In a special issue of the journal Communications proved highly influential, becoming considered a program for research into the field and even a manifesto. Jonathan Culler describes narratology as comprising many strands. The Russian Formalists first proposed such a distinction, employing the couplet fabula and sujet.
A subsequent succession of alternate pairings has preserved the essential binomial impulse, e. The Structuralist assumption that one can investigate fabula and sujet separately gave birth to two quite different traditions: thematic Propp, Bremond, Greimas, Dundes, et al. Many authors Sternberg, ,  Ricoeur , , and Baroni ,  have insisted that thematic and modal narratology should not be looked at separately, especially when dealing with the function and interest of narrative sequence and plot.
James Phelan , editor of Narrative the journal of the International Society for the Study of Narrative , has written numerous books and articles on narrative theory see reference list. Designating work as narratological is to some extent dependent more on the academic discipline in which it takes place than any theoretical position advanced.
The approach is applicable to any narrative, and in its classic studies, vis-a-vis Propp, non-literary narratives were commonly taken up. Still the term "narratology" is most typically applied to literary theory and literary criticism , as well as film theory and to a lesser extent film criticism.
Atypical applications of narratological methodologies would include sociolinguistic studies of oral storytelling William Labov and in conversation analysis or discourse analysis that deal with narratives arising in the course of spontaneous verbal interaction. It also includes the study of videogames, graphic novels , the infinite canvas , and narrative sculptures linked to topology and graph theory.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the "ludology vs. London: Routledge, Alternate history Backstory Dystopia Fictional location city country universe Utopia. Irony Leitmotif Metaphor Moral Motif. Linear narrative Nonlinear narrative films television series Types of fiction with multiple endings.
First-person Multiple narrators Stream of consciousness Stream of unconsciousness Unreliable Diegesis.
Past Present Future. In e the identification of the agents was closest: the narrator and the focalizor were both the character Ottilie. In g, finally, narrator and focali zor coincided; however, unlike e, not in the identity of one of the. The 'you' cannot be subsumed by the reader's position, nor can it be construed as the addressee of apostrophe, as in lyrical poetry. The 'you' is simply an ' I' in disguise, a 'firstperson' narrator talking to himself; the novel is a 'first-person' narrative wi th a fo rmal twist to it that does not engage the en ti re narra tive situation, as one would expect it should.
Although the normalizing effect of narrative reading at the expense of second-personhood cannot be sensed in a short quotation, I submit that the following passage, for all its brevity, already fails to sustain the second-personhood which is its overt narrative mode: If you were afraid of missing the train to whose movement and sound you are now already acustomed aga in, it is not because you woke up. This passage has all the appearance of a so-called interior monologue, that equally artificial mode of narration 'in the first person' - with a character-bound narrator - that seeks to eliminate reference to the firstperson voice in favour of a silent 'pure' first-person focalizor.
There is a precise reason for this easing-back into the traditional narrative from which the author sought to estrange his readers. This relapse is a consequ ence of the 'essence' of Butor's failure to take seriously wha t the second person is: to be, to act out, the essence of language. This has to d o with dei xis: words that only have meaning in the con text in which they are uttered, such as T and 'you: 'yesterday: 'here' or 'there. The pronouns T and 'you: as opposed to 'she: 'he: 'they: and the like, are totally empty in themselves.
It is only as potential T that the 'you' him- or herself has the subjectivity to act, hence, to confirm the subjectivity of the previous 'I. Not only is the 'you' a clea rly distinct, even semantically dense individual doing certai n things, but the other people in his life, hence, in the rabula, are conSistently described in the third person. The 'you' is cut off rro m the others, or cuts them off, so that, rather than mutually confirmIIlg one another'S subjectivity, the fi gure of this 'you' lapses into an nutistic monologism.
The pronoun 'you' becomes a reminder of the. As II conseque nce, the 'you' ca n never be iden tified w ith the reader, nor is I h. Illhl lysing the alternation between narration and non-narrative comIIII'nts. Often, it is in such comments that ideological statements are IIllu le. This is not to say that the res t of the narrative is 'innocent' of idelilllgy, on the contrary. The reason for exa mining these alternations is. I''' 'risely to measure the difference between the text's overt ideology, as Ild l'd in such comments, and its more hidden or na turalized id eology, I 1'll1bodied in the narrative representations.
I h ' following excerpt from a rand omly chosen old-fashioned Dutch , hlt.! Roggeveen, presents a fairly. It shows that the commentary of the external narrator may 1. W,dc-eyed, he looks about him. I hl'n he understands everything! Mr Alexander is a poet. In his life, he has already written many rhymes. He has written a poem about Danny, one about currant bread; one about the singing of the nightingale in the. Why did Miss Ann get so many poems?
