ENGLISH LITERATURE

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Contents

1. Epiphanies is Dubliners ........................................................................................................................................ 3
2. Epiphanies in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man ........................................................................................ 7
3. Realism and Modernism in A Passage To India ............................................................................................... 10
4. Traditional feminist fiction of Virginia Woolf ....................................................................................................... 13
5. Time shifts in Muriel Spark's fiction .................................................................................................................... 17
6. Modernist short fiction of Katherine Mansfield ................................................................................................... 19
7. Narrative in short fiction of William Trevor ......................................................................................................... 21
8. Film adaptations of great English novels ........................................................................................................... 23
9. Beginnings and endings in McEwan's novels .................................................................................................... 26
10. The unreliable narrator of Kazuo Ishiguro.......................................................................................................... 27
11. Suspense in the first novel by Jon McGregor .................................................................................................... 29
12. Introducing characters in David Lodge's novels ................................................................................................ 30
13. Semiotic analysis of a short story by David Lodge ............................................................................................ 32
14. Canonical post-modern fiction of Barnes ........................................................................................................... 33
15. Tristram Shandy – a postmodern novel? ........................................................................................................... 34
16. Film adaptations of Hamlet ................................................................................................................................. 36
17. Beckett's drama and fiction................................................................................................................................. 38
18. Great English Ballads ......................................................................................................................................... 40
19. Barthe's codes in a short story by William Boyd ............................................................................................... 44
20. Contemporary critical strategies ......................................................................................................................... 46



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Epiphanies is Dubliners

EPIPHANY = a sudden revelation of some hidden truth; a moment in which character makes a sudden, profound
realization – whether prompted by an external object or a voice from within – that creates a change in his or her
perception of the world.

JAMES JOYCE

Father of modernism (M) and grandfather of postmodernism (PM)
He was of Irish origin from a big poor Catholic family
His setting is always Dublin
He established the narrative technique of stream of consciousness
He invented new language in Finnegan's Wake based on all the languages he could speak. E.g. In Irish the
word “keeper” is read with short “e”, that’s why Joyce was writing it “keper”.
His other inventions (Joyceanisms): epiphanies, personalization and internalization of fiction, preference
of pronouns, shifts of the perspectives (internal/external) even within one sentence, de-taboo-isation of
fiction, its de- and re-mythologization, double coding, paralipsis (=omitting of important things),
estrangement of the banal which appears as beautiful in his texts, stream of consciousness, parallax
(PM parallax – many discourses in one mind e.g. when he walks the street he comments on different people
shifting from one to another)
He wrote and published two collections of poems (Chamber Music – 36 poems following the history of love,
Pomes Penyeach – he started to play with the sound of the words - punning), one drama (Exiles), one
collection of short stories (Dubliners), three novels (A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man, Finnegan's
Wake, Ulysses) and some other minor short texts (children's book A Cat and the Devil)
His femme fatal was Nora Barnacle. They had their first date on June 16th, 1904 (and got married in 1931)
which became the setting of his novel Ulysses.
His masterpiece Ulysses – shows signs of both, canonical M and canonical PM: PM is most of the second
part; last chapter is M – Molly's stream of consciousness

Dubliners

Collection of 15 short stories
He had problems with publishing, no one wanted to publish it b/c he used a new style and real names of
people and places.
Depiction of naturalistic middle class life, analysis of Dublin's paralyzed society
The initial stories are narrated by child protagonists, and as the stories continue, they deal with the lives and
concerns of progressively older people (in line with Joyce's tripartite division of the collection into childhood,
adolescence, and maturity)
He relies on simplicity and close detail
The reader is left to come to his own conclusions

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There are a lot of references (e.g. in Eveline he uses a reference to Marie Margaret Arako who was rich but
lame. She decided to enter a nunnery and after that started to walk again – a connotation of paralysis; in
The Encounter the old man talks of Sir Walter Scott; 'Little Chandler' reads Byron's poetry; in Clay Maria
sings "I dreamt that I dwelled in marble holes" from the opera Bohemian Girl by Balfe).
He often uses descriptions from the characters' point of view, although he rarely writes in the first person
Great emphasis is laid upon the specific details of Dublin, there is no emotive language, he relies on
simplicity; he wants the reader to understand the people and their environments
All stories can be divided according to the subject matter into four groups: 1. Childhood stories (Sisters,
Encounter, Araby) 2. Adolescence (After the Race) 3.Adulthood (Eveline, A Painful Case) 4. Public life
stories (Ivy Day in the Committee Room: Ivy is a symbol of everlasting remembrance; October 6th is Ivy Day
because of Parnell – first Irish politician who was able to unite the Irish in the fight against the English. He
became a hero, but he fell in love with a married woman – Kitty O’Shea. This divided the Irish again. He lost
his leadership in the party he himself founded. He died on October 6th; it became Remembrance Day for
those who still liked him. Joyce himself was a Parnellite (supporter of Parnell); A Mother, Grace).
There is an epiphany in each of the stories. Some epiphanies are realized by the characters, some are
provided just for the reader.

SHORT STORIES:

Sisters: there is an anonymous narrator who thinks of three foreign words he likes, but he doesn't know the meaning
of them. These words are paralysis, simony, and gnomon. All these three words have a deeper meaning and occur
in the whole collection. Paralysis is a metaphor for the inability to act: he shows how people are very unsatisfied but
they do nothing to change it. Except for the metaphorical meaning it is used also literally i.e. meaning physical
paralysis; also sexual, spiritual and moral paralysis are mentioned. Simony is buying and selling of sacred things like
friendship, love and art. Gnomon means any geometrical shape where the same shape is missing – he wants to
express that somebody lacks something. This short story is about a little boy and his relationship with a priest (Father
Flynn). The priest dies. EPIPHANY: When the boy is allowed to go and see the priest's body he is able to focus on
him a see him in real light – he is no longer mesmerized by the priest and is not able to recite his memorized
prayers. He hears Eliza (his sister) how she speaks about the priest's madness and his physical and spiritual
paralysis – the boy is totally aware of Father Flynn's physical death and the paralysis of his life. No doubt is left.

Encounter: two schoolboys playing truant go to the shore (to look for adventure, they are bored with school and
reading books) and encounter an elderly man who begins to touch himself. There is no proof that he does in fact
masturbate: all is left to the reader to judge – and example of gnomon. EPIPHANY: the old man says to the boy
"Ah, I can see you are a bookworm like myself." – the boy realizes that he is enslaved by the books and becomes
aware of his predicament.

Araby: a boy falls in love with the sister of his friend, but fails in his quest to buy her a worthy gift from the Araby
bazaar. EPIPHANY: when the boy comes to the bazaar, he is very disappointed by it – he also notices a frivolous
woman talking to male customers – his vision of Araby, of Mangan's sister and of love is destroyed.


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Eveline: about failure to communicate – there is a yellow picture of a priest, Eveline (19) doesn't know his name –
her father does, but she never asked him about it. The chief conflict is whether Eveline should leave or stay. She
wants to leave because she doesn't want to live like her mother but she wants to stay because she had promised her
mother to stay to keep the family together. There is perspectivism: Eveline has a friend, Frank, who is a sailor. She
believes he is open-minded and kind (we don't know if he really is - M). The chief difference between him and her is
that he is experienced and knows different countries, she doesn't. Her father doesn't like him, he doesn't trust him
and thinks that Frank has other women in other harbors – we don't know who is right (enigma). Also the mother's
death remains enigmatic. Modernism works with indications: there are two letters at the end, when she reads them
she recollects the memories of her father when he was very nice (later he started to beat her brothers who protected
her from him). At the end she is standing in the harbor (at the beginning she is sitting by the window), the "bell clings
upon her heart" = metaphor. The theme of paralysis is intellectual paralysis – she can't rationally think. She never
married and stayed with her family – theme of self-sacrifice. It is based on the real story of Joyce's sister.
EPIPHANY: at the end she goes to meet Frank, but she hears an organ grinder outside which reminds her of a
melody that played that day her mother died and the promise she made to her to look after her home. She makes
her decision to stay.

After the Race: college student Jimmy Doyle tries to fit in with his wealthy friends. He plays cards with them but loses
everything he has. He doesn't care, he is happy to be in wealthy company. EPIPHANY: at the end of the story there
is the line "daybreak gentleman" which means for Jimmy to go back home and to realize what he had lost.

Two Gallants: about Corley and Lenehan. Corley goes out with women who pay for him. He has a date with another
woman and when they afterwards meet Corley shows Lenehan a coin that the woman had stolen from her employer
for him. EPIPHANY: The epiphany here is reader's epiphany – at the beginning the reader thinks that Lenehan wants
a simple-minded woman and has nothing to do with Corley's treatment of women. However, at the end the reader
finds out that both of them were planning the stealing of the coin all along.

The Boarding House: Polly is having an affair with Mr. Doran. Her mother tries to persuade them to get married. Mr.
Doran and Polly break up. EPIPHANY: again, this is a reader's epiphany when he learns that they will get married.

The Little Cloud: story about "little Chandler" who writes poetry but is too shy to read it to anyone and his meeting an
old friend. First EPIPHANY: he realizes that his friend, whom he admired because of his success is vulgar and
superficial. Then the setting changes back home where he looks at his wife and wonders why he married her.
Second EPIPHANY: he realizes that he is just a prisoner of family life (his wife centers her attention on their son). He
becomes aware that he is unable to move (paralysis) and that his life is false and unauthentic (simony).

