A Poetics of Chapters : Genetic Criticism, Pragmatics of Reading and Intermediality – CHAPITRES
Chapters may be the last element in the poetics of the novel that have almost never been studied, except in Ugo Dionne’s La Voie aux chapitres (Seuil, 2008), which draws up the history of how novels have been divided and structured, up to the end of the 18th century. As a unit, the chapter gives a rhythm to reading, but it doesn’t draw our attention or persist in the reader’s memory. Yet it serves as a breadcrumb trail of sorts for both writer and reader. Picking up where Dionne left off (19th to 21st century), we will study the chapter as a minimal unit of narrative, which can function as a means of producing meaning, both during the construction and the reception of any narrative. Our goal is to build a database gathering information about a wide intermedial corpus of narratives (novels, serials, series, etc.), and use it to write the history of the uses and rhetorics of chapters, from the age of the written word to that of digital media.