The Para-Story in Constant's Adolphe

The present article takes up B. F. Bart's concept of the para-story (the narrative mode of the might-have-been) and applies it to Constant's Adolphe. The intention is to widen our knowledge of the properties of the para-story by exploring its relationship to first-person narration and to use the same term to bring out aspects of Adolphe's character. The present study dwells on the meaning and causes of unfulfilment in Adolphe particularly insofar as these may be related to the themes of love and ambition. The conclusion sets the above in the perspective of the novel's ending and Ellénore's letter. (GCJ)

Jones, Grahame C
Volume 1982-1983 Fall-Winter; 11(1-2): 23-31.