Counterparts: about an alcoholic Farrington and his relationship with his boss. He visits pubs and has a wife and a
son, Tom. Farrington is a similar figure to little Chandler.

Clay: an old maid, Maria, celebrates Halloween with her foster son Joe and his family. She is a spinster and suffers
by it. At the end, she sings a song and deliberately avoids a line about suitors. EPIPHANY: when Joe listens to her
song and notices the missing line, he realizes how loveless she is.


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A Painful Case: Mr. Duffy (who is isolated from society, has no friends) rejects Mrs. Sinico, then four years later
realizes he has condemned her to loneliness and death (she was struck by a train). EPIPHANY: When reading about
Sinico's death, Mr. Duffy finds the key to understanding his past choices and his present guilt.

Ivy Day in the Committee Room (Irish politicians talk about Charles Parnell. One of the politicians reads his poem
dedicated to Parnell. It is highly critical of those who betrayed him and places Parnell among the ancient heroes of
Ireland. All applaud the performance and seem to forget their differences for the moment. It's about political
paralysis.) A Mother, Grace: EPIPHANY: it is very difficult to find epiphanies in these public life stories. The
epiphany is not an epiphany of an individual character but rather sheds light on political, artistic, and religious
paralysis affecting the whole of Ireland. It is mostly to be understood by Irish readers.

The Dead: It is sort of autobiographical. The chief characters are Gabriel and Greta. The setting takes place at a
house of two old ladies, one of which is Gabriel’s aunt who annually organizes Christmas party on January 6th (the
day of Epiphany – very symbolic). As it is typical for short stories, there is an external perspective at the beginning –
description of the outside - there are many guests, there is good food and drinks, there is someone playing on the
piano, the guests are dancing. When the party is nearly over and all of the guests are leaving, one of the Italian
singers starts to sing. He sings an Irish traditional song The Lass of Aughrim – the chief motive of this short story is in
the text of the song. It is about a young girl who was seduced by her master and got pregnant. She was sent away
from their home by her master’s mother. However, she gave birth to a boy who died. She came back to the master to
show him the dead body of her baby, but his mother doesn’t let her go in and the master knows nothing. Gabriel is
standing at the staircase waiting for Greta to come. When Greta comes to the staircase, she hears the song. She
closes her eyes and listens. Suddenly, there is a mysterious expression in her face. Gabriel doesn’t recognize her, he
thinks it is an unknown beautiful lady – she is so transformed. Eventually he realizes that it is his wife and he
becomes very proud of her, proud to be in love with her. EPIPHANY – he is full of joy, happiness, he wants to
discuss his feelings with her. They go home. He tries to talk to her, but she doesn't listen. She begins to cry, then
she explains why – when she was a girl, she used to spent holidays in the west with her grandmother. Here she met
Michael Fury (nice, gentleman, fragile boy with nice voice). They were very happy together during the summer. In
September, when she was about to leave, he became ill of pneumonia. That’s why she didn’t say goodbye to him.
When she was packing her suitcase, she heard stones at the window. When she saw him, he was shivering from his
illness, he was standing under an apple tree, and it was very cold. She asked him to go home, but he answered that
he didn’t want to live with her leaving. He used to sing the Irish song to her. She returned to Dublin and there she
heard that he had died. She thought that he had died for her, because he was ill and standing in the cold. This is an
unhappy EPIPHANY – Gabriel realizes that he loves Greta, but that he will never love her as much as Michael did,
he would never die for her. He envies the love of the dead – there is also a hidden biblical motive – “the living will
envy the dead” says the Bible. At the end they are both sad. She falls asleep. It begins to snow outside. When
Gabriel looks outside the window he thinks that he can go west now – there is a negative connotation – in
mythology the west was the place where the sun died. There is also another meaning – his wife was from west – it is
a metaphor for him that he can understand his wife now. The rhythm in the last part reminds us of someone who is
falling asleep. There is an open discourse at the end – the diffusion of the living world and the dead. Joyce uses the
image of snowflake – when there’s snow outside, everything looks the same, but every snowflake has a different
shape – Joyce connects sameness with difference by a simple thing.


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Epiphanies in A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man

It is set partly in Dublin, it deals with Irish issues (role of the Catholic Church, fall of Parnell)
Autobiographical (semi-autobiographical: it's a blend of factual autobiography and imagination)
Main protagonist: Stephen Dedalus (allusion to Greek Daedalus, a skillful craftsman and inventor who
became trapped in labyrinth of his own construction; he also invented the first pair of wings; Stephen is an
allusion to St. Stephen, the first Christian martyr.) Stephen is neither a good nor a bad character.
Five chapters, each ends in an epiphany. Through the epiphanies, Stephen eventually breaks from the
Catholic Church.
The first chapter starts with his childhood – it is written in rather a childish manner. When he gets older, the
complexity of language gradually increases.
The foundation of Stephen's rebellion is non serviam = “I will not serve”. Non serviam is generally attributed
to Lucifer, who is said to have spoken these words to express rejection to serve his God and the heavenly
kingdom. Father Arnall uses this phrase to characterize Lucifer's sin, an allusion to Lucifer's assertion of
non serviam to God in Milton's Paradise Lost. Stephen Dedalus later echoes Lucifer in his decision to follow
the life of the artist: "I will not serve that in which I no longer believe whether it call itself my home, my
fatherland or my church"
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. Dedalus repeats this phrase later in Ulysses when his mother is dying and he
refuses to pray.
"Ireland is the old sow that eats its farrow" – about the fall of Parnell. Stephen is referring to the way the
Catholic Church and the Irish turned their backs on Charles Parnell. He's also referring to the bleak future he
sees for himself as an artist if remains in Ireland and attempts to become a writer.
Joyce omits quotation marks - indicates dialogues by beginning a new paragraph with a dash
There is a specific kind of personal narrator – because of the register and because of the point of view
(he talks about himself in 3
rd
person) - the person of the verb is not a marked category – marked category is
the point of view and the register. In chapter V there is a proper personal narrator.
Characters: aunt Dante (Mrs. Riordan), mother Mary, Emma – his beloved, her family was different because
they were protestants; Stephen is fiercely attracted to her; uncle Charles
Cardinal Newman – founder of the University College in Dublin where Joyce (and Stephen) studied. He was
a philosopher. When Stephen's friends ask him who is the greatest prose writer, he answers Cardinal
Newman (Ch2). In Ulysses, Joyce parodies other writers but not him. Cardinal Newman is also mentioned in
Dubliners, Ulysses and Finnegan's Wake. [the greatest poet according to Stephen is Byron – the others
proclaim him to be heretic and immoral].
Refuge of Sinners = Roman Catholic title for Blessed Virgin Mary.
"Time is, time was, but time shall be no more" = about the end of the world (Chapter III)
The sound of the language – rhythm is important.
He is not expressive, he only implies (to make the reader wonder) – he expresses himself through the
language rather than using a narrative prose style.

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According to Petríková: family, homeland and church

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There are puns, many registers, many narrative techniques, de-tabooization, re-mythologization, free
indirect speech
2

It's about inwardness (M) – he describes Stephen's state of mind and the subjective effects of the events in
his life; inwardness of modern stresses spiritual qualities; Stephen lives in his own private world

CHAPTER 1: his early childhood - his diction is childish (baby words create the sounds of language: tuckoo,
moocow; pick, pack, pock, puck) there is an aesthetic distance – he talks in irony. Later he moves to Clongowes
Wood College (Joyce's boarding school) - Stephen doesn't like his school, he fells lonely and alienated; some of the
boys (Wells) are making fun of him "do you kiss your mother before you go to sleep?", he is looking forward to
holidays – we learn about his thoughts and experiences at school). During holidays he is allowed to sit with the
adults and have Christmas dinner when there is a fight over politics - Aunt Dante despises Parnell for his betrayal of
their faith, on the other hand, Uncle Charles, Mr. Dedalus and Mr. Casey are supporters of Parnell and think that his
condemnation is not right, they think that politics and religion should not go together (political landscape of late 19
th

century Ireland) because religion keeps Ireland away from progress and independence.

EPIPHANY: at the end of the chapter, Stephen is in his Latin class when Father Arnall excuses him from writing
since he has broken his glasses. A prefect of study (Father Dolan) comes to the class and doesn't believe this and
punishes him. The other boys advice Stephen to see the rector, so (after a long reflection) he does. The rector
admits it was a mistake and promises to have a talk with Father Dolan. When Stephen returns to tell the boys, they
hoist him over their heads as a hero – epiphany of victory – a victory of student over a teacher, a moral triumph.

CHAPTER 2: Stephen spends the summer with the company of Uncle Charles (by the end of the chapter he
becomes senile and they can no longer go out). At home, Stephen reads The Count of Monte Cristo and uses the
imaginary adventures of this novel as an escape. Because of their financial situation, they are forced to move to
Dublin. At a birthday party, he meets a girl E.C. – he writes a poem about her starting with "to E----- C------" because
he saw this way of writing letters in Lord Byron → Stephen has a sensitive attitude towards literature. Later we find
out that this girl was Emma.

