his perspiration and nervous agitation suggests that Taillefer is guilty of the named murder. One of the other diegetic narratees verbalizes the reader's suspicions in a private comment to his neighbor, launching a debate over Taillefer's potential role in the crime. Moreover, as Madden argues, the initiated reader of La Comédie humaine also draws on his or her textual experience, namely that of Le Père Goriot (1835), recalling Vautrin's portrait of Taillefer's injustices against his daughter. This additional information enriches our understanding of Hermann's narrative and leads to an eventual guilty verdict for Taillefer. Just as readers follow the textual history of the narrator, so too must they study that of the narratee, piecing the various narrative fragments together in order to accurately read and interpret the story before them. Madden synthesizes the roles and relationship between narrator and narratee in a final section on Balzac's multi-narrated texts and embedded narratives. Here, Madden's analysis of La Maison Nucingen (1838) stands out as exemplary of the interplay between narrator and narratee. In this text, the caricaturist Bixiou's tale is punctuated by asides, interjections and calls for clarifications from his audience. The characters' banter establishes storytelling as a collective
Nineteenth Century French Studies – University of Nebraska Press
Published: Jun 28, 2005
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