On the Methodology of Ethical Narratology: Liu Heng’s Swindles of the Coal Mine as an Example
Keywords:文藝倫理研究, 倫理—叙事研究, 《連環套》, 劉恒, Literary ethics, ethical narratology, Swindles of the Coal Mine, Liu Heng
LANGUAGE NOTE | Document text in Chinese; abstract also in English.
Any literary work about human life would inevitably outline certain ethical principles in an explicit or implicit manner, and even a novel pursuing “zero-narration” is no exception. Likewise, any narrator with ethical consciousness imparted by these ethical principles would evince explicit or implicit influence in his/her narrative. The intrinsic relationship between ethical principles, ethical awareness, and literary narrative make a practical “legitimate” framework and basis for the study of literary theory, which thereby hints to a new path of scholarship called “ethical-narrative study” or “ethical narratology.” The main difference between “ethical narratology” and “narrative ethics” (a subject in Western scholarship on ethics) is that the former focuses on narratology rather than ethics. In addition, it is not a simple superposition of ethics and narratology, but focuses on the interaction between ethics and narrative. The present essay gives a general introduction to “ethical-narrative study” and takes Liu Heng’s Swindles of the Coal Mine, a new-realistic novel, as an example of an effective application of this theory.
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