EPIPHANY: at the end of the chapter, Stephen wanders about the streets getting into a "maze of narrow and dirty
streets" where he meets a prostitute. In her room, she asks him for a kiss. "In her arms he felt that he had suddenly
become stronger and fearless and sure of himself" and they kissed. – Stephen's first sexual experience, first sin.
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CHAPTER 3: Stephen (now 16) regularly visits prostitutes and gradually becomes worried about his sins. He realizes
that from the sin of lust also gluttony and greed arise. He starts to think about what he has become and worries
about his soul. He is even more worried after Father Arnall's sermon about hell – Joyce alludes to Dante's Divine
Comedy (this part also has the same structure). Stephen pictures hell and can feel the flames on his body. He
decides to go to confession.


2
Used to represent character's speech or thoughts by combining his speech with narration
3
According to Petríková, this happens in Chapter 3

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EPIPHANY: After the confession, Stephen suddenly feels happiness and peace. He leaves all of his sins behind
("The past was past") and becomes timid and pure.

CHAPTER 4: Stephen becomes very pious – he prays every morning and accepts God's love. He sees the world as
a place full of divine love. He even avoids eye contact with women and sniffs horrible odors in order to mortify his
smell. He overcomes his bodily longings and affirms the superiority of the soul - he proves his similarity to martyrs
and saints. The director of his Jesuit school offers him to become a priest – Stephen is tempted by this but he
doesn't like the idea of ordered life. His strategy is expressed by three words: silence, exile, and cunning (The "only
arms in his defense"). While walking along the sea, he meets some of his schoolmates who jokingly greet him by
saying his name in Greek – Stephen thinks about the Greek Dedalus "fabulous artificer" who used art to achieve
freedom (wings).

EPIPHANY (major epiphany – he decides to become an artist; it is also the most beautiful epiphany): At the sea,
Stephen sees a girl (a bird-like figure) with whom he makes an eye-contact. He perceives her as an angel of youth
and beauty and feels joy without even touching her – it is about his inward feelings and how he perceives this
moment (the sudden realization that an appreciation for beauty can be truly good; he does not see her as a sexual
object, he sees her as a work of art) – about inwardness of modern.

CHAPTER 5: discusses aesthetics (based of Aristotle and Aquinas): art and beauty. It is a sort of texture of
aesthetics based on the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas – his definition of beauty is in wholeness, harmony, and
radiance – Stephen believes that every artistic object has to achieve this. Stephen no longer has religious faith (this
causes problems with his mother) and feels that he has to leave the school to follow his artistic ambition. He says
that he must obey the dictum "I will not serve". The rest of the chapter is written as a diary entry written from the first
person perspective – Stephen records his thoughts, perceptions and events of the day. He records two dreams: one
of viewing a long galley filled with images of fabulous kings, and another of meeting strange mute creatures with
phosphorescent faces. The diary entries sum up Stephen's attitudes and express his final revolt.

EPIPHANY: Stephen writes about his mother who says she's praying that he may learn in his own life away from
home and friends. "Amen. So be it. Welcome, O life, I go to encounter for the millionth time the reality of experience
and to forge in the smithy of my soul the uncreated conscience of my race." – Stephen decides to make his way into
the world.












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Realism and Modernism in A Passage To India
(film and fiction)

REALISM v. MODERNISM

REALISM = texts where the relationship between the text and the depicted reality is felt to be direct and
immediate. It includes elements which its reader easily recognizes. Realist texts are arranged in chronological
order, there are round characters. The language of the fiction and the narrator are not fore-grounded, they do not
draw attention to themselves; and there is an emphasis on detailed description of the context of the event (the
exact place and time of the setting).

MODERNISM = the chief strategies are its inwardness and openness – openness also to the world beyond the
consciousness.

The main differences between realism and modernism are:

REALISM MODERNISM
Prevailing of observation Prevailing of imagination
Presenting collective experience Presenting individual experience
More about doing More about being
Poetics close to history Poetics close to music
Metonymic Metaphorical
Imitates Creates
Moralistic Polyphonic
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and ambiguous
Characters are types Characters are archetypes
Shows epistemological
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optimism Shows epistemological pessimism
Employs reliable narrators Employs unreliable narrators
Closure at the end Open ending
Aesthetic model is photograph Aesthetic model is a moving picture
Stress on the content Stress on the form
Telling narrative technique Showing narrative technique
Prevailing past tense Prevailing present tense
Shows familiar details Shows unfamiliar details
External perspective Internal perspective





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Consisting of many voices and sounds
5
Investigates origin, nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge

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EDWARD MORGAN FORSTER

He was the first who initiated the division of characters into round (undergo some development) and flat
(represent only one quality) and type (determined; representatives of a certain class) and archetype
(timeless characters).
He was a member of Bloomsbury Group (group of modernist writers).
He was a modernist; however he was also a realist – because of this Bradbury called him “not yet
Bloomsbury” → Forster bridges realism and modernism
His philosophy was liberal humanism (about human values and concerns)
He wrote short stories (collections: The Eternal Moment and Other Stories, The Life to Come and Other
Stories), essays, and novels (The Longest Journey, Where Angels Fear To Tread, A Room With a View),
but also biographies, literary criticism, a libretto, film script, collections of essays, travel writing
His novels often depict hypocrisy and class-difference in England

A Passage to India

It is both a modernist and a realist novel
Signs of M: the movie has a circular structure (rain at the beginning but also at the end); enigma (Marabar
Caves – we don't know what happened there; the place itself is enigmatic); re-mythologization (= creation
of a new myth: Mrs. Moore becomes an Indian goddess "Esmiss es moor").
The crucial point is the trip to Marabar Caves – what happens there is an enigma – it is a sign of modernism
but also a sign of writerly text (=active participation of the reader).
Signs of R: third person omniscient narrator (= traditional authorial narrator); closure at the end
The last sentence is “not yet”…”not there”
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→ it means that the English and Indians cannot become friends
in India of that time (it is omitted in the movie because at the time when the movie was shot India was
already independent).
Forster also lived in India
Philosophical problem is being opened – the cultural clash between the English and Indian people
Chief conflict is between the two cultures, but there is also a conflict between the family (Mrs. Moore and
Ronny Heaslop – she was kind, she liked the Indians and didn’t like Ronny’s behavior. Ronny never
admitted being wrong and he was rude to the Indians e.g. at Fielding's party he ignored the Indian guests
and asked his mother and Adela to leave with him)
It is a political and social novel. When we compare this to the movie, the movie is not political or social, it
is more about individuals and their relationships. In general we can say that the novel is about Aziz and the
movie is about Adela Quested.
Structure of the novel: 3 parts - Mosque, Caves, Temple
Characters: Dr. Aziz = an Indian doctor; more emotional than rational; his positive side is that he wants to
give his friends more than he can afford (the whole trip to Marabar Caves cost him a lot, including the
elephant on which they rode which “must have eaten gold”); his negative side is that he speaks before he
thinks e.g. invitation to Marabar Caves and also that he is childish and funny sometimes; he represents "the

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Podla Petríkovej to je “not yet not here”

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muddle" of India; Cyril Fielding = a schoolmaster, he has a positive attitude towards Indians, he is tolerant
and respectful; Miss Adela Quested = intelligent, brave, honest, she comes because she wants to
experience "the real India" before she marries Ronny; Mrs. Moore = good hearted, religious, elderly woman
with mystical leanings; she connects with India and the Indians; Ronny Heaslop = Mrs. Moore's son, he is
about to marry Adela; arrogant, intolerant towards Indians; Godbole = represents philosophy of acceptance
i.e. to accept the pleasure of the day; he is very peaceful, tolerant, he doesn’t speak when he doesn’t have
to; his character is more important in the novel than in the movie; he remains aloof of the novel's conflicts
Forster's liberal humanism is represented through the character of Fielding: he connects to the Indian world
through mutual respect, courtesy and intelligence – Fielding and Aziz's relationship represents a positive
model of liberal humanism; however, in the second part of the novel (after the incident at Marabar Caves,
they suffer from the tendencies of their cultures)
Culture v. Nature: Adela = culture – English don’t show any emotions, they behave properly, but they tell
the truth; Aziz – nature, he doesn't think but he tells lies

Quotations:
“We're out here to do justice and keep the peace. That's my sentiments. India isn't a drawing room” – said by
Fielding at the club when the English were talking about Indians.
“But they were friends, brothers. That part was settled, their compact had been subscribed by the photograph, they
trusted one another, and affection had triumphed for once in a way.” – About Aziz and Fielding. It was said by an
authorial narrator after the part where Aziz showed the picture of his deceased wife to Fielding.
“After all, it's our women who make everything more difficult out here“ – Collector thought about his attitude towards
Indians. He did not hate them. It was before the trial, when he, Adela and Mrs. Turton were on their way to the court.
“…even when the lady is uglier than the gentleman?” when McBryde at the court says that a dark man can fall for a
fair woman but it can’t be vice versa, somebody from the audience asks this question. In the book it is not revealed
who said it but in the movie it is one of Aziz’s defendants.
“We’re not here for the purpose of behaving pleasantly.” – said by Ronny.

A Passage to India – film

It is between a commentary and transposition, but it is more a commentary
Foreshadowing – prediction of future events
England v. India: India is more free, but less organized; messy but colorful; the Indian setting is picturesque.
English people there are dull, but on the other hand they tell the truth whereas Indians are liars (e.g. Aziz
lies about him having a wife to Adela).
Religious song that Godbole sings at the end of the party at Fielding’s is absent
Hinduism and quietism is bridged by passivity as a virtue
Addition: scene with monkeys (demonic animals); it is a symbol of the Indian culture or of Adela’s
unexplored sexual nature.
Forster wrote the book about doctor Aziz and the relationship between Indians and the English whereas the
movie is about Adela and individual relationships
Cardinal events (hallucinations at the Marabar Caves) are supported by minor events (Aziz’s and Adela’s
black and white hand).

