Modos ficcionais e historicidade: Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Raymond Carver // [Fictional modes and historicity: Charles Dickens, Franz Kafka, Raymond Carver]

This article proposes a comparative reading of the works by Charles Dickens (1812-1870), Franz Kafka (1883-1924) and Raymond Carver (1938-1988), based on Northrop Frye’s “Theory of Modes”. The different usages of the tragic mode and the comic mode are analyzed as signs of historicity that follow cultural transformations observed between the 19th and the 20th centuries in the Western world. The recurrent modal counterpoints of each writer are seen to create a dynamic of identities and differences in the relation between their narratives, and in the relations among the texts and their contextual circumstances. And, finally, the article indicates a possibility of using these analytical resources in order to understand the dialogue between literature and society in the post-1945 period, when the prevalence of the tragic mode confers a distinctive relevance to the more punctual manifestations of the comic mode.