Ihina Z. The English Gothic Narrative: Topoi and Their Verbalisation.

Українська версія

Thesis for the degree of Doctor of Science (DSc)

State registration number


Applicant for


  • 10.02.04 - Германські мови


Specialized Academic Board

Д 41.051.02

Odessa I. I. Mechnikov National University


The thesis introduces a new scientific approach to explore the topoi of the gothic narrative in their verbalisation in literature and film. It stems from the predominant philological setpoint of the XXI century that the abstract notion recognised as the event is the main reason for interpreting topoi and the narrative as a unity, thus defining and explicating the latter via the former and contrariwise. The event makes any narrative possible at all while indicating a situational change of states in time, and the topoi rely on the event. The English gothic narrative is defined in the paper as a story about the event of co-being told in English. The event is based on specific circumstances that enable the encounter of two opposing forces – the known and the unknown,the latter heavily relying on the ideas of the supernatural. A worldview model fixed in the English gothic narrative generalises the idea about human inability of self-identification in the perceived world. Impossibility of self-identification gives rise to doubts in trustworthiness and cognoscibility of that world, to a stable belief in one's own defencelessness before the unknown and frightful forces. The known world, or basic reality confronts the powers of the unknown, and the culmination of their opposition within the gothic narrative lies in the event of collision that embodies the existence of both parties (the key gothic entities) and their realms of being. Accordingly, it is the event of co-being, cohabitation, co-presence. The key gothic entities catalyse the event and are, therefore, its cause though the event is also realised in the entities themselves, thus becoming the result of catalysis. They both influence the event's development depending on their inner qualities. The entities and the event, connected by the mystery of each other's otherness, are thus the three topoi important for understanding the English gothic narrative: the event of co-being, the gothic entity, the entity's will to mystery as the revelation of its own source. The fateful event of co-being lies in unfolding the joint gothic entity (the known and the unknown) in time. All gothic narratives are bound by the same topoi constituting a constructional object-integrator – a structural and meaningful foundation of the English gothic narrative. Each of these topoi is a cardinal plot-story element reproduced by way of implementing an argumentation/verification pattern. The pattern presumes an unreliable narrator (the subject of narrative communication) who tells a story about the event of co-being to the gullible narratee (the object). The narrator convinces the latter that the event is real, and that fact makes him violate the Principles of Cooperation and Politeness as well basic argumentation laws. The event is verbalised by means of a trace – a narrative horizontal-vertical structure based on the opposition of verbal markers within narrative statements


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