13

Traditional feminist fiction of Virginia Woolf

FEMINISM

Feminist = someone who believes that women suffer discrimination because of their sex, that they have
specific needs which remain negated and unsatisfied and that satisfaction of those needs would require a
radical change in the social, economic, and political order.
The founder of feminism (both - political and literary feminism) is Virginia Woolf – in the political sphere she
was fighting for the women’s right to vote.
Literary feminism has three aims: 1. Critical re-reading of male texts, namely discussing bad treating of
female characters. They criticized Lawrence (for his essays), Hardy, Beckett, Joyce (because the stream of
consciousness of Molly was more primitive than that of the male characters) 2. Discovery and re-reading of
classical texts written by women 3. Creating special feminist meta-language.

VIRGINIA WOOLF

She is the leading figure in the feminist literary critical movement. Her essays were on women authors who
suffered from economic and cultural disadvantages in a patriarchal society. She addressed herself to the
issue of why there were so few women writers and why it is difficult or impossible for a woman to write.
She was one of the founders of Bloomsbury Group – group of intellectuals supporting modern attitudes
towards intellectualism, fine art, sexuality. Their work deeply influenced literature, aesthetics, criticism.
She wrote essays for the Times Literary Supplement – a review paper that still exists today.
In 1992 she married a Jewish lawyer and social reformer Leonard Woolf. They decided not to have any
children, because she suffered a mental illness (schizophrenia) and also because she was bisexual – she
was in love with a female writer (Vita West). She eventually drowned herself.
She had a very special way of writing – very introvert, recorded stream of consciousness – she sought a
more delicate rendering of those aspects of consciousness in which she felt that the truth of human
experience really lay.
She expressed problems of personal identity, relationships, significance of time, memory, internal
monologues, emotional motifs.
She used poetic devices in her prose (e.g. poetic imagery).
She wrote novels (The Waves - it is her most poetic novel - there are intermezzos between chapters that
are full of lyrics, about the beauty of the sea, lines of the waves. There are three couples and they recollect
the same events and reflections of the past but from different points of view– perspectivism; Orlando - in
the middle of it a man becomes a woman – it is about the changing of the sex of a character; Three
Guineas – a feminist novel) a collection of essays (A Room of One’s Own – these are feminist essays where
she coined the term Shakespeare’s Sister – she believed that if Shakespeare had a sister and she had her
own room, she would become an equally good writer (very feminist opinion). Her most famous essay is Mr.
Bennett and Mrs. Brown = she discusses differences between modernism and realism. She calls modernists
Georgians and realists Edwardians.

14

Mrs. Dalloway

The original name of the novel is The Hours
The first experimental novel of Woolf
It is about the character’s feelings, experiences, and thinking
Setting: London, during one day – she criticized Joyce; however she was somehow influenced by him.
It presents the stream of consciousness of Clarissa Dalloway – it is about how she feels. She is a wife of an
MP and she is preparing a party. The guests are introduced, also her recollections of the past.
It shows sophisticated social life.
Woolf travels back in time, in and out of characters’ minds.
There are many flashbacks to a summer at Burton
Modernism: Multiple narrative techniques and multiple points of view. One of the narrative techniques is
associative method; It has an open ending; Clarissa balances between internal and external world –
Modernism has usually internal conflicts – the struggle between finding privacy in life and the need to
communicate with others.
Clarissa’s husband, Richard Dalloway is simple, hardworking, sensible husband, he has problems saying out
his feelings; he appreciates the English traditions.; Septimus Smith is a very interesting character, he lives in
his own world, and he sees things – suffers from “shell shock”
7
and hallucinations of his deceased friend,
Evan. He commits suicide. He is a juxtaposed character = another self of Clarissa, her alter ego; Peter
Walsh = inability to make decisions, he is easily overcome by emotions; Sally Santon = she and Clarissa
were sexually attracted to each other. She was wild and unconventional rebel, she would say or do anything,
she shocked people; Hugh Whitbread = a proper English gentleman upholding English traditions, Sally,
Peter, and Richard disliked him. He was a snob.
Septimus’ death is a moment of vision for Clarissa; she comes to understand that Septimus, in his madness,
has denied society and its constructing conventions that have imprisoned her into a snobbish hostess

The characters may be divided into:

Protagonist Clarissa = an optimist,
noble, emotional, rich
Antagonist Ms. Kilman who is an
alazon = victim of irony.
She is plain, not
popular, bitter, poor
Aesthetics Modernism
Hugh = snob,
stereotype
Ethics
(moral values)
Realism
Sally, Peter = real
people, complex.
Clarissa bridges these two because she is fine,
intelligent, and emotional woman but on the other hand
she is also a snob.

Emotional Septimus = he is
sensitive, human
Mask Doctors = care only
about reputation, they
are wearing masks

7
A range of behaviors resulting from the stress of battle (Septimus was a World War I veteran) or injury to the nerves during combat

15

Quotations

“Nothing exists outside us except a state of mind.” → Solipsism
8

“To love makes one solitary.” → Discourse on love
“The perfect hostess” he said to her → ironic statement said by Peter to Clarissa, he thinks that she only cares for
rank and society – through Clarissa, he sees the hypocrisy of society
“The daring, the romantic” → about Sally
“A sense of proportion” → Dr. Bradshaw discussing Septimus
“Work work but he had his Elizabeth. He adored his Elizabeth.” → about Richard’s attitude towards his daughter
“Why should she invite all the dull women to her parties” → Clarissa

Mrs. Dalloway – film
Clarissa never met Septimus in the book but she meets him in the movie – she sees him through the
window of a flower shop
Foreshadowing of future event → prolepsis
Running motive: Big Ben = time flow; trees and flowers: peace and contentment
Associated narrative method is presented in the film as verbal echo (when the words are being repeated and
bring a recollection of the past)
Stream of thoughts is expressed by voice over.
It is a commentary (omissions, additions, but the mood, spirit, and atmosphere of the book are preserved).
The movie starts with an addition – a scene connected to Septimus: probably for aesthetic reasons.

Why is Mrs. Dalloway a feminist novel?:

It portrays the impact of patriarchal society on women's lives – the loneliness and frustration of lives shaped
by the moral, ideological and conventional factors. Clarissa highlights the role of women. She keeps up with
and even embraces the social expectations of the wife of a politician but she is still able to express herself.
Clarissa craves for love and to be loved but she is also looking for privacy and independence
Clarissa rejected Peter because he was too possessive and domineering – in her choice to marry Richard
she chooses privacy over passion.
Clarissa and Richard's marriage is not successful – Woolf shows that marriage is not a guarantee of a
happy relationship; Clarissa is not able to provide her husband with romantic passion, she chooses the attic
room as a refuge from the traditional female role
Clarissa's love for Sally is the most intense emotion she has ever experienced
Feminism is also presented through the character of Sally, who is an anti-patriarchal woman who is not
accepted by the narrow-minded society (she smokes cigars, once ran down a corridor naked, she has
unladylike statements); however, she got defeated because she got married and became a conventional
mother; Elizabeth Dalloway: cares about her career and professional life; Miss Kilman – dresses like man,
adopts masculine values

8
Solipsism is the philosophical idea that only one's own mind, alone, is sure to exist.

16

To The Lighthouse

The setting is in Hebrides, in the cottage of the Ramsay family.
The novel has three parts: Window, Time Passes, and The Lighthouse.
The longest part (Window) covers one afternoon and the shortest (Time Passes) ten years – she applied
theory of time of some French philosopher: there are two times – objective (can be measured by seconds,
minutes, etc), and subjective (one minute can sometimes for someone last longer than one day).
The chief conflict: male (Mr. Ramsay) and female principles (Mrs. Ramsay) Mr. Ramsay = spoiled, childish,
selfish. Mrs. Ramsay = nice, modeled on Woolf’s mother, and she defines her as “sponge full of emotions”.
There are two main perspectives – Mrs. Ramsay’s and Lilli Briscoe’s who is a young printer, plunged by the
fear that the world lacks word. James Ramsay fells murderous antipathy towards his father.
The protagonist (Mrs. Ramsay) dies in the middle of the novel, but she goes on living in the minds of the
other characters (internal perspective). – Typical for modern writings.
The story is about the Ramsay family that has more children. The youngest son James is looking forward to
a trip to the lighthouse the next day. However, James’ father comes and says that the weather will be bad;
therefore they won’t be able to go. At that moment James is very angry at his father (Modernism is about
the truth of a moment, not about the general truth), he killed his dream. James sees the lighthouse as
something magical, mysterious, beautiful, a distant eye that shuts and opens. They eventually (ten years
later) go to the lighthouse in the third part of the novel (Mrs. Ramsay is already dead, only Mr. Ramsay,
James, his sister, and two sailors go). James is very disappointed because the lighthouse is a shabby,
ordinary house. He thinks – “Nothing is simply one thing” – this is a key sentence about modernism
Concentrates on the minds of the characters, the not important things are written in brackets
Shows the inability of words to convey meaning – “Who knows what we are, what we feel? Who knows even
at the moment of intimacy, this is knowledge? Aren’t things spoilt then, Mrs. Ramsay may have asked (it
seemed to have happened so often, this silence by her side) by saying them?" – an idea or a feeling is
beautiful when it is happening in the mind, but it is no more beautiful when we say it, words destroy it.
The narrator is anonymous – he is a shouting voice, showing the state of mind.
There are different narrative techniques – changes present to the past.

