Crime and Punishment doesn't fit that rule (except perhaps as a moral journey). Notes From Underground doesn't fit it, and so on. The Double, on the other hand, which was the second thing he wrote and one of the best comic novels ever, is a classic #2. I highly recommend The Double!
Edit: I suppose you could say the Odyssey is a prototype of #1 and the Iliad of #2. It's an amusing principle. But I'd bet money (well, five bucks) that it isn't Dostoevsky's. Dostoevsky is more the kind of writer who, if you gave him a list of all possible types of stories, would immediately set out to write one that didn't fit the list. Just to spite list-makers.
This is far from proof, but the first result in the only search I did (total time-9 seconds) yielded this
It's roughly the opposite of proof.
Either the character goes somewhere, physically or emotionally / whateverly, and changes, or they're already a "complete" character and you just discover them through the story.
I could easily make another split: main character lives at the end, or doesn't. And no fake line-crossers like "dies, but story ends in heaven/hell/limbo tournament", they either exist or they don't at the end.
I always viewed Hamlet as a staircase-like figure going quite definitely down. The king's not merely dead, he's a tormented ghost. Hamlet must kill his uncle, but he's stymied the first time he tries. Hamlet outmaneuvers Claudius, but in the process kills Polonious, drives Ophelia mad and to suicide, which turns her brother into a deadly enemy...and then damn near everyone dies at the end.
I'm trying to wrap my mind around the idea that any of this is ambivalent. :)
What's the difference between a crocodile and a camel? One ends with "rocodile" and other with "amel"...
If I had to evaluate stories, my vertical axis would have 4 parts. From top to bottom:
* Unpredictable and irrational
* Surprisingly Unpredictable
* Tolerantly Predictable
* Predictable and stale
The closer the story is to "Surprisingly unpredictable" the better it is.
Cinderella, Kafka, Hamlet - all reach that point.
(But to be fair - Cinderella reaches that point only because its amongst the first few stories you ever hear.)
Titanic reached that stage for many teenage girls by killing the hero.
The best book I've read - Foundation Trilogy by Isaac Asimov reaches that "surprisingly unpredictable" point too.
It's a rather good starting point for analyzing stories. Most of the stories he mentioned (with Kafka being a notable exception) aimed to make the reader identify with the protagonist. Therefore, it's the protagonist's situation that matters the most. Also, bear in mind that he wasn't charting the emotions of the protagonist, but the protagonist's fortune.
I know it's supposed to be a metaphor, but it kind of kills my personal identification with the poor sod.
>Also, bear in mind that he wasn't charting the emotions of the protagonist, but the protagonist's fortune.
Taken from the article:
"Is she even sadder now? No, she’s already a broken-hearted little girl."
"and she becomes off-scale happy" [draws line upward and then infinity symbol]
So I don't think Vonnegut differentiated much between fortunes and emotions of the protagonist. He exchanged the terms for one another freely.
The reason that fortune and emotion are being conflated in the discussion is because whether an event is considered good or ill fortune depends on the perspective of the protagonist.
If the protagonist is happy with the outcome, the line charts North, and vice versa.
Vonnegut always had an immaculate sense of humor!
edit: who downmodded the comments of everyone who enjoyed the article? sheesh, if vonnegut's not your bag, then just abstain
Thats strange, I am almost certain that he had an extended trip to Africa ;)
I guess he's famous (I looked him up) but I found the writing style hard to read.
"Not every story has that very simple, very pretty shape that even a computer can understand"
What very simple shape? He hasn't said a shape, he laid out the graph, but that doesn't change per story.
I had no idea what he was talking about here.
"so start your story up here"
I'm writing a story? Oh, didn't realize that, maybe you should have said something. I backtracked two paragraphs and re-read it, now that I know this.
"Now, I don’t mean to intimidate you, but after being a chemist as an undergraduate at Cornell, after the war I went to the University of Chicago and studied anthropology, and eventually I took a masters degree in that field."
I guess this is informal, but the grammar connecting the two "afters" is strange.
Was this transcribed from someone speaking? It make a bit more sense if it was, because as writing it's kinda bad.
BTW, just because this was hard to read doesn't mean his books are. I probably never read his stuff because I'm not a big fan of satire.
But it does include an important piece of wisdom: people want their lives to have greater ups and downs, just like in the stories, and that's why some make drama for nothing.