Well, that is not difficult to guess! Because Mr Alexander loves Miss Ann so much! And, for tunately, Miss Ann loves Mr Alexander just as much! What do two people who love each other do? Well, that also is not difficult to guess! They get married! Of course' They did in the past, they do so now, and they always will! Mr Alexander and Miss Ann act just like all other people. And today is their wedding day' The mayor is waiting for the pair in the town hall. Intuitively, I sum'm arize the fabula of this page as follows: Danny watches the arrival of a bridal pair.
Focusing on the actors and their actions, I would summarize what Danny sees as: the bridal pair arrives,. What do we say about those aspects of the text that disappear if we summarize in this manner? The answer to these questions will supply us with a criterion by which to distinguish between narrative and non-narrative parts of the text. In lines 11 through 21 no events are presented. In addition, we are also not exclusively confronted with objects from the fabula.
Summarizing lines 11 through '5, it is fair to say that they convey the idea that Mr Alexander and Miss Ann love each other. The two actors are descnbed in their relationship to each other, or rather, the collective actant see p. The opinion given here relates to the. Apparently, a balance of this kind is evaluated favourably. Argumentative textual. From this definition, it appears that the term 'argumentative' should be taken in the widest sense. Not only opinions but also declarations with regard to the factual state of the world fall under this definition: for instance, sen tences like 'water always boils at degrees: or 'Po land lies behind the Iron Curtain.
High in the mountains, or using anot her method of sca ling the thermometer, water would boil at a different 'temperature' i. That the second example does not denote a fact but an opinion is evident when we change the sentences into 'Poland lies in Eastern Europe: or 'Bon n lies behind the Iron Curtain: and whereas the sentence cou ld still appear factual when I first wro te this book, it has now become a 'dated' sentence that is no longer true even if one still hold s on to the opinion it expresses.
Because the division between opinions and facts is so difficult to draw, it makes sense to consider 'argumentative' any statem ent that refers to some-. The word 'fortunately' formed part of a sentence that is, for the rest, descriptive. AnalYSing the story line by line, I term lines descriptive.
Lines ]9, however, do not contain any reference to elements of the fabul a.
ISBN 13: 9781442650329
Here we only see the representation of opinions about behaviour: people who love each other marry; this is what is usually done, and is as it should be. This opinion is represented in a certain form. This form, the game of question and answer in a mock dialogue, had already started in line The form conceivably has a convincing effect: the opinion is not presented as a personal one, but as something self-evident. This catechism is extended to conv ince the reader that.
The exclamation marks and add itions like 'of course' pursue the same goal. This kind of ideological drill may not be so common any longer in contemporary children's fiction,. In the next line, the actors are linked to the public opinion through mention of their conform ism. They are merely described in that sentence. Only in the last sentence is a presen tation of an event narrated.
Get this edition
He is confronted with another actor, the bridal pair. This confron tation has a temporal aspect that w ill be. Though the act of the mayor is durative, not circumscribed in time, it appears from the lines following those of our quoted passage that waiting must, nevertheless, be seen as an event. The mayor gets angry because he has to wait, and takes action. It would be na"ive to suppose that only argumentative parts of the text communicate ideology.
This may happen equally well in descriptive and narrative parts of the text; but the manner in w hich it happens is different. In additio n, the example shows that the discursive form - the catechistic style here - itself has ideologica l implications. What matters most is not the ideology of marriage, but the presentation of it in a form of 'teaching,' itself of a particu lar kind: drill.
The argumentative parts of the text often give ex plicit informa tion about the ideology of a text. It is, however, quite possible that such expliCit statements are treated ironically in other parts of the text, or are contrad icted by descriptive or na rrative parts of the text to such an extent that the reader must distance h erself from them.
If we want to evaluate the ideological tenor of a text, an analysis of the relationship between these three textual forms within the totality of the entire text is a crucial element. The first was about the way scientific inventio ns and ideas are presented to the larger public. The stud y focused on the word 'secret' as in 'the secret of life: The second study was about the language in which biology continues to build on evolutionary theory.
A central concept in that work was the term 'competition,' traditionally related to 'struggle for life' and 'survival of the fittest. One doesn't need to be a biologist to see that this privileging of one term over another has potential consequences for the further development of the theory itself.
In the first stud y, the issu e was the use of metaphors which one can still maintain to be 'innocent,' 'just la nguage' : rhetorical. It concerned the discourse the developers o f DNA used to present the importance of their research to the public. That discourse was fi lled with words carrying a long tradition. Thus the initial molecule was called mother-molecule, and nature was constantly referred to as a woman; the unknown that it was the project to understand was 'the secret of life,' w hich had to be found , if necessary by means of violence.
By virtue of their ability to bear child ren, it is women who have been perceived as holding the 4 secret of life. I want to focus on the metaphor in that word 'secret,' w hich sounds so common and ordinary. Whereas the word 'secret' in combination with 'life' or 'nature' has indeed become quite usual, the word is here a substitute for something else, not a sing le term but, I will argue, a narrative. What is unknown, as the negating prefix suggests, can be known.
