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Conrad's MarlowNarrative and Death in 'Youth', Heart of Darkness, Lord Jim and Chance$
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Paul Wake

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780719074905

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: July 2012

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9780719074905.001.0001

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Chance and the truth of literature

Chance and the truth of literature

Chapter:
(p.101) 4 Chance and the truth of literature
Source:
Conrad's Marlow
Author(s):

Paul Wake

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9780719074905.003.0005

This chapter focuses on the last Marlow novel, Chance. Through a consideration of the implications of a narratology that has its basis in the double negation of literary language, it argues that rather than rendering literature meaningless, Blanchot's doubling of death generates the possibility of locating meaning in the narrating act itself. Accordingly, the discussion sees a shift of emphasis away from death as impossibility towards a reading of Chance in terms of truth and gender that engages with a number of critical readings that both challenge and exemplify this emphasis on narrative structure over, and as, the content of story.

Keywords:   literary language, narratology, Blanchot, double death, Chance, Marlow novel

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