Perelman's "Parataxis and Narrative"

Perelman, Bob. “Parataxis and Narrative: The New Sentence in Theory and Practice.” Artifice and Indeterminacy: An Anthology of New Poetics, edited by Christopher Beach, University of Alabama Press, 1998, pp. 24-48.

Perelman uses the idea of the "New Sentence" (Ron Silliman's term) to describe how parataxis gives power to the reader to create meaning:

"A new sentence is more or less ordinary itself but gains its effect by being placed next to another sentence to which it has tangential relevance: new sentences are not subordinated to a larger narrative frame nor are they thrown together at random. Parataxis is crucial: the autonomous meaning of a sentence is heightened, questioned, and changed by the degree of separation or connection that the reader perceives with regard to the surrounding sentences" (Perelman 26).

Perelman notes how finding disconnection or continuity depends on perspective: "What from one perspective may look like a sign of radical disconnection may from another be a gesture of continuity" (Perelman 29).

Katie Ancheta