The Politics and Poetics of Journalistic Narrative

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  • Edition: 1st
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-03-12
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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The Politics and Poetics of Journalistic Narrative investigates the textuality of all discourse, arguing that the ideologically charged distinction between 'journalism' and 'fiction' is socially constructed rather than natural. Phyllis Frus separates literariness from aesthetic definitions, regarding it as a way of reading a text through its style to discover how it 'makes' reality. Frus examines narratives by Stephen Crane and Ernest Hemingway, showing that conventional understanding of the categories of fiction and non-fiction frequently determines the differences we perceive in texts. When journalists writing about historical events adopt the Hemingway-esque, understated narrative style that is commonly associated with both 'objectivity' and 'literature', it leads to an audience unable to face the historical and social conditions in which it must function. She interprets New Journalistic narratives, such as that of Truman Capote, as ways to counter the reification of modern consciousness to which both objective journalism and aestheticised fiction contribute.

Table of Contents

Preface: True stories
Introduction: What Isn't Literature
Writing after the fact: Crane, journalism and fiction
'News that stays': Hemingway, journalism and objectivity in fiction
News that fits: The construction of journalistic objectivity
Other American New Journalisms: 1960s New Journalism as 'other'
The 'incredibility of reality' and the ideology of form
Freud and our 'Wolfe Man': The Right Stuff and the concept of belatedness
Works cited
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