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THEORY OF NARRATIVE MODES

THEORY OF NARRATIVE MODES HELMUT BONHEIM THEORY OF NARRATIVE MODES Even the shortest of story forms, the anecdote, tends to use all of the chief modes of narrative: Dr. Johnson was well along in years when Boswell explained to him the solipsism of Bishop Berkeley, yet Johnson was still nimble enough to kick a pebble down the path and exclaim, 'thus do I refute him, Sir!'His was the voice of common sense kicking logic out of the way. As in most anecdotes, a scene is set, which includes a description ('well along in years'). Very quickly the narrator moves on to the report of an action, which is usually introduced by a time-marker (here it is 'when'). He concludes with directly quoted speech and a comment. All the chief narrative modes are involved in our anecdote: 1. Description 2. Report 3. Speech 4. Comment These four modes are the staple diet of the short story and the novel. ARTICULATION AND MUTUAL INCLUSIVENESS OF MODES Before we begin to analyse texts in detail, we must explain what each of our four modes is, how each is separable from the others and which of the others it can include. Of our four modes, speech http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Semiotica - Journal of the International Association for Semiotic Studies / Revue de l'Association Internationale de Sémiotique de Gruyter

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