Narration

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Narration (1)

The narrator
• ►Who speaks? • The narrator as a link between the author and the reader.

Author

Narrator

Reader

Reality

Fiction

Reality

The complete narrative chain

Real author

Implied Narrator Narratee Implied Real author reader reader

Reality Fiction Fiction Fiction Fiction Reality

Types of narration
• 3 ways to analyse narration:
– Relationship narrator ↔ story – Relationship narrator ↔ characters – Relationship narrator ↔ time scheme of the story

Relationship narrator ↔ story
• Narrator TAKES PART in the story  intradiegetic narrator • Narrator DOES NOT TAKE PART in the story  Extradiegetic narrator

Relationship narrator ↔ characters
• Narrator IS a character in the story  homodiegetic narrator

• Narrator IS NOT a character in the story  heterodiegetic narrator • Narrator TELLS HIS/HER OWN story  autodiegetic narrator

Relationship narrator ↔ time scheme
• Ulterior narration: Narrator tells events after they happen (most common case) • Simultaneous narration: Narrator tells events as they happen (Facebook) • Anterior narration: Narrator tells events before they happen (prophecy)

The narrator’s functions (1)
• As narrating agent
– Relates what happens – Establishes the setting – Reports the characters words/thoughts • • • • • Direct discourse Free direct discourse Indirect discourse Free indirect discourse Narrative report

The narrators functions (2)
• As commentator
– Omniscient narrator supplementing a character’s vision – Generalisation – Comment on the narration itself

Narratorial presence
• Obtrusive or unobtrusive? • Reliable or unreliable?

Narrating agency and reader response
• Self-effacing narrator  dramatisation / identification

• Obtrusive narrator  critical distance

Narration (2)

• I/ Identifying the narrator • II/ Characterising the narratorial presence • III/ Place of the narrator in the narrative chain • IV/ Place of the narrator in the time scheme • V/ Functions of the narrator

Heterodiegetic VS homodiegetic narrator
• Example 1 = heterodiegetic narrator (the narrator is not a character).

• Example 2 = homodiegetic narrator (1st person narration  narrator = character).

Superimposition of narrative voices
• Cf David Lodge « Telling in different voices », The Art of Fiction, p. 125-129 • Ex. 5: superimposition (Nick Carraway / Jordan Baker) • Ex. 10 d: polyphony (different unidentified voices)

• I/ Identifying the narrator • II/ Characterising the narratorial presence • III/ Place of the narrator in the narrative chain • IV/ Place of the narrator in the time scheme • V/ Functions of the narrator

Obtrusive or unobtrusive?
• Obtrusive: ex. 2 ( distance) • Unobtrusive: ex. 10b ( immediacy)

Reliable or unreliable?
• !! Can only be determined by reading the whole work !!
• Reliable: ex. 1

• Unreliable: ex. 10c « […] but why will you say that I am mad? […] How, then, am I mad? […] »

• I/ Identifying the narrator • II/ Characterising the narratorial presence • III/ Place of the narrator in the narrative chain • IV/ Place of the narrator in the time scheme • V/ Functions of the narrator

The narrative chain (1)

Author

Narrator

Reader

Reality

Fiction

Reality

The narrative chain (2)
Real author Implied Narrator Narratee Implied author reader Real reader

Reality Fiction Fiction Fiction

Fiction

Realit y

Narrator  reader (ex. 2 & 4)
Real Implied Narrator Narratee Implied author author reader
Mark Twain R. Ellison « Mr Huck Mark Finn Twain » «I» = implied « You » reader = « You » = implied « You » reader = « You »

Real reade r
Us

Us

Narrator  narratee  reader (ex.3)
Real author Implied Narrator Narratee Implied author reader Real reader

Ring Lardner

(undefined presence)

« I » (= « You »
a (= another character) character)

(undefined presence)

Us

• I/ Identifying the narrator • II/ Characterising the...
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