative and meta-fictional commentaries, discussing the connection between lying and narrating. Also possible are studies from the perspective of cultural studies, anthropology or other disciplines, whereby, however, the argument should refer to narratological research and focus on the relationship between narrating and lying.
We invite abstracts of approximately half a page (DIN-A4) by March 31st, 2013 at the latest. Please send your abstract, along with a brief CV, to the editorial team of DIEGESIS: email@example.com. The editorial team and the editors will decide on the acceptability of proposals by April 30th, 2014. Contributions have to be submitted by December 31st, 2014.
In addition, we always welcome REVIEWS of new works (i.e. works published in the last three to four years) in the field of narratology; we specifically welcome cross-disciplinary contributions in addition to contributions from those working in the fields of language and literature. Recommendations for reviews can be sent to the aforementioned e-mail address at any time; in your e-mail, you should name the book(s) you would like to review and provide a brief overview of your academic career.