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Flashcards in Narrative Deck (24):

focalisation OED

The limited point of view from which the events of a story are narrated. eg. First person narration. The perspective through which a narrative is presented.


free indirect discourse OED

a special type of third-person narration that slips in and out of characters' consciousness. In other words, characters' thoughts, feelings, and words are filtered through the third-person narrator in free indirect discourse.


mimesis OED

the representation or imitation of the real world in (a work of) art, literature, etc.
Sometimes used with reference to Aristotle Poetics 1447a or Plato Republic 598b. Although Plato and Aristotle use mimesis to refer generally to the imitation of nature in art, both also use the term more specifically. Plato contrasts two types of speech: the author's own narrative voice (diegesis) and the ‘imitated’ voice of a character (mimesis). Aristotle extended this use to encompass imitative action as well as speech


diegesis OED

the fictional time, place, characters, and events which constitute the universe of the narrative.


Abbott - "The management
of plot...

is among other things the management of suspense, which in turn generates the energy that draws us through any well-constructed narrative - in Ryan, Marie-Laure. “Toward a Definition of Narrative.” The Cambridge Companion to Narrative, edited by David Herman, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2007, pp. 22–36. Cambridge Companions to Literature.


Abbott - the distinction between story and
how it is communicated is...

so fundamental that scholars of narrative often bring narration and plot together under a single heading, narrative discourse.


there is little dispute that a story is composed of...

action (an event or events) and characters (more broadly existents or entities) and that it always proceeds forward in time


controversy around whether the rendering/ narrative precedes or follows the story

does story rely on narrative to become itself?


narration relies on

the nature of the narrator, especially their distance from the action of the plot


homodiegetic narrators

narrators who are also characters in the
story = more often personally affected and therefore biased


heterodiegetic narrator

narrators who stand outside the story - more often reliable


Aristotle’s concept of “muthos,” often
translated as plot, is...

the fashioned story, shaped with a beginning, middle, and end.


What are things that plot does to a story?

re-arranges, expands,
contracts, or repeats events by temporary delays, concealments, and confusions


Forster in Aspects of the Novel ch.5 denotes

the causality of a plot in comparison to a story, the series of events doesn’t need to be chronologically ordered....


First person narrators are not always the hero, often are wronged and are onlookers eg. ...

in Moby Dick, The Great Gatsby, Sherlock Holmes


Peter Brooks said "The intentionality of plot lies in its....

orientation toward the end even while the end must be achieved only through detour... - from Reading for the Plot: Design and Intention in Narrative


Mrs Dalloway, Virginia Woolf, "she sliced like a knife through

everything, at the same time was outside, looking on” pg.8-9 - through a moment of time, talks of the loss of identity in the city


Henry James states "Literature should be

either instructive or amusing" in his essay 'The Art of Fiction'


"The story," if it represents anything...

is the subject, the idea, the data of the novel" Henry James


"a vivid sense of...

reality" is "the first aid of fiction" according to James


James expands on the idea of

"selection" as crucial to a plot


James - "genres have little interest for

the producer, from whose point of view it is, of course, that we are attempting to consider the art of fiction"


mrs dalloway - "But Lucrezia herself could not help

looking at the motor car and the tree pattern on the blinds. Was it the Queen in there – the Queen going shopping?"


Tolkein says fantasy is "escapist, and that is its...

glory...the freedom of mind and soul, if we're partisans of liberty, then it's our plain duty to escape, and to take as many people with us as we can!”