What is secret can also be "flown. But here, the subject is not quite the researcher. The word 'sl'cret' implies an action, hence, a subject of withholding. This fits into the network of gendl'red language in which nature and life are made feminine. And it IInplicitly tells a story in which secrecy is an act. The series of events involved in that process can be considered a 1"",, lo. The word tells the narrative in ' ve rsion of - from the perspective of - the subject of 'unknowing' fecIs excluded by the lack of knowledge and experiences it as an II " by an 'insider,' the subject of knowing a nd withhold ing.
That IIIlI. This interpre tation of metaphor as rnllll Il lrrative yields inSig ht, not in to w ha t the s peaker 'means,' but into , hilt n cultural com munity considers acceptable interpretations; so I I I "I' l. It requires analysis - cultura l analysis - to follow up on Ilt l' qlh. Description is a privileged site of focalization, and as su ch it has grea t impact on the ideological and aesthetic effect of the text. In this section description will be analysed as a textual form; in chapter 2 the concept of focali zation will be added.
Delimitation Lines 11 - 15 of the page from Danny Goes Shopping have been characterized as descriptive. Although d escriptive passages would appear to be of marginal imp ortance in narrative texts, they are, in fact, both practically and logically necessary. Narratology, therefore, must take these segments of the text into account. In the RepublIc, Plato tried to rewrite fragments of Homer so that they would be 'truly' narrative.
The first elements to be dis,",,,ded were the descriptions. Even Homer himself attempted to avoid, " ra t least to d,sguise, descriptions by making them narrative. In the nineteenth-century realistic novel, d CscTlftIons were at least narrative ly motivated if they were not made 1l,lrra tIve. M olivatiol1. Wo rking from the premise that descriptions interrupt the line of the fabIdol , the ways in whi ch descriptions are inserted characterize the rhetori,t!
In realistic narrative, insertion nec; ssitates. This so" dl l'd obJectlvlty IS, fact, a form of subjectivity in disguise. This is I tllI'a. This excerpt presents no problems of classification. It is clearly a description. Mostly, things are less straightforward. Just try to define exactly what a description is. Is the following fragment, which not only describes objects and people but also accounts for the passage of a cer-.
Tf 'truth,' or even prObability, is no longer a sufficient criterion II I rn. Motivation is brought about by speaking, I. Motivation is, then, a function of focalization. I hllrtlcte r sees an object. The description is the reproduction of what I hl 'l h, lracter sees. Looking at something requires tim e, and, in this fashbill , Ih' description is incorporated into the time lapse.
Hence, there is a. I"do w, ; n open d oor, an ang le of vision w hich a lso have to be I. I t IIw d c1nd th erefore motivated. Hence the. Now the boat was out at sea, but gliding smoothly on. And now there was a shore. I will, therefore, define a description as a textual fr,lg mcnl in whi ch features are attributed to objects. This aspect of attri1mli PI1 is Il w d l'1"cr ipti vc fun ction.
We cons ider a fragment as descriptive. Thus, example a is predominantly w llth' h 1"'. Given the fundamental arbitrariness of the elements of the fictional world, there is, equally fundamentally, no end to the need for motivation. The less conspicuous this lTIotivation is, the more easily it can be terminated. In the following fragment, for example, the motivation is easily integrated into the description itself italics mine : When they had washed they lay a nd wailed again.
There were fifteen beds in the tall, narrow room. The wa lls were painted grey.
The windows were long but high up, so that you could see only the topmost branches of the trees in the grounds outside. Through tlte glass the sky had no colour. Jean Rhys, 'Outside the Machine: Tigers Are Beller-looking The sentence immediately preceding the description 'they lay and waited again' gives sufficient motivation for the act of looking. Hospital patients, particularly after their morning wash, have an ocean of time ahead of them. This is a subjective motivation. Not only is the act of looking itself motivated, but also the contents of wha t the women see.
And this is indicated by 'so that you could see: by the boundaries of the area visible. This exterior motivation is doubled up. The window motivates the fa ct that the women are able to see anything at all of what is happening outside the hospital. But also, the rcstricted quality of the field of vision is emphasized: 'Through the glass the sky had no colou r. When a character not only looks but also describes what it sees, a certain shift in motivation occurs, although in principle all of the abovementioned motiva tional demands remain valid.
The act of speaking necessitates a listener. The character-bound speaker must possess knowledge which the character-bound listener does not have but would like to have. The listener can, for example, be blind, or young, or amaI 'uri-;h. The description is thcn made ful ly narrative. An exa mplc nl thi N t't till ' , Motivation occurs at the level of text when the character itself ,ic'Scribes an object, as a eN; at the level of story when the glance or v,s,on of the character supplies the motivation; and at the level of fabula when the actor carries out an action wi th an object.
