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Aspects of Narrative
Transcript of Aspects of Narrative
a) comment in detail on the narrative method of an extract
b) relate this extract to wider concerns within the text as a whole Section B: two questions; choose one question, refer to Gatsby, Auden and Rossetti. Is Nick's story-telling in Gatsby, or Joe's in Enduring Love any more reliable because they are written in first-person? What things do we need to consider when 'trusting' a narrative? The passage of time - is this a 'real-time' account or a reflective account?
Narrator's intent - is it their intention to portray a truthful narrative? Think 'Atonement'.
Authorial intent - Can the voice of the author ever completely be separated from the voice of the narrator? How does that shape our reading of a text?
Gaps - how often is the reader invited to infer meaning? To what extent are you expected to fill in the gaps? "I see us from three hundred feet up,
through the eyes of the buzzard we
had watched earlier." - Joe, Enduring Love "reading over what I have written so far, I’ve given the impression that the events of three nights several weeks apart were all that absorbed me". - Nick, The Great Gatsby "I am one of the few honest people that I have ever known"
Nick, The Great Gatsby "I don't recall dropping the corkscrew, or getting to my feet, or making a decision, or hearing the caution Clarissa called after me."
Joe, Enduring Love Sands Point Great Neck West Egg (cc) photo by medhead on Flickr East Egg Task In groups of three or four, you will be given the opening lines to ten novels. In your groups, do the following: Guess the author and title
Establish the narrative voice (First, Third, Second?)
Decide whether the narrator is reliable or not
Decide whether the narrator is self-conscious or not
Choose three openings you find interesting and invent the next line of the story It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife. - Jane Austen, Pride & Prejudice
Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way. - Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina
It was a bright cold day in April, and the clocks were striking thirteen. - George Orwell, 1984
You don't know about me without you have read a book by the name of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; but that ain't no matter. - Mark Twain, Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
Someone must have slandered Josef K., for one morning, without having done anything truly wrong, he was arrested. - Franz Kafka, The Trial
If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you'll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don't feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth. - J. D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye
In a sense, I am Jacob Horner. - John Barth, The End of the Road
All this happened, more or less. - Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughterhouse-Five
I was born in the Year 1632, in the City of York, of a good Family, tho' not of that Country, my Father being a Foreigner of Bremen, who settled first at Hull; He got a good Estate by Merchandise, and leaving off his Trade, lived afterward at York, from whence he had married my Mother, whose Relations were named Robinson, a very good Family in that Country, and from whom I was called Robinson Kreutznaer; but by the usual Corruption of Words in England, we are now called, nay we call our selves, and write our Name Crusoe, and so my Companions always call'd me. - Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe
In my younger and more vulnerable years my father gave me some advice that I've been turning over in my mind ever since. - F. Scott Fitzgerald, The Great Gatsby