De la fable au fait divers

Title: De la fable au fait divers
Authors: Vandendorpe, Christian
Date: 1991
Abstract: Abstract A typical structure of the fable consists in presenting two characters in antithetical situations at the opening of the narrative and in reversing the situation at the end -- a mode of composition that we call a double reversal. With its intercrossed oppositions, this structure presents a great coherence, much like the canonical formula of the myth proposed by C. Lévi-Strauss, or the semiotic square with which it coincides in its basic components. This disposition of the narrative in the fable seems to have as function the "blocking" of the meaning of the fable in order to make it perfectly clear for the reader. The same structure of paired oppositions and paradoxical reversal is often found in those news items known as "faits divers" in French, and with the growing category of urban legends. These narratives owe much of their interest to this very structure, while implicitly transmitting a moral for mass consumption.
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