One clear illustration or this last-mentioned form, and one which also demonstrates that a distinction between descriptive and narrative is no longer pOSSible within Ihis form, is the following 'description' of a dead man: Then they went into Jose Arcadio Buendia's room, shook him with all their might, screamed in his ear, and held a little mirror in front of his nose, but they weren't able to wake him. He is forced to give this dl "l 'ription beca use Nelly Dea n has made him responsible for his esca1""I"s with Cathy and for the fact that he has returned alone.
In narrative visua l images and in film, motivation also plays a 1,, Attempts to make paintings fit the expectations of what the obI'" I s hould look like indicate a concern for descriptive plaUSibility. This recession is an indis1"'"'I" ble tool in the construction of a perspectival space which positions " v,,"wcr as the master overseeing the world in which the fabula of the 1'1 '11 IIlhn l takes place.
In this way the work is the pictorial eqUivalent of a II. In order to inte",,10' Ihis blatant effort, which appoints the viewer as the ideal realistic " ,,, I. III hlerJturc as well as in visua l art, such conventions of motivation h", ' h"l'l1 criticized and cha llenged. In film, a. This is not only the case in a postmodern challenge to realism. In modernist litera ture, the emphasis on the subject's access to the world tend s to blow up motiva tion to the point of completely subordina ting the described element for which it was invoked.
And in early cinema, the recent in vention of the med ium was still such a marvel in itself that the registration of the visible world was more im portant that the often tenuous fabula that was set in it. For example, the earliest specimens of the western were not at all primarily stories of suspenseful adventures, but resembled rather a kind of tra velogue, with the camera mounted on the back of a train to regis ter the landscape, as a form of visual tourism.
The fabula was a rather meagre pretext to take the viewer on a trip. Even in the more or less realistic cinema that is currently predominant, many strategies have been developed which counter the unsuitable realistic effects the medium tends to entail. Schil1dler's List is a case in point. Film is an expository medium: its narrative mode is 'showing: Its power to affect is based on showing. Films on the Holocaust have not been very successful in avoiding the pitfalls of representa tion.
They eit. It cannot, ever, be adequately - realisticallyrepresented, and Spielberg didn't try. The reason for the severe criticism of his film is, I think, that cri tics assumed he did. Ins tead, however, he 'touched' it, established a relationship with it based on continuity. He explores ways to do so through a med ium that ca n hardly avoid the pornographiC effects of showing torture, shame, and sadism.
To at least complica te that effect, the film's narrator deploys a cinematic discourse that counters the effects of realism. Ind Ilwn'by i1void a pleasa nt visual experience. The use of. The combination of emphatic symbolization and constructedness contributes to the narrator's rhetoric, which aims at representing not 'it' the horror of the Holocaust but the index that touches it : Danka's hand. One a nti-rea list s trategy is the 'poetic of doublets'; rhyming, repetition, symmetrical reversals.
It allows real historica l and biblical allu, ions to develop together, intertwined. This strategy undermines the tendency of the anecdotal to take over and impose realism as sentimentalism, the tendency of individual stories to overrule the historical tragedy. Yet it manages to ind ividualize the Jews. Carefully the same ,'haracters are made to appear in the mini-stories of daily life, so that they are real persons, but their stories are framed by history. The -trategy of doublets demonstrates the parallel development of good and ,'vii Schmd ler versus Gaeth within the evil party, as two possibilities.
Motivation is making the relationship between elements explicit. And, for this reason, motivation is, IlI lhe final analysis, arbitrary. Taken together, the sub-themes constitilt" the nomenclature. They mayor ma y not be accompanied by predi. These predicates are qualifying '11 they indicate a characteristic of the object 'pretty' ; they are funcIhlllil l when they indicate a function, action, or pOSSible use 'habitable. Metaphors and comparisons ca n occur on any level. A metaphor can replace the theme or accompany it. The same holds for the sub-themes.
The inclusive relation from theme to sub-theme is synecdochical; the relation between the sub-themes is contiguous. Both relations can be termed metonymica l. Between theme or sub-theme compared and the predicates that replace them in metaphor, or specify them in comparison, the relation is termed metap horical. On the basis of these two possible rhetorical relations, we can roughly differentiate six types of description.
The selection of components is based upon the contiguity of the elements of the contents. This means that the presence of some elements implies the absence of others. The missing detail can be fill ed in by the reader. Genera l characteristics imply specific characteristics, unless the latter represent the former. The objective is to convey knowledge. The encyclopaedia is a model of this type of description. The units are now combined on the basis of both the contiguity of the components and their thematic function.
The latter is eva luative. The objective is both to convey knowledge and to persuade. Persuasion occurs via the wording a pleasing rhythm, a s tyle that reflects the value of the object to be described, for example an 'expensive' style to describe the Champs-Elysees , and via the contents; persuasion also occurs via the choice of traditionally valued subthemes, and by the add ition of evaluative pred ica tes. Even when a number of metaphors are included in such a description, the construction of the text continues to follow the principle of contiguity.
