Gerald Prince: The "Narratee" and John's Gospel
- Is anyone familiar with the work on narrative theory
by the French literary critic Gerald Prince?
Gerald Prince, "Introduction to the Study of the
Narratee", in Jane P. Thomkins, ed., "Reader-Response
Criticism: From Formalism to Post-Structuralism"
(Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, 1980).
The Original appeared in "Poetique" No. 14, (1973),
I haven't read either of these but have read a summary
of Prince's work. He distinguishes four 'readers': 1)
the ideal reader (the perfectly insightful reader), 2)
the virtual reader (the reader in the author's mind),
3) the actual reader (the reader who happens to be
reading the text), and 4) the narratee (the reader
addressed by the narrator).
I find this an interesting and potentially insightful
way of distinguishing among 'readers'. Have Prince's
views on the "narratee" et al. been applied to John's
Gospel? Don't we have a narratee in John's Gospel,
i.e. in the words "written that you might continue to
(All of us hermeneuts, of course, are actual readers
striving to be ideal readers.)
Assistant Professor Horace Jeffery Hodges
Hanshin University (Korean Theological University)
447-791 Kyunggido Osan-City
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