Embedded narratives in the self-help and guide genre : a comparative study of English and Czech



Year of publication 2018
Type Conference abstract
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The paper is an exploratory contrastive study focusing on the employment of embedded personal narrative within non-narrative genres, specifically its use in popular non-fiction of the self-help and guide-genre in English and Czech. While embedded personal narrative (in the form of micro-story personal examples) has long been a typical feature of self-help books and book guides and an integral part of communication at the interpersonal level in this genre in English, it is alien to the corresponding traditional (pre-1989) Czech discourse. The situation has however largely changed during the nearly three decades since the socio-political turning point in the context of the intensified translation flows from English into Czech, with the local authors now being aware they are communicating to audiences attuned to the implicit norms of the globalized genre. The study explores and compares the parameters of embedded personal narratives such as frequency, scope, focalization etc. (the list is to be expanded on an empirical basis) in self-help books and guides written in English, written in Czech and translated from English into Czech. A diachronic perspective is employed in analysing Czech materials from 1980s till the present day in search of a map to the now hybridized genre in Czech under the strong influence of English. The translations are analysed for signs of translator’s negotiation between the competing norms.
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