Various compn.. I Ufl'. Such a relation exists only among th e of th l' corn pilrcd elem ents. Supcrficinll y, this type. That such is not the case indicates that the reader is engaged in a fillingIII. The elements of the comparison ""d those of the compa red objects are systematically related to one ""other. Each series is built upon the principle of contig uity.
The series iI, lnnce each other. The elements are contiguously " 'I"led to each other. They form a coherent description which, taken as a " h"le, is the comparison of an object w hich is compared to it. An explicit comparing element results in a Ho meric cam11,1t ,. The metaphor is repeated ly IIljllsled,' crea ting the impression that the compared element is elu sive Moreover, the grammatical peculiarity that this 'sentence' lacks a verb enforces its emotiona l effect.
Who is expressing this emotion? In other words, who says: 'mama Ottilie hissed'? The verb 'hiss' is in this sense a declarative verb, comparable to 'say. Another speaker enters the scene. In d the EN temporaril y yields the floor to Ottilie. The character Ottilie thus becomes a speaker at the second level, which [indicate as CN2.
Note, however, that the use of CN2 is not entirely convincing. Though Ottilie, at least tempora rily, speaks, she d oes not narrate: what she says is not a story. Nevertheless, [ shall use this indica tion becau se it makes clear that the character is a speaker.. What that narrator says is another matter, to which I shall return in the subsection ' Relations between Primary and Embedded Texts: la te r in this chapter. CN2, then, refers to a character that is 'quoted' by the narrator of the first level, whether that speaker is an ENl or a CN1.
CN2 is a speaker of the second level. But what about that phrase in the fragments e, f, and g? It is on purpose that I have broken off the quota tion in such a manner tha t we ca nnot see w ho speaks. The declarative verb is missing. In e there are two possibilities: e. I could not bear it any longer. The speaker of the first level yield s to the speaker of the second level. Just as in d, the emoti ve sentence is an embedded sentence, a sentence w ithin a sentence, which can be represented by the use of brackets: CN1 ICN The character in both cases is ca lled Ottilie. But narratologically speaking, it is not the same Ottilie.
CN1 only rela tes after the fact in the narrative 'now: albeit in the past tense what CN2 sa id earlier 'then: the past of the narrative 'now'. As a linguis tic act, the e motive phrase forms par t of the t xl. Tho ugh the I' ll1otion which is comm unicated does form part of the text, th e expres"tin of it does not.
In a su mmary of the fa bula we would rea d: 'Ottilie IV.! Fragment f contains the sa me possibilities: r. Ottilie hissed between her teeth. I understood how Ottilie could not bear it any longer. Thus we have an ord inary! Through the addition the narrative text of so clearly an emotive sentence of the first level, voice becomes mu ch more percep tible than it already was.
If this agent has heard the voice, Itt! That is why f tlld the va riant f. I1 have the same stru cture as g. The narrative 'I' has I. The reader w ill not be surl! Thi s is one of the cases in which a superficial , genera l 1. Ilh 'l'e is no reason to dwell on g.
II Il' between perceptible and non-pe rceptible focalized objects. The d,,, ti nction must be m ade for th e object of the narrative act. In th e ill. It docs, iUII '. Thus f might also have the following variant:. Even If the narrator does not explicitly refer to itself, still, the I narrates about Itself. ThIS means that an actor with the same identity ,"j ,the narrator forms part of the fabula. Signs of emotive functioning "'" therefore, also sIgns of self-reference.
There are more signs of this I IIId. What the CN2 ha s narrated is not perceptible, because other ac tors who ma y happen to be present cannot hear the text. When an utterance which is narrated at the second level is not perceptible, this is also an indication of fictionality, an ind ication that the narrated story is invented.
This variant, then, only contradicts the pretence ' I sta te autobiographically' or 'I testify' when a CNI 'I' quotes a CN2 another ac tor , while the verb is not declarative, but a synonym of 'to think: This distinction is of importance in order to gain insight into the balance of power between the characters. When a character does not hear what another character thinks, and readers do r eceive information concerning.
They ma y, for instance, expect that the character will take feelings, only formulated in thought, into acco unt, in this case that Steyn will speak less loudly beca use his voice upsets Ottilie. But Steyn cannot know that it does, in this case, because he is outsid e the room; in another case, perhaps, beca use the irritation would not be expressed in words. This inequality has been put to strategic use, for example, in the French novel The Cat by Colette. There, a yo ung cou ple's first months of marriage are presen ted as an inexorable decline of the relationship.
Systematically, the thoug hts of the man, who judges his wife mercilessly, are 'quoted: often without the attributive verb that would make clear that the thoughts are not uttered out loud. The woman, in contrast, is only quoted when spea king, mostly to her husband. As a result, the criticisms the man hold s against his wife are told to the reader over her head, so to speak.
She d oes not have a clue that he is so dissatisfied ; nor does she get access to his negative responses to what she says to him. This distinction into two language situations, a personal and an " "I" 'I'sonal o ne, may help us understa nd this and comparable pheIIH rn cna. Its language is persona l in that it It It'" to the position of the na rrator itself.