Why is To the Lighthouse a feminist novel?

She divides the world into masculine and feminine. Masculine is marked by egotism, rigidity
9
and insistence
on intellect over feeling. The feminine is marked by imagination, intuition and compromise.
Mrs. Ramsay represents the conventional and submissive female. Lilly Briscoe is a representative of the
unconventional and rebellious against gender boundaries.
Through Woolf's projection of Mrs. Ramsay's life and her relationships to men characters, she affirms the
female values of fertility, giving and creating harmony. Woolf's projection of Lily’s life and her relationships to
Mrs. Ramsay and male characters is an attempt to teach women to accept their femininity, cultivate their
masculinity, and choose the role that they want to play as independent women

9
strnulost

17

Time shifts in Muriel Spark's fiction

MURIEL SPARK

Scottish writer
A Catholic convert (her parents were a Jew and a Protestant)
Green and Waugh supported her (they were also converted Catholics)
10

She lived in Africa where she got married and had a son but she returned to England. She died in Italy.
She is the author of 22 novels (Memento Mori, Aiding and Abetting
11
, The Comforters, A Far Cry From
Kensington), enigmatic short stories (Bang Bang You're Dead), plays, poems, biography (John Masefield),
books for children and literary criticism (A Child of Light – a study of Mary Shelley), and autobiography
(Curriculum Vitae
12
)
She uses varieties of settings, not only Europe
Her first short stories are very enigmatic, hard to understand; the later works are more understandable
She wrote novels about the absurdities of human behavior
Very special and particular style: she treats her characters in a cool detached way, she treats this way also
everything that happens, even sexual relationships
Dominant sign: time shifts – represented by the authorial narrator, there are many prolepsis

The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie

Spark's masterpiece
Setting: Marcia Blaine School, Edinburgh, the 1930's
Main protagonist: Miss Jean Brodie – an eccentric, rebellious and original teacher, she thinks she's
Providence; she is not liked by her colleagues because she has her own teaching methods; she prefers art
and classical education "Art is greater than science. Art comes first and then science."
Some of Brodie's methods: her history was only "her story" – new historicism
13
; other methods: she wants
the girls to lie – she promotes lies; she discusses her problems with her students, she also has manipulative
power; she makes the girls say that the greatest Italian painter is not Leonardo DaVinci but Giotto because
he is her favorite.
The novel deals with Brodie's relationship with her two male colleagues – the handsome one armed war
veteran Mr. Lloyd, a married Roman Catholic with six children she's in love with (strong character – there is
a moral ambiguity between strong and not strong. Also Sandy is a strong character; Miss Brodie is both
strong and weak), and a single music teacher Mr. Lowther (small, short legs, red-gold moustache) she has a
sexual relationship with (weak character) – split of love into sexual and emotional attachment (PM).

10
Other converted Catholics: Oscar Wilde, Joseph Conrad, James Joyce, David Lodge and probably also Shakespeare
11
According to Petríková, Aiding and Abetting is a detective short story. But in fact, it is a novel
12
According to Petríková, Curriculum Vitae is a novel
13
New Historicism can be seen also in Waterland by Graham Swift: he turned history into his own mythology

18
Miss Brodie is viewed from the perspective of her favorite girl students "the Brodie set", who become "crème
de la crème" of the school, mainly through the eyes of Sandy, who later finds Miss Brodie to be dangerous
(she supports fascists – it was a new regime, she didn't understand, she thought it was good) and betrays
her (Miss Jean Brodie believes that Marry betrayed her – chief conflict; she never finds out who really did.)
The Brodie set: Rose (famous for sex; she was the least excited about Miss Brodie's affairs; she models for
Mr. Lloyd's paintings; however, in every painting she looks like Miss Brodie whom Mr. Lloyd loves), Mary
MacGregor (famous for being a silent lump who everybody could blame; she was very stupid; later she lost
her life in a hotel fire), Eunice (famous for gymnastics and swimming; she became a nurse and married a
doctor), Monica (famous for mathematics which she could do in her brain), Sandy (famous for her vowel
sound – her mother was English; she became a nun). All girls were independent. It was shown also in the
way they wore their hats.
Joyce Emily Hammond = a very rich girl who comes to their school because she was expelled from her
previous school. She tries very hard to become part of the Brodie set but the girls don't like her. Miss Brodie
tells her about the fascists in Italy – she goes there and dies.
Hugh Carruters = a former lover of Miss Jean Brodie, he died in war in Italy. She likes to tell stories about
him; Miss Mackay = the headmistress of the school, she questions the girls about Miss Brodie, she is
looking for an evidence to get her fired. Mrs. Lockhart = a science teacher whom the girls liked.
Discourses: Moral relativism: She only shows what happens, she doesn't comment – it is only up to the
reader to decide; manipulation (PM but also M); political discourse (fascism)
The title is ironic – "prime"
The strongest voice belongs to the authorial narrator (omniscient)
Discourse and philosophy are modern
Miss Brodie is neither a negative character nor a positive one – it is a modern novel, there are no positive
or negative characters

TIME SHIFTS: Remarkable handling of time – it goes back and forth (flash-forwards and flashbacks). Her
narrative voice mixes past, present and future. Time shift is a common device of modern fiction. It keeps the
reader's attention focused. Spark begins with the girls at a young age, she then jumps forward to what happened
to them when they were adults and then goes back to the time when the girls are young. Although confusing at
times, this format incorporates the past, present and future of the girls in order to show Miss Brodie's influence
on them as adults simultaneously with their relationship as teacher and pupils but it also affects the reader's
reception. She also, for example, makes the reader aware early in the novel that Miss Brodie is betrayed, though
sequentially this happens at the end of their school year. Gradually Spark reveals the betrayer, and lastly all the
details surrounding the event are told. Spark develops her characters in this way, too: Joyce Emily is introduced
right away as the girl who is rejected from the Brodie set. With this technique, the narrator of the story is
omniscient and timeless, relating the entire plot all at once.







19
Modernist short fiction of Katherine Mansfield

KATHERINE MANSFIELD

She was born in New Zealand (in Wellington) but moved to Britain (stopped in Germany where she got
married) where she got re-married to a literary person – John Middleton Murry and became friends with
Virginia Woolf and D. H. Lawrence. With Lawrence and Murry they started to edit and publish a literary
magazine.
Katherine Mansfield is only her pen name (Kathleen Mansfield Beauchamp Murry)
She died of tuberculosis at the age of 35
Among her best-known stories are The Garden Party, The Daughters of the Late Colonel, The Fly;
collections of short stories: In a German Pension; Bliss and Other Stories; Something Childish; The Short
Stories of Katherine Mansfield
She adored Chekhov and incorporated some of his themes and techniques into her writing

MODERNISM IN HER SHORT FICTION

She helped to shape the modern short story form with her innovative literary style. She examined the human
condition in restrained and deceptively everyday prose. Her intention was to intensify small items so that
everything is significant. She depicted ordinary life rather than momentous events. (short stories of the era
before modernism were about condensing something large into a short story – modernism works vice versa)
She uses stream of consciousness and symbolic narrative style
Her short stories reject the plotted action and concentrate rather on the characters
Her stories center on the question of character and personal identity
She investigates ambiguity of personality
She uses epiphanies and symbols

The Garden Party

Published in collection The Garden Party and Other Stories
It is a modernist text: the story centers on the nature of experience as conveyed through epiphany, symbols,
impressions; the text shifts the reader's attention from traditional, action-oriented plot, to feelings and
seemingly minor events, generating meaning through symbols and their associations; a small feeling
represents a major theme: the issues of class, consciousness, difference between innocence and
experience, childhood and adulthood. There is not a proper introduction ("And after all the weather was
ideal") – it is more like an ending: modernism has no proper beginning and no proper ending
Main protagonist: Laura (around 20, just becoming an adult, she is an idealistic young girl), she is very close
to her younger brother Laurie; she also has two sisters – Meg and Jose
Some of the characters have no shapes, no names (the workers, the florist)
She was very good in presenting her characters is one sentence (Mrs. Sheridan after being told that
somebody died: "Not in the garden?" – she wasn't interested in who died)

20
Chief discourse: between those who wanted the party (Jose, Mrs. Sheridan) and those who wanted to stop
it, but the more important discourse is in Laura's mind: first she doesn’t want the party but then she does –
about her alternating moments of resistance and conformity to her mother's idea of class relations (she is
trapped between snobbery and her developing sense of moral responsibility). Laura's impressions dictate the
shape of the story.
Other discourses: life and death (Sheridan's house, house of the dead), youth and maturity
The most important moment in the text – the hat – she was given a new hat, she saw herself in a mirror,
she wants everybody to see her with this lovely hat (black with gold daisies)– vanity /marnomyselnost/
changes her mind ("Just for a moment she had another glimpse of that poor woman and those little children,
and the body being carried into the house. But it all seemed blurred, unreal, like a picture in the newspaper.
I'll remember it again after the party's over, she decided. And somehow that seemed quite the best plan...")
but when she goes to the neighbor's house she says "forgive my hat" to the dead body – she suddenly feels
ashamed of her hat – epiphany (she achieves moral and emotional maturity)
When Laura sees the dead man he seems beautiful – death is an aesthetic phenomenon (M)
The hat changed her mind – also an aesthetic phenomenon; Mrs. Scott's sister has an oily voice – it is
disgusting, but here it is aesthetical
There are many visual images: lilies – pink, red, purple (all the colors are red-ish – symbol of passion; their
shapes –as if they were opening – symbol of her state of mind: she's ready for love, she's ready to grow up)

























21
Narrative in short fiction of William Trevor

NARRATIVE: showing or telling the events in the text and the mode selected for that to take place. The words of the
narrative are attributed to the narrator. There are four kinds of narrator: authorial type is a reliable, omniscient
narrator of classical realist texts. The prevailing perspective is external. The focus is on the characters, not on the
position from which they are described. Personal narrator occurs in modern texts. The narrator is also a character
directly involved in the story. His perspective is both external and internal. He cannot always be trusted. It can consist
of either first person narration by a participating character or third person narration which is strongly colored with
personal markers of the character's world-view or register. Reflector is an extreme type of personal narrator. He holds
internal perspective and employs the stream of consciousness technique. He only provides the reader with the
character's thoughts, emotions, feelings, and recollections. He shows a character's state of mind. Camera eye uses
entirely external perspective with no possibility to comment on things or recollect past events. There is no account of
the character's feelings or thoughts. What matters most is not written, it's in between the lines.

