ENGB03: Lecture 4
subtitle: Dance, Puppets! The Narrator: Mwa. Ha. Ha.
Business, lecture exercises, Middlemarch
Introductory: author vs. narrator
Hearing voices: narrator & person
First things first: firstperson narration
Ghost & prophets: the Penelopiad narrator
Telling stories: Harry, the Unreliable Narrator
the picture: analyze who the narrator is now
the person who is taking the picture, passive, capturing the events, because he is present in them
and is affected by them
password: no chalk
money MATTERS a narrative is a performance!
Descriptions, lots and lots of tricks
Author vs. narrator
the rule: the author is NOT the narrator
not even if they have the same name
a narrative – for our purposes – is a work of fiction
an author is a nonfictional person
there are multiple viewpoints in a narrative:
character, narrator, author, the “implied reader”
these viewpoints often clash, and none of them will necessarily line up with your viewpoint
where and how the viewpoints diverge is where we start to see what the narrative is really “about”
First person (singular) – I went to class.
Third person ( singular) – He/She went to class.
First person (plural) – We went to class.
Third person (plural) They went to class.
Second person (singular) – You went to class.
Ex. If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler, by Italo Calvino Doesn’t get a lot of play
To be secondperson narration, the voice HAS to be CONSISTENT
Who, exactly is the “you”? (the “implied reader”)
Past Tense – I went to class yesterday.
Present Tense – I am in class right now.
Indicates that the narrator has no idea what will happen next
Future Tense – I will go to class tomorrow.
Hint: pronouns are boring but really useful hints
Ghosts & Prophets: The Penelopiad Narrator
Ghost:Sense of haunting
Not quite fully present, lingers in the backgrounds
Prophets: supernatural power to see things that other people can’t see, always hinting, important
for the “tense” of the narrator
“Now that I’m dead I know everything”
tends to get dragged out as a sign that Penelopiad knew everything but the second part states that
she doesn’t actually know everything – points her out as a liar – reader gets entirely trapped in
what is the truth and what isn’t – a very honest liar
every work of fiction lies
being a narrator is very invasive procedure – watches the other characters dangerously closely –
the narrator also has motivation
Penelopiad: Penelope just wants her turn
The narrator is often not understood, gives ideas that we may not understand because we are not
following closely enough or don’t see the big picture
Penelopiad: the suggestion of madness, she strongly acknowledges her story IS a story – but can
be false at times because s