In doing so, it places itself.. The Impersonal la nguage situation which we found in example 1 " I'j ,"vaded. The personal language situation intrud es, but not, as I" 1 " on the second level. When an actor in a story begins to speak, II. In the basic narrative situation, speech is only I. I':1l: on? II we Il' crcnces can be taken as signals, as signs indicating: 'this is a n ,d. Wh y do s the way in w hich example f. I did this because, w ith this emotive function,.
When the signals of the personal language situation refer to the language situation of the narrator, we are dealing with a perceptible narrator Nl p.
Narratology : introduction to the theory of narrative / Mieke Bal. - Version details - Trove
When the signals refer to the language situation of the actors, and a clear change o f level has been indicated by means of a. The words themselves are represented with IIl,lximum accuracy in i, with less accuracy in j, and still less in k. It is I",possible and irrelevan t to reconstruct the 'original' direct speech indirect d iscourse. Comparing the examples, however, it is as if i " 'presents the allegedly spoken words more 'accurately' than j, and j liI,I1' k.
We do not need h to come to this conclusion. Tn i we read 'she " lig ht be able to: where the modal indication of uncertainty 'might' has 1""'11 combined with a subject-oriented positive verb, 'be able to find. This situation can be called dramatic: just as on the stage, actors communicate through speech in a personal language situation.
When, ho wever, the signals refer to a personal language situation in which the actors participate without previously stepping down from their narrative level, then we have text interference. This was the case in f. The Nl p stepped across, so to speak, to the second level. But that was just one possibility. The inverse occurs more often.
Then the words of the actors are represented at the first level, so that the narra tor adopts the actor's discourse. The most common form of this is indirect discourse. Here the narra tor. Compare the fo llowing examples: h Elizabeth said: 'I think I shall be able to find time to go out with you tomorrow night. The personal pronoun T has been changed into 'she'; the verb I. On the basis of this analysis, it sense to look out for three characteris tics which distinguish fo rms:. I hI' l1 F1 rrator's text explicitly indicates that the words of an actor are 'I,I " ,llcd by means of a declarative verb and a conjunction, or a substi 1,' or it.
I hi ' wo rds of the actor appear to have been rendered w ith maximum I" "1 il4io n and elaboration. This last dis tinction is the one that gives us most. Then we have a form of interference between narrator's text and actor's text. Thus we have:. I Elizabeth might be able to go out with him tomorrow. Precisely because the second characteristic of indirect discourse is lacking - the explicit sign that there is indirect discourse - it is not always clear whether we have to do with indirect discourse or ordinary, 'pure' narrator's text.
After all, the third characteristic is relative. That is why we only distinguish free indirect discourse from the narrator's text when there are positive indicatio ns that there is indeed representation of words of an actor. Such indications are: 1. A strikingly personal style, attributable to an actor. To demonstrate this I shall represent one event - Elizabeth seeks a confrontation with John - in various forms.
III Ihe analysis of these sentences I assume that the verb 'to refuse' fits II ", usage of the actor Elizabeth, and not the narrator, Of course, without " ,'ontext, such an assumption is meaningless. The direct discourse in m should not give any problems. We read the I",'cise text as it was supposed ly uttered by the actor, and the indicaIln l1s of the changes in level are explicit. As far as contents "" concerned, this is also true for n. The difference between n. II ,,'I'lio n than in 0. But even without comparI , we may say that 0.
Still I also sense free indirect discourse in a. II, I'll! The presence of these words also distinguishes 0. L In I" I h,lve used the rather heavy-handed expression 'in the manner dis11 I'II'd ' in order to avoid a deictic element. We ha ve no reason to take p. I as the repre1I1 ,II ,n" o f certain spoken words. Finally, p. The degree to which, in this series, justice 1"11, ' II I th e text of the actor decreases; on the other hand, the degree to.
The interference of narrator's text and actor's text may, therefore, occur in widely varying proportions. At the first level, the actor's text is give n minimal reflection in indirect discourse, sometimes the narrator's text dominates 0. In the narrator's text the words of the actor are not represented as text, but as an act. In that case we no longer speak of text interference. The primary narrative presents the s tory of 'kheherazade, threatened with death by her husba nd, the king.
O nly if Every night she tells a story; in that story new 'liories are embedded, so that we have the construction: Scheherazade 11 'li s A that B tells that c tells, etc. The re lationship betwee n the narrative levels has exceeded the boundary of maximum intensity. When the texts do not interfere, but are clearly separate, there may still be a difference in the degree to which the embedded actor's text and the primary narrator's text are related. In this section, I shall discuss a number of possible relationships between texts. I shall systematically term the narrator's text 'primary: without implying a value judgment; neither priority nor primacy is implied.
