The self-conscious first person narrator and his aesthetic transfiguration of the world.
Tang, Tansey Tianshi.
Date of Issue2012
School of Humanities and Social Sciences
Narrative comprises two distinctive components, story and narrative discourse, the distinction of which H. Porter Abbott calls “immensely important” (15). He defines these two fundamental concepts of narrative: “The difference between events and their representation is the difference between story (the event or sequence of events) and narrative discourse (how the story is conveyed)” (15). The art of narrative lies in the difference between the story and the chosen discourse. Defining narrative in a volume on point of view and focalization, Peter Hühn states: “The basic constellation constituting a narrative can be described as a communicative act (narration) through which happennings … are represented and thus mediated” (1). He continues: This representation is inevitably shaped—in the selection, combination, perspectivization, interpretation, evaluation of elements—by the agency producing it, ultimately the author who, however, may delegate mediation, particularly, in fictional narration, to some intermediary agent or agents, typically a narrator (narrator’s voice) and, at a lower level, to one or more characters (character’s perspective) located within the happenings (1) Hühn’s definition of narrative rests on the distinction between the happenings of a story and the way the story is represented or mediated. In that representation lies the art of narrative, as Gérard Genette asserts in his seminal work on narrative, Narrative Discourse, arguing that the very term narrative “refer[s] to an event: not, however, the event that is recounted, but the event that consists of someone recounting something:the act of narrating taken in itself” (26). Genette further argues for the importance of the narrating act, stating: if it goes without saying that the existence of those adventures in no way depends on the action of telling, it is just as evident that the narrative discourse depends absolutely on that action of telling, since the narrative discourse is produced by the action of telling in the same way that any statement is the product of an act of enunciating (26)