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Writing and the Novel by Roland Barthes, pp.

75-81 in Essentials of the Theory of


Fiction, Ed. Michael Hoffman and Patrick D. Murphy. Duke University Press:
Durham and London, 2005.
La novela y la historia tuvieron una relacin muy cercana en el siglo XIX, cuando
vivieron su mayor desarrollo. Su vnculo reside en que en ambas encontramos the
construction of an autarkic world which elaborates its own dimensions and limits, and
organizes within these its own Time, its own Space, its population, its own set of objects
and its myths (76).
El pretrito, que en el francs hablado est obsoleto, es la piedra de toque de la narracin.
Siempre significa la presencia del arte, es parte de un ritual de las letras. Ya no funciona
ms simplemente como un tiempo verbal. Ms bien el papel que juega es reducir la
realidad a un punto de tiempo, a lo abstracto. Su objetivo es mantener la jerarqua en el
reino de los hechos.
Behind the preterite there always lurks a demiurge, a God or a reciter. The world is not
unexplained since it is told like a story; each one of its accidents is but a circumstance,
and the preterite is precisely this operative sign whereby the narrator reduces the
exploded reality to a slim and pure logos, without density, without volume, without
spread, and whose sole function is to unite as rapidly as possible a cause and an end.
(76).
El pretrito significa una creacin, es decir, la proclama y la impone.