P. 1
Prose

Prose

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Published by Abhay Vohra
Basics of English Studies:
An introductory course for students of
literary studies in English.
Basics of English Studies:
An introductory course for students of
literary studies in English.

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Published by: Abhay Vohra on Jun 05, 2007
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01/01/2013

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S
 TEFANIE
L
ETHBRIDGE AND
 J
 ARMILA
M
ILDORF
:
Basics of English Studies: An introductory course for students of literary studies in English.
Developed at the English departments of theUniversities of Tübingen, Stuttgart and Freiburg
2. Prose
 Table of Contents:
2.1. Story and Discourse
............................................................................ 42
 
2.1.1. Story ...................................................................................................... 422.1.2. Discourse .............................................................................................. 43
2.2. Story and Plot
....................................................................................... 43
 
S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................46
2.3. Space
....................................................................................................... 47
 
2.3.1. Space in Discourse and Story ............................................................ 472.3.2. Fictional Space and Real Space ..........................................................472.3.3. Space and Meaning ..............................................................................47
2.4. Character
............................................................................................... 49
 
2.4.1. Techniques of Characterisation ......................................................... 492.4.1.1. Explicit and Implicit Characterisation ...........................................492.4.1.2. Characterisation by Narrator or Character ....................................492.4.1.3. Block Characterisation .....................................................................502.4.1.4. Reliability ............................................................................................512.4.1.5. Inner Life of Characters ...................................................................512.4.1.6. Contrasts and Correspondences .....................................................522.4.1.7. Summary: Characterisation Techniques (Table) ...........................522.4.2. Character Functions .............................................................................522.4.3. Character Complexity and Development .........................................53S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................54
2.5. Narrators and Narrative Situation
..................................................55
 
2.5.1. Narrative Voices ...................................................................................552.5.2. Focalisation ...........................................................................................582.5.3. Unreliable Narrators ............................................................................61S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................61
Basics of English Studies, Version 03/04, Prose
 40
 
2.6. Narrative Modes
.................................................................................. 63
 
2.6.1. Speech ....................................................................................................632.6.2. Report ....................................................................................................652.6.3. Description ............................................................................................652.6.4. Comment ...............................................................................................652.6.5. Mixed Narrative Modes ......................................................................662.6.6. Historical Change in Narrative Modes ..............................................67S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................67
2.7. Representation of Consciousness
...................................................68
 
2.7.1. Interior Monologue .............................................................................692.7.2. Psychonarration ....................................................................................702.7.3. Narrated Monologue ...........................................................................712.7.4. Summary Representation of Consciousness (Table) ......................73S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................73
2.8. Time
.........................................................................................................75
 
2.8.1. Tense in Narrative ................................................................................76S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................762.8.2. Time Analysis .......................................................................................772.8.2.1. Duration .............................................................................................772.8.2.2. Order ...................................................................................................782.8.2.3. Beginnings and Endings ..................................................................79S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................812.8.2.4. Frequency ...........................................................................................81S
O
 W 
HAT
? ........................................................................................................81
2.9. Types of Prose Fiction
.......................................................................82
Bibliography: Prose
.....................................................................................85
 
Basics of English Studies, Version 03/04, Prose
 41
 
2. Prose
Probably most literature that is read today is written in prose, that is in non-metrical, ‘ordinary’ language. This has not always been the case. It is only withthe growing popularity of the novel and a corresponding expansion of themarket for literature throughout the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries thatprose gained this prominent position as a suitable language for literature. Inthis section the focus will be on narrative prose, that is, prose literature whichtells a story.
2.1. Story and Discourse
 Theorists of narrative have long been in agreement that there are at least twolevels in a narrative text: Something happens and this something is related in acertain way. There is, in other words, a
 WHAT
(What is told?) to beconsidered and a
HOW
(How is it told?). These two levels have been givendifferent names by different critics (for an overview of various terminologiessee Korte 1985). The distinction made by a theory of criticism calledstructuralism (see ch. 1.4.3.) has proved one of the most influential ones inrecent years. In structuralist terminology the WHAT of the narrative is called
story
, the HOW is called
discourse
(see Chatman 1978: 19, who followsstructuralists like Roland Barthes, Gérard Genette and Tzvetan Todorov).
Key terms: 
story discourseeventsexistents
story (What is told?)narrativediscourse (How is it told?)For analysis, these two levels need to be further subdivided.
2.1.1. Story 
 The story consists of 
events
(things that happen) and so-called
existents
, thecharacters that make things happen or have things happen to them and thesetting, meaning the place where things happen. Events can be either broughtabout actively, in which case they are called actions (one character kills anotherone) or they just happen (someone dies of a heart-attack).actionseventshappeningsstory charactersexistentsspace/setting narrativediscourse
Basics of English Studies, Version 03/04, Prose
 42

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