It only m eans that the connection is hierarchical in the technical sense. Eventually, the narrative text constitutes a whole, into which, from the narrator's text, other texts are e mbedded. The dependence of the actor's text with regard to the narrator's tex t should be seen as the dependence of a subordinate clause to a main clause. According to this principle, narrator's text and actor's text are not of equal status.
The hierarchica l position of the texts is indicated by the fundamental principle of leve1. The re lations between narra tor's text and actor's text may be different in kind and intensity. Embedded Narrative Texts A first difference resides in the nature of the embedded text. This can be investigated with the same criteria which have been given in the introduction for the relative definition of a corpus. When these criteria for na rralivity have been met, the embedded text may also be considered as ,I 11 ,ur,lli vl' text.
Th,' I 1. Il e rc we find. When the embedded text presents a complete story with an elaborate I. As long as we forget that her life is a t stake, li lt, kin g will too, and that was her purpose. The narrative act of the actortt. The relaUO ll hhip between the primary text and the narrative subject lies in the H,Ld lonship between the primary fabula and the embedded narrative I! I SlImmarizing the primary fabula we might also say: That night I , h. To the king and to Scheherazade narrating means II" , In lwo different senses.
In a much-quoted meta-narI Illv. I" " "s " subject must be 'created' by story-telling. This story-telling I lit' performed by the primary narrator because, preCisely, Beloved I.. Then there are two possibilities. I" 1"',lry story. In the first case the relationship is made explicit by the! Iet of creation. In this sense the narrative aligns the power of narration with the divine creation as recounted in the biblical book of Genesis, which is also primarily a speech act. The novel gives 'evidence' of both possibilities. Moreover, the functioning of the CN2 Harold is also curious.
Views of the past as " 'II Ih en are presented, intermingled with images of the past interI',, 'h'd with the insight of the present. Within this subtext, a double, or.. This, in turn, relates to the I - 1'lIt.. The influence of the explanatory sub-fabula, in all II dnllblcness, is of decisive importance. WIH' n the embedded text is, however, restricted to a minimum, its ""I" ,,1. IIY II" I. Ih" l,s 'resemble one ano ther. The Embedded Fabula Explains the Primary Fabula In that case it d epends on the relatio nship between the two which fabula will be seen as more impo rta nt by the reader.
It may very well be the embedd ed one. Often the prima ry fabula is hardly more than the occasion for a perceptible, character-bound narrator to narra te a story. The primary fa bula may, for instance, be presented as a situation in w hich the necessary change ca nno t be made, because Then the embedded na rrati ve fo llows. A stereotypical exa mple: a boy as ks a g irl to marry him.
She loves him, and would rise on the social sca le by marrying him. Still she can not accept him. The reason is [tha t in the past, she has been seduced by a ruthless villain with the usual consequences. Since that time she ca rries the stain of her contact with a perfidious man w ho took adva ntage of her innocence.
He seduced her in the followin g ma nner.. The girl retires to a nunnery, a nd the boy soon forgets her. This structure is, in fact, extremely widespread. The embedded text may take up the larger part of a book, as sometimes happens in cautionary tales of this type. The primary fabula is minimal here, because the number of even ts is small: proposa l - exposition - rejection. In this exa mple, the embedded story explains the primary fabula. The relationship between the fabulas was merely ex planatory. The situation was unchangeable. The fact that the woman tells her story is of no influ ence on the outcome of the primary fabula.
The Embedded Fabula Explains a nd Determines the Primary Fabula In other cases, however, an explanation of the s tarting situa tion may also lead to change. For instance, if the young man had been ve ry moved by the sad account of his beloved 's past, a nd recognized her innocence, he might have come to the conclusion that he wished to forget the past.
Thus he would 'give her a second chance: The function of the embedded fabula is then no longer m erely explanatory. The exposition influences the primary fa bula. Consequently the structure of narrative levels becomes more tha n a mere s tory-telling d evice; it is part of th e ntlrmtivc's poe tics, and needs to be understood for th e narrati ve to. In that case, the primary text would quote itself. Resemblance, however, can never be absolute Identity, even if, as in the example of Borges below, the enhre thrust of the narrator is to establish such identity.
Therefore, we speak of stronger and weaker resemblance. Even in passport photographs, taken with the express intention to show resemblance to the person portrayed, there ma y be different degrees of likeness. When can we speak of r esemblance between two different fabulas? A simple and relative solution to such a problem is this: we speak 01 resemblance when two labulas can be paraphrased in such a way that the summaries have one or morestnklllg elements in common.
The degree 01 resemblance IS determmed by the number 01 terms the summaries share. An embedded text that presents a story which, according to this criterion, resembles the primary labula ma y be taken as a sign 01 the primary fabula. Pierre Menard is a deceased poet who had verbally transcribed portions of Cervantes' Don Quixote. The narrator states that, although verbally identical to Cervantes' text, the transcription by Menard is 'almost infinitely richer. I will quote a rather long stretch of Borges' text: [Cervantes] wrote part one, chapter nine History, the mother of truth: the idea is as tounding.