WILLIAM TREVOR

Irish author and playwright
He has written several novels (Love and Summer; The Story of Lucy Gault; The Old Boys; Fools of Fortune;
The Boarding House) and hundreds of short stories (collections: After Rain; Bodily Secrets, The Stories of
William Trevor), a children's book (Juliet's Story), autobiography (Excursions in the Real World)
His characters are typical members of society: children, the elderly, single middle-aged men and women,
or the unhappily married. Those who cannot accept the reality of their loves create their own alternative
worlds into which they retreat.
Some of his short stories use Gothic elements to explore the nature of evil and its connection to madness.
He was influenced by James Joyce: punning, poetic devices, different narrative techniques
Also uses associations, symbols, stream of consciousness, repetitions, poetic quality, detailed
description, no pathos
14
, anticipation
15

His stories are set in both England and Ireland
Common themes: failure of communication, cruelties, madness, the comfort of lies and the hazard of
telling the truth, emigration, loneliness, guilt, the impact of the past, injustice, anxiety, death, faith in
good, honesty and humanity, daydreaming, complexity
Unreliable narrators, fragmentation
He penetrates into the inner lives of his characters and illuminates the corners of their emotional lives that
would normally lie completely hidden.




14
Pathos = an appeal to the reader's emotions, sympathies and imagination. It not only causes the audience to respond emotionally but
to identify with the writer's point of view – to feel what the writer feels
15
Anticipation = an emotion involving pleasure, excitement, and sometimes anxiety in considering some expected or longed-for good
event.

22

After Rain

Belongs to a collection of short stories After Rain
Setting: Italian pension Casarina, late summer (base time is late 80's or 90's)
Main character: Harriet – she goes on a holiday to an Italian resort familiar to her from her childhood visits,
having decided not to waste the scheduled time that she would have used to go with her former lover. The
story begins with her in the restaurant of this resort.
At one point of the story, while waiting out a rainstorm, Harriet becomes immersed in pondering a painting of
"the Annunciation" in local church. Trevor's descriptions of the painting are masterful.
Other temporal layers of time are her childhood and the past with her ex-boyfriend
PM: two languages (Italian, English, also some words in French) = juxtaposition
NARRATION: Camera eye narration (present tense) – description of the pension, personalized narrator
(past tense) – descriptions of her past. The end is written in the third person, but despite this the narrator is
a sort of reflector, there is the stream of consciousness of the main protagonist, we can see and read her
mind.
When she visits the church there is an epiphany: she realizes that all the failures of her previous
relationship are only her fault because she was only pretending to be in love (about release from her past).
She started to cheat on her lovers because she didn't want to repeat her parents' mistakes.
There are two major epiphanies: first is about her birth the second epiphany is when she realizes that she
will never have a happy relationship
Discourses: pretending, lying, hazards of the truth, loneliness
He uses repetition to make her stream of consciousness go faster – stands for her mental breakdown
He uses a very intense recording of his character's thoughts, the insight into their mind is perfect
There is an open ending – she has found out the truth but we don’t know what will follow
Reality v. imagination = what she wishes that would have happened.
She imagines a man who is "not happy enough" – he feels this way because she wasn't sincere.











23
Film adaptations of great English novels

As to the fidelity, there are three versions of movies:
Transposition = minimum interference - movie similar to book
Commentary = the original is altered in some way
Analogy = another, different work of art – the pre-text is deconstructed and violated

There are three basic structural units of a movie:
Shot = a single uninterrupted action of a camera
Scene = a series of shots taken at one basic time and place
Sequence = a number of scenes linked together by the same discourse

VOCABULARY: Script = a written description of the action, dialogue, and camera placement; Soundtrack = anything
audible (including dialogues, music, sounds of wind, etc.); Film-score = covers the background music; filmovat = to shoot
a film; Voice over = subjective, personal point of view; Subjective camera = a scene through the eyes of a character.
Adaptation = matching of the cinematic sign (=semiotic) system to a prior achievement of some other semiotic system
through the process of transformation. Transfer = covers the difference between film and fiction. Enunciation
16
cannot be
transferred but, for example, narrative or distributional functions can easily be transferred. Distributional functions=
actions, events, doings. Some are cardinal – more important, risky moments; and some are catalizers – small supportive
actions that enrich the texture; Integrational functions= characters, psychological identity, atmosphere. Here we
distinguish also a subgroup – informance – provides ready information (name, age, job – these are pure data, they are
given)

Types of shots: Shot = the smallest unit of film. It can be divided into:

Long shots:
Extreme long shot: setting dominates (e.g. Gibson’s Hamlet)
Full shot: shows the full person
Mid-shot: shows a person from the waist up

Close ups:
Typical close-up: shows just the head
Extreme close-up: shows an eye
Two-shot: shows two people from their waist up

In classical novels there are two major types of narrator: authorial and personal. In film, it is easy to alternate authorial
narrator – it is the camera. To present the personal narrator and personal point of view, films use either voice-over or
subjective camera.


16
Enunciation = the act of speaking

24
Mise-en-scène = telling the story in both visual and artful ways; modification of space by putting in the scene all the
elements placed before the camera including visual arrangements and composition, also props (=rekvizity), actors,
costumes, make-ups, lightening, character movements, the way actors look, move, gesticulate, how are they
photographed i.e. Mise-en-scene is everything that is placed in front of the camera.

ANTHONY BURGESS

Lived in Manchester but also in Malaysia and Russia (he uses Russian in Clockwork Orange)
Composer, linguist, translator, writer, and literary critic
He experienced violence – one of his wives was raped – he realized that we are helpless against violence
He wrote social satire
Some of his novels: A Clockwork Orange, The Doctor is Sick, One Hand Clapping, Earthly Powers

A Clockwork Orange

A dystopian satire
The chief discourse is about freedom to choose – it is about free will = novel of ideas, psychological and
existential novel. Alex has the power to choose his own moral course of action – Burgess supports the
conception of morality as a matter of choice and determination and argues that good behavior is
meaningless if one does not actively choose goodness.
Can be considered to be science-fiction, dystopia, or cyberpunk (= a postmodern and science fiction genre
focused on high tech and low life; it features advanced science coupled with a degree of breakdown or
radical change in the social order).
“natsat” = “teen” in Russian. It is an imaginary slang invented by Burgess. It is very rich i.e. contains Russian
slang, English slang, cockney dialect, neologisms, and archaisms – it is a mixture of various registers and
style. It is the single most striking literary device that Burgess employs.
The novel consists of three parts
The main protagonist and also the narrator (first person, subjective point of view) is 15-year-old Alex. He is
an autodiegetic narrator
17
(according to Gennett) or personal narrator. Alex is an antihero. He often
refers to himself as “your humble narrator”. He is witty, intelligent, and charming but on the other hand also
cruel, violent and sadistic. He loves classical music and finds that violence and music provide him with
similar kinds of aesthetic pleasure (=juxtaposition). Despite his brutality and natural leadership, Alex is quite
naïve and immature
Other characters: Dim, Pete, Georgie, Frank Alexander (=represents Burgess’ opinions because Burgess
experienced similar violence and he is also a writer)
Horror show – double coded term = it phonetically resembles хорошо
Repetition of the phrase “So what’s it going to be then?” → What to do today?/ What is going to be this
chapter about?
Ludovico Technique = Alex develops hate for violence and classical music: “Each man kills the thing he
loves” - he uses a quote from Oscar Wilde’s Ballad of a Reading Gaol.

17
Gennett: a narrator who is also a character in the story = homodiegetic narrator. If he is also the protagonist of the narration =
autodiegetic narrator.

25
At the end of the novel Alex becomes a free individual.
In the last chapter he meets Pete who is already married and he wants to have family as well. We can say
that Alex is a good person.

