NEH banner

Funded Projects Query Form
One match

Grant number like: FT-58213-10

Query elapsed time: 0.219 sec

Page size:
 1 items in 1 pages
Page size:
 1 items in 1 pages
Carla Namwali Serpell
University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA 94704-5940)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
5/1/2010 – 9/30/2010

Seven Modes of Uncertainty

My project revisits William Empson's Seven Types of Ambiguity in order to explore how uncertainty emerges out of three narrative structures: multiplicity, repetition, and mutual exclusion. Uncertain narratives, I argue, are structurally suggestive--they afford ways of reading that I call experiential modes. I transform Empson's work by infusing it with time. First, my analysis moves through uncertainty to examine how its effects accrete and change over the course of reading. Second, I apply other models of reading to my examples--rereading, intertextual reading, and metareading--to see how uncertainty is refracted through the different rhythms of these "layered" reading practices. Finally, I accord attention both to contemporary novels' belated use of modernist techniques of uncertainty and to current technologies that interrogate the physical form of the book.