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Flaubert's Parrot. Julian Barnes. To Pat. When you write the biography of a friend, . you must do it as if you were taking revenge for him. Flaubert, letter to Enest. Best Seller. Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes. Buy. Look Inside. Buy. Flaubert's Parrot Buy the Ebook: People Who Read Flaubert's Parrot Also Read. ‹ ›. Flaubert's Parrot by Julian Barnes. Flaubert's Parrot. Download Flaubert's Parrot. Flaubert's Parrot Julian Barnes ebook. Publisher: Knopf.
Contents Introduction Introduction As an introduction to this paper, we need to establish a starting point to postmodernism and its characteristics. Afterwards the goals of this paper will be summarized and explained in reference to postmodernism and its methods. Moreover, as postmodernism represents rather a broad thematic sphere, this paper is bound to only postmodernist methods in the novel. Those methods can be used to any given postmodernist novel since the characteristics of this period are found in every writing of that specific time. Postmodernism in itself is a paradoxical and confusing phenomenon.
Here we see both his metaphoric skills and his excesses, all marshalled together in an attempt to describe himself.
If we take these three chronologies and compare them, we will come to the conclusion that there are difficulties involved in writing history.
The reader can see that, in all three chronologies, there are gaps and omissions in order to achieve an overall idea of the authors life. However, the overall point here is not that there is no truth in these chronologies, but that there are many truths alongside with many omissions and confusions.
The idea to offer several chronologies makes sense because not all readers will depict them the same way. The readers understanding depends on his point of view, education, social standing etc. Beside this one, the novel contains letters, essays, an exam, a biography, literary and scientific discourse, allusions to other works of art - Madame Bovary, French Lieutenants Woman and Lord of the Flies etc.
In the end, the reader will come across a total of fifteen chapters. All these facts suggest that this is not a novel in a traditional sense. Hybridity is the next concept to be explained.
A hybrid is something that consists of or comes from a mixture of two or more other things. Why un supporting? As the reader goes through the different parts of the novel, he comes to the conclusion that all those parts are supporting each other but, at the same time, they can stand completely alone as isolated essays, comments or critics and still be understandable each on his own. Within the pages of Flaubert's Parrot, Barnes combines first-person narrative, chronology chapter 2 , literary and personal biography, autobiography, detective story, essay, literary criticism, dictionary chapter 12 , examination chapter The second-last concept is fragmentation.
As we have already concluded, the novel is not in a traditional form in the literary aspect. The reader will not find a clear beginning, middle and an end. As noted above, the novel is abundant with several different aspects of writing chronology, letters etc.
The reader is confronted with all these parts, or to put it a more suitable way fragments, and he is the one who makes a whole out of these fragments. Geoffrey is the one who tries to reconstruct history out of these fragments, but this project is set to be a failure from the beginning. He does not know everything and his perspective is limited and subjective which makes it hard for the reader to establish a permanent truth.
The discoveries of Geoffrey are illusive and unreliable and just these characteristics are part of our everyday life. Dissolution of the one. At the end, we have come to the last concept which is left unexplained dissolution of the one. We have already mentioned that Braithwaite compares himself with Flaubert and his work. He tries to define his own existence through the reconstruction of Flauberts biography.
In this way, personal identity is weakened and the individual has no defined role. This is done through the concepts above which, when combined, lure the reader into total chaos. The reader has to be careful when identifying the characters because of the narrational levels, he has to be aware of the intertextuality and fragmentation woven into the story.
The overall story is constructed of these multiple texts and discourses. As already mentioned in the previous segments of this work, Braithwaite constantly puts himself and his life to comparison with Flauberts Madame Bovary. One quotation is worth mentioning here concerning Braithwaites point on Ellens death: My wife: Is this an aberration, or is it normal?
Books say: She did this because. Life says: She did this. Books are where things are explained to you; life is where things arent. Im not surprised some people prefer books. Books make sense of life. The only problem is that the lives they make sense of are other peoples lives, never your own. This is important because Braithwaite tries to find out the truth about his life through art and he is obviously aware of the fact that he did not find any more sense or explanation than before Flaubert or the death of Ellen.
Conclusion Speaking in general, postmodernism is very paradoxical. It is never one thing or the other, there are always both at the same time. The contradiction would be the very second name of postmodernism.
We have seen that this is no ordinary story, no ordinary story plot and, above all, no ordinary characters to be dealt with. Readers are not accustomed to postmodernist writings and their methods. Such books demand a specific approach and knowledge about all these methods. In this book, the reader has to make a distinction between real and fictional characters and texts. Yet, at some points it is impossible to distinguish authentic texts from the fictional ones and the point here is to confuse the reader in his attempt to do so.
The reader's passion for truth is not satisfied. The image of the parrot is significant in this context, it is a symbol of mimicry the parrot is the emblem of the writer's voice but neither Braithwaite nor the reader can say for sure that they would know which parrot is the authentic one.
The parrot is the symbol of illusiveness of the truth. Barnes ironises these humanist notions of the narrator, suggesting how pointless it is to keep trying to find out anything about the parrot, or the life of the author, suggesting the absence of reliable answers as the only reality. He suggests this at the very end of the novel. This confusion and masking of the truth is specific for postmodernist writing.
The novel ends in Rouanne in France, just where it started, with Braithwaite being unable to identify the right parrot, finding that there could even be the third parrot, indicating that his pursuit was impossible and even unnecessary.
James F. Research Paper; Topic: Postmodernist Methods in Flaubert's Parrot. Flag for inappropriate content. Related titles. Magical, Intertextual, Feminist: Angela Carter's Nights at the Circus as a post-modern novel.
Jump to Page. Search inside document. Death of the grand narratives Metafiction Intertextuality Hybridity Fragmentarism Dissolution of the one Each of these concepts will be mentioned during the course of the paper. Sue King-Smith. Piotr Aleksander Nowakowski. Adriana Petrus. Ayman Al Hasaar. Salih Mustafic. Thais Izidoro Lima. Anonymous YYJ5xfp. Anthony Read. Cristina Rebegea. Bata Jona. Ratan Roy. Anya Tiepelt. Claudio Balboa. Intertextuality in the Postmodern English Literature.
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