A Clockwork Orange – movie

Satirical science-fiction
The last chapter wasn’t filmed. The movie ends in hospital where Alex’s taste for violence and classical
music return. He is a bad person again.
It is a commentary (up to the last chapter there are some omissions but the spirit is preserved). The last
chapter (the ending) is an analogy because it is completely different.
It violently attacks the cultural code (e.g. Beethoven is expected to be listened by good-natured people who
are not connected to violence - here he is liked by criminals) and aggressive post modern irony.
Violence is not only horrible but also funny and beautiful (colors, mise-én-scéne) – juxtaposition of
horrible and beautiful, amusing and disturbing
Alex's character in the movie is more manipulative (in the book Alex is put to Ludovico technique because
he accidentally kills his cellmate. In the movie he volunteers for the treatment and is chosen in part for his
good behavior in prison).
In the movie, the "cat lady" whose house Alex breaks into possesses a great deal of sexual artwork,
including a rocking penis sculpture. None of this artwork is mentioned in the book.
In the novel, Mrs. Alexander dies during the rape. In the movie she dies a few months later during an
epidemic, though her husband still blames the rape of her death
Mr. Alexander is in the movie less mentally stable, very traumatized and angry
In the movie, Alex has a pet snake
In the novel, Dr. Branom is a male, in the movie the character is female.
The movie uses the futuristic language Nadsat somewhat less often than the book in order to make the
movie more accessible.
In the novel, F. Alexander recognizes Alex through a number of careless references to the previous attack
(e.g. his wife then claiming they did not have a telephone). In the film Alex is recognized when singing the
song "Singing in the Rain" in the bath, which he had done while attacking F. Alexander's wife. The song
does not appear at all in the book.












26
Beginnings and endings in McEwan's novels

IAN McEWAN
an English novelist and screenwriter. He spent much of his childhood in East Asia, Germany, and North Africa, where his
father, a Scottish army officer, was posted. His family returned to England when he was twelve. Similarly to Ishiguro, he
attended the first creative writing course
Works: 13 novels (The Cement Garden (about incestuous love between brother and sister while their younger brother
becomes a transvestite), The Comfort of Strangers (about a young English couple on holiday that gets to know a sadistic
man), The Child in Time, The Innocent, Black Dogs, Enduring Love (sexual deviations about Jed who fell in love with Joe),
Amsterdam, Atonement (misunderstanding of a situation leads to a tragic end of the story), Saturday, On Chesil Beach, Solar),
one play (The Imitation Game), four screenplays (Jack Flea's Birthday Celebration, The Ploughman's Lunch; Sour Sweet; The
Good Son), an opera libretto (For You) and children's fiction (The Daydreamer, Rose Blanch), collections of short stories (First
Love, Last Rites; In Between the Sheets; the Short Stories)
He very often uses the theme of sexual deviation (PM theme)

On Chesil Beach
Set in a hotel bedroom on the Dorset coast in 1962. The novel starts where the classical novels usually end (e.g. Austen) –
wedding day (honeymoon night) of two people in love
Two young protagonists – a historian Edward (simple country boy, he is excited, has no reservations in their relationship) and
a violinist Florence (shy, reserved, dominant, dedicated to music)
He combines comedy and tragedy (it is funny how they behave but on the other hand it is also tragic) – crossing the
boarders between comic and tragic is a PM sign.
The protagonists function as alazons (=victims of irony) behaving in an absurd way
The novel is funny at the beginning and sad and surprising at the end
The original discourse of sexual taboos turns into existential one – Beckettian discourse on the failure to communicate;
central discourse: delaying tactics
There is the authorial narrator (3
rd
person + past tense) but it is not a proper omniscient narrator because he doesn't know
and tell everything – it is a new type of authorial narrator and it is personalized narrator. The narrator uses his own register
(but also character's register), he is less reliable (Who could not?; and she would say so; Yes, she needed to speak up)
Aesthetic dominants: thematic layer (comedy and tragedy), formal layer (the personalized narrator)
Frame story (=leads from one introductory story to another one) is mentioned.
He manipulates with details, sometimes he is very cinematic and visual in his descriptions
Split personality: PM is schizophrenic; modern term – estrangement (words of estrang.= seem, appear)
He shows the mind of his characters – mind reading
He uses free indirect speech
18
combined with free direct speech
19

There is a parallax within one character's mind – micro-parallax = two different opinions about one thing e.g. Florence was
shy but dominant
"This is how the entire course of life can be changed – by doing nothing." – main idea
"The point is to love, and set each other free." – discourse on the relationship between love and freedom.

18
Ambiguous mode blurring a distinction between a character's speech and the voice of a narrator (Joyce established this mode through
one of his textual devices – a complete omission of diverted commas in direct discourses). Free indirect speech looks like direct speech
through its registers (or a direct thought), but at the same time it shares back-shifting (of pronouns and temporal expressions) with the
second mode of indirect speech – it merges the border between character's speech and the narrator. It enables the writer to present
words, which seem to have come from inside and outside a character simultaneously, having both emotional involvement of a character
and the ironic detachment of a narrator.
19
introductory (reporting) clause [i.e. "…" he said] is missing – advantage: reporting clause is boring; disadvantage: reader can feel lost
in the text. It is not typical in drama but we can find it in fiction.

27
The unreliable narrator of Kazuo Ishiguro

KAZUO ISHIGURO
British writer of Japanese origin
He attended the first creative writing courses in the world initiated by Bradbury and Wilson.
Novels (A Pale View of Hills; An Artist of the Floating World; The Remains of the Day, The Unconsoled;
When We Were Orphans; Never Let Me Go), four screenplays (A Profile of Arthur J. Mason; The Gourmet;
The Saddest Music in the World) and some short fiction (A Village after Dark; A Family Supper)
He employs an unreliable personal narrator = the reader knows more than the narrator (character). Lodge
defines the unreliable narrator: "The point of using an unreliable narrator is to reveal in an interesting way
the gap between the appearance and reality, and to show how human beings distort or conceal the latter."
His texts are set both in Japan and England, but also in anonymous central European city, or in the future.
The narrative in Ishiguro's pieces is usually a personal confession

Never Let Me Go

Genre: novel, subgenre: dystopia about horrible future and a psychological novel about fragile boarders
between friendship and love
It has three parts: Childhood, Adult, Donor; The atmosphere is disturbing
Kathy: the unreliable personal narrator. Microstructures supporting this: she asks herself questions; she
says one thing and then she questions it; sometimes she doesn't know if she remembers things properly
The characters and Kathy are clones, made to provide organs for "normal people" – we learn this only later
in the novel (in the second part).
To be able to solve the problem of clones (they are weak, cannot survive, cannot have children, they are
made to suffer) Ishiguro created Hailsham – creation of alternate world – dominant feature of this novel –
PM sign. At the end of the novel, Hailsham is closed.
Hailsham was founded by mysterious Madame to help the clones to lead a decent life until they provide their
organs and "complete". Madame also wants to show the public the works of art of the students in her
Gallery to show that the clones have souls. The fact that Kathy is an unreliable narrator can be proved also
by the character of Madame – Kathy didn't understand her, they all thought she was scared of the clones.
Only at the end Kathy and Tommy realize that she was trying to help them. Her real name was Marie-
Claude. They called her Madame, because they didn't know her real name and thought her to be French or
Belgian. She came to the school once or twice a year (sometimes even four or five) to collect their works.
Main protagonists: Kathy, Ruth and Tommy
Other characters: Miss Emily – the headmistress; Miss Lucy – a guardian; she is fired because she wants to
let the clones know why are they there and what happens to them next (she didn't realize the consequences
– they were at Hailsham to be provided a better life than other clones and this would ruin their illusions);
Miss Geraldine – Kathy and Ruth's most favorite guardian; Rodney and Chrissie – a veteran couple that the
three students meet at the Cottages. It is Rodney who claims to have seen Ruth's "possible" in Norfolk.
They find out that the woman he saw is not her possible. They are disappointed but not surprised – she
works in an office – their possibles are expected to be "garbage" people such as homeless and prostitutes.

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Chief discourses: danger of clones, scientists playing the role of Gods and without considering their after-
effect. Minor discourses: identity (Kathy H., Tommy D. – also other students have only their first name),
love and friendship, different shapes of love, art and human creativity, creativity supporting humanity,
There are newly invented words: carer (a clone who cares for other clones recovering from organ-removal
surgery), complete (to die), possible (the "original" person), donor (clone), guardians (teachers), deferral
(meant that you could post-pone your donations and could lead a normal life for another three or four years.
First they had to prove that they were in love with each other), veterans (older students at the Cottages).
Shortcomings of the novel: Ishiguro failed to depict the place of Hailsham in our world. On the other hand,
he managed to write a warning, to show the fragile boarders between love and friendship
It is a postmodern novel (PM is always about something that is different)
Never Let Me Go is Kathy's favorite song (she thinks it's about a mother pleading her baby). One day, while
she is alone in the dorm dancing to this music, Madame sees her and starts weeping ("when I watched you
dancing that day, I saw something else. I saw a new world coming rapidly. More scientific, efficient, yes.
More cures for the old sicknesses. Very good. But a harsh cruel world. And I saw a little girl, her eyes tightly
closed, holding to her breast the old kind of world, one that she knew in her heart could not remain, and she
was holding it and pleading, never to let her go.")
Norfolk = in Geography, Miss Emily shows the students parts of England (towns, cities, villages). When she
shows them Norfolk, she says that it is just a "lost corner of England". There is also a "lost corner" at
Hailsham where people bring or look for things they have lost. Because of this the students think that
everything that ever gets lost and cannot be found in the "lost corner" of their school will be found in Norfolk.