Menard , a contemporary of William James, does no t defin e history as a n inquiry into rea lity but as its origin. Historical truth, for him, is not w hat has happened; it is what we judge to have happened. The contrast in style is a lso vivid. The archa ic s tyle of Menard quite foreign, after all - suffers from a certa in affectation. Not so that of his fore runner, w ho handles with ease the current Spanish of his time.
What is the point, for Borges' primary narra to r's rhetoric, of such ",pying'? The issue is time, and history. Of course, w hat this fictional ,loll y proposes is not that we all start to copy historical works in ord er to updAle them. Written in the seventeenth century, written by the 'lay genius' Cervantes, this enumeration is a mere rhetorica l praise of history.
Menard, on the other [hand], w rites In French the term I '11' I'll "byme. In lite rature, however, we have dll. It would be wrong, therefore, to overstress the analogy to graphic representation, since in langua ge mise en abyme occurs in a less 'ideal' form. What is put into the perspective of infinite regress is not the totality of an image, but only a part of the text, or a certain aspect. To avoid needless complications, I suggest we use the term 'mirror-text' for 'mise en abyme:.
IIllYe a more general significance. This more general sense - a human IIt'ing always loses against a bureaucracy, or, even more abstractly, , no. Kafka's Ihlvcls do this. The mirror-text serves as directions for use: the embed. Ii'll story contains a suggestion how the text should be read. Even in II1I s case, the embedded text functions as a sign to the reader. I" Illdicatioll to the Actor. In this way s he ma y fi nd out III. She can take fate into her own 11,1 lids. In the embedded text, which is read out loud, there is mention of.
This wo rd 'fall' a nd the concept ' hou se' have two meanings. Fall lI'krs of course to the reduction of a house to ruins, but also to the end.. I ,I family line. The Usher family will fall with the death of its last.! This is what the eN 'I'-wit Because he has the insight that double meanings shou ld III ' Liken seriously, the actor is able to interpret the embed ded fabula as I 1I11IT0r of wha t is about to happen. That is w hy he ca n save himself. He II. Ihis rnirror-tex t is interesting for ye t o ther reasons. The embedded tex t, hll h is double in nleaning, consis ts of a piece of li terature.
Just as for th e It witness the right interpretation of the doubleness of the meaning " Ih. But, a t the same time, this ti tle seems. The place of the embedded text - the mirror-text - in the primary text d etermines its function for the reader. When the mirror-text occurs near th e beginning, the reader may, on the basis of the mirror-text, pred ict the end of the prima ry fabula. In order to maintain suspense, the resemblance is often veiled.
The embedded text w ill only be interpreted as mirror-text and 'give away' the outcome when the reader is able to capture the partia l resemblance through abstraction. That abstract resemblance, however, is usually only captured after the end, when we know the outcome. Thus su spense is maintained, but the prefiguring effect of the mirrortext is lost. Another pOSSibility is the inverse: the fabula of the embedded text does not veil its resemblance to the primary fabula. The foreshadowing effect is preserved at the expense of suspense.
This does not always imply tha t suspense is entirely lost. Another kind of suspense may arise. From the kind in which both reader and character are equally in the dark, we have stepped up to a second kind: the reader knows, but the cha racter does not, how the fabula w ill end.
The question that the read er raises is not 'How does it end? Until the end, there is a lways the pOSSibility that the embedded fabula resembles the primary one apart from the ending. When a mirror-text has b een added more towards the e nd of the primary text, the problem of suspense presents itself less emphatically. A simple repetition of the pllin. Its function i..
By far the majority of embedded texts are non-narrative. No story is related In them. The content of an. The most predominant form is the dialogue. Dialogues between two. DIalogue is a form in which the ac tors themselves and not the primary narrator, utter language. Such embed ded texts share that characteristic w ith dramatic texts.
In drama tic texts the whole text consis ts of the utterances of ac tors who together, in their interaction, produce mea ning. The dialogues embedded in a narrative tex t a rc dramatic in kind.
The more dialogue a narrative text contains, the more d ramatic that text is. Of course, the same apphes to other genres. In some dramatic texts a narrator acts, albei t as. The s tatement The more dialogue,. The 'purity' of the dialogues a lso influences the degree to whIch a tex t ma y be experienced as dramatic. When the clauses follow ea ch other without intervention by the we are lIkely to forget that we are dealing with an embedded dia logue.
When the embedded tex t is spoken - or 'thought' - by one actor it is a SOliloquy or monOlogue. The content of a monologue ca n, ag:in, be praclIcally anythmg. There is no intrinsic difference between an embed,kd monologue and other language use. Embedded passages contain. Imagine overhearing the following dialogue in a hospital'S consultation room: 'Ever had scarle t feve r as a child?
Eight times: 'Eig ht? I am a training resident: 'Really She had some very good laughs with him: 'No wonder.