Nov 23 2011

Narrative Modes

Published by at 1:14 am under Uncategorized

He smiled. (It smiled.) He showed-to himself-his tongue. (It showed-to the real one-its tongue.) The one in the mirror had a pasty, yellow tongue: “Your stomach is upset,” he diagnosed (a wordless expression) with a grimace. He smiled again. (It smiled again.) But now he could see that there was something stupid, artificial, and false in the smile that was returned to him. He smoothed his hair (it smoothed its hair) with his right hand (left hand), returning the bashful smile at once (and disappearing). – Dialogue with the Mirror

I found this part of the story to be very interesting. In this passage we see both the showing and the telling modes of narration.Jahn states:

N5.3.1. The main narrative modes(or ways in which an episode can be presented) basically follow from the frequential and durational relationships identified above. First, however, let us make the traditional distinction between ‘showing’ and ‘telling’ (often correlated with ‘mimesis’ and ‘diegesis’, respectively):

  • showing In a showing mode of presentation, there is little or no narratorial mediation, overtness, or presence. The reader is basically cast in the role of a witness to the events.
  • telling In a telling mode of presentation, the narrator is in overt control (especially, durational control) of action presentation, characterization and point-of-view arrangement.

The narrator tells the action, then you see the action. What up with this?

 

 

 

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