Plot: part one – about life in Hailsham, Kathy speaks about how she met Ruth (she asked her to play with her with her imaginary horses, later they pretended to be guards protecting
Miss Geraldine) and about Tommy and his bad temper (he doesn't do art while everyone else does, he keeps at distance from others, they make fun of him). Every season, they have
Exchanges at the school where each student brings something he has created in exchange from something done by other students. They also have Sales where they can buy things
from the outside world such as clothes, school supplies, etc. We learn that the "donors" can't have any children thus they can have sex without taking concern in contraception. Ruth
and Tommy start to go out together. The second part takes place at the Cottages where they have to take care of themselves by their own. Tommy still goes out with Ruth. Kathy has
a sexual intercourse with several of the boys. She very often reads porn magazines (referred to as "Stevie's magazines") – only later in the novel we learn that it is because she
expects her "possible" to be a prostitute. This part includes the trip to Norfolk where they want to find Ruth's possible. After they realize that they were mistaken, they have a fight and
Ruth, Rodney and Chrissie go to visit Rodney and Chrissie's friend, Martin, while Kathy and Tommy are wandering about the town looking for stores with old stuff (they are looking for
the lost tape – eventually Kathy finds it, but Tommy buys it for her). Tommy also confesses to Kathy that he started to draw imaginary animals (he thinks that in order to get a deferral
they first look at your works in order to uncover if you're saying the truth). One day Ruth and Kathy make fun of these animals which is later revealed to Tommy by Ruth. They have
an argument and Kathy decides to leave and become a carer. Tommy and Ruth don't split up but don't talk to each other after they are called to their donations. In the last part Kathy
is talking about her donors. Here we learn that she was Ruth's carer (during this time they meet also Tommy and Ruth confesses that she has been keeping Tommy and Kathy apart
and that she wishes them to go to Madame to ask for deferral; she gives them Madame's address which she has somehow obtained) and after she died (her only wish was that Kathy
would be Tommy's carer) Kathy went on to be Tommy's carer. They go to find Madame, to ask for a deferral but find out that there's no such thing and that they are destined to serve
their purpose. At Madame's house they also meet Miss Emily who confesses to them that Hailsham was only a project of their organization to make the life of clones more pleasant
since before they were kept in horrible conditions. After some kind of an affair the organization lost its investors and Hailsham had to be closed.

The Remains of the Day – movie

The unreliable narrator is Mr. Stevens (calm, efficient, loyal, perfectionist, cold, not showing his emotions, he
takes great pride in his skills to manage the staff – when his father was dying, Stevens continued his duties
without pause), the butler of the Darlington Hall
Other characters: Lord Darlington (beliefs that Germany has been unfairly treated by the Treaty of Versailles,
he has been denounced a traitor and died broke), Miss Kenton (an equal to Stevens in the household
hierarchy)


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Suspense in the first novel by Jon McGregor

JON McGREGOR

He has written three novels: If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things; So Many Ways to Begin – heroism of
an ordinary man bravely struggling with his unhappy fate – it is similar to Slovak Jozef Mak ; Even the Dogs
– about a man found dead in his flat, it is about what happens to a man's body after it is found and what
happened to him and the people around him in the days, weeks, and years leading up to his death.

If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things

Setting: poor quarter of a nameless city in the North of England during one late summer day
Many characters and they have no names, just numbers of houses (Selflessness - PM)
Two different narrative techniques: 1. “I –narration” i.e. personal narration (the pregnant girl) and 2.
Camera eye (=third person combined with present tense) – the basic narrative technique of this novel
It shows the extraordinary in everyday life invoking reader's empathy with a set of characters. It combines
different perspectives of one tragic event. He writes about ordinary people – one of the discourses is
ordinariness - he finds poetry in it: ordinary is made remarkable (he follows Joyce).
He takes notice of things that other writers ignore
He doesn’t mark dialogues (he follows Joyce but he goes further)
The central episode is the tragedy at the end of the book – death of Sahib (foreign name) in a car accident.
There is prolepsis (foreshadowing) – e.g. he describes the sounds of the street and they suddenly stop –
foreshadowing that something will happen.
He uses many (cinematic) visual images e.g. the description of the rain – he describes sounds, colors and
textures - he uses poetic language (metaphors)
The symbol of ribbon: a young girl from number 19 is playing with a ribbon, she wants to “catch the baby”
because she wants someone to play with. Her idea comes from her father’s answer to the question of how
she was born: he answered her that she was plucked from the air.
There is a running motive of foreign people living in England and belonging
Main discourses: belonging, anonymity, indifference, the coexistence of different cultures and races
(chief discourse), suspense (tension = there are questions but delayed answers).
Sometimes he directly addresses the reader – technique used in essays or lyrical texts
The structure is snowball-like – going back to what has already been started, and forward and back again,
playing with the time flow in an extraordinary way
"If nobody speaks of remarkable things, how can they be called remarkable?" – tension between ordinary
and remarkable.
Characters:
The boy from #18: he takes photographs – photos are a very important part of McGregor’s books – little things are important (started by Beckett); A
man with carefully trimmed moustache: he wants to do something he has never done before. He contributes to the central episode, because the
driver of the crashed car looks at him and he distracts his attention. ; The “I-narrator” – the girl (Sarah) with short blond hair is the most important
character because it is all about her memories and reflections; A man drawing a picture of the street; A four-year-old girl with her father; Woman with
her husband and children (twins, little girl); A couple in their thirties; A man painting his window frames. The man in the car who causes the accident

30

Introducing characters in David Lodge's novels

DAVID LODGE

English writer and critic
Modernism, anti-modernism (=synonym for realism; the modernist pole is based on metaphor, the anti-
modernist is metonymical
20
), postmodernism
He has an unusual sense of humor and simplicity and clarity of style
His first novels were realist but later he became an experimental post/modernist writer
Establisher of campus novel (Changing Places, Small World, Nice Work)
He added short circuit to Hassan's 11 signs of postmodernism. Short circuit is when a real character meets
a literary character (extra-textual meets the textual). He also added contradictions, permutations
(=rearranging of values), discontinuity (= reflects the flow of history and the fact that some things are no
longer perceived, described, expressed, characterized, classified and known in the same way from one era
to the next), randomness, excess.
He started differentiating between the term realistic and realist i.e. realistic = axiological term, it has a
positive connotation – praising a character or text as convincing and true to life; realist = having formal
characteristics of realism; refers to a certain movement or period in the literary historical development.
His most frequent discourses: red-brick universities, birth control in young Catholic families (The British
Museum is Falling Down), artificial intelligence (Thinks…), rewriting of Kierkegaard's love affair and his
theory of repetition (Therapy), existential problems of his protagonists (Deaf Sentence)
He wrote also biographies: Author, Author (fictional biography of Henry James)
Some other works: realist novels (The Picturegoers - his first novel; Ginger You're Barmy; Out of the Shelter)
How Far Can You Go?; The Writing Games – piece of drama; The Writing Truths; collections of essays and
collections of short stories; The Art of Fiction – literary criticism

Deaf Sentence

Aesthetical dominants: different registers (play with language and style – M started this)
The title is a parallel to death sentence
It is a metanovel – he writes about his own writing; it's also a strong satire
Deaf Sentence is more serious than Changing Places (more ironical and playful)
He is playing with narrative techniques: camera eye (outside descriptions), I-narrator (his diary; subjective,
internal perspective)
There are many words which open the cultural code (e.g. The Guardian), he also uses images ("linotile
floor", "smelly toilet", "damp bed" ) and metaphors ("winning card")
Characters: Desmond Bates, a retired professor of linguistics. He misses the academic environment and his
status. He still hangs around the university and gets involved with a postgraduate student, Alex Loom–

20
Some titles of novels can serve as examples: To the Lighthouse for a modernist – metaphorical text and Bleak House (Dickens) as a
realist metonymy

31
unpredictable and enigmatic. Fred: Desmond's wife of Catholic upbringing. Harry – Desmond's father,
stubborn, exasperating, pitiful and extremely annoying; Colin Butterworth (Alex's supervisor) Ann (pregnant
daughter) and Jim, Richard (Desmond's son), Maisie (Desmond's first wife who died of cancer)
Discourse: existential problems, problem of work and what to do when it ends, problem of aging parents
Comic at the beginning more serious at the end
Desmond Bates is a professor of linguistics forced into early retirement because of an onset of hearing
problems. The encroaching deafness leaves him accident-prone and subject to mishearing what is said to
him, often with comic results. While he's bored with retirement and feeling out of sorts with becoming a
senior citizen, his younger wife is embarking on a new successful career and his father is dying. His life is
upended when a young American graduate student decides that Desmond should be her advisor on her
thesis about linguistics in suicide notes.
The portrayal of Desmond's deafness is based on Lodge's own experience

Petrikovej oblubene otazky:

Ear wax = at New Year's Eve, Desmond goes to sauna with Lionel. When he gets out he jumps to the cold water. After going
inside and putting on his hearing aid he realizes that he doesn't hear anything and he thinks he has become deaf. They find
the nearest doctor who tells him that the heat of the sauna melted the wax in his ears and the overflow of the cold water
solidified it into a seal.
New Year's Eve = Desmond and Winifred went to spend New Year's Eve with Winifred's business partner Jakki and her new
boyfriend Lionel (a middle-aged accountant) at Gladeworld, an up-market holiday place in a forest (little chalets, spa). Jakki
and Lionel were supposed to go there with Lionel's brother and his wife, but Lionel's brother got sick so they invited Desmond
and Fred.
Mrs. Norfolk = Desmond meets her at Christmas party and explains her the famous line "Very flat, Norfolk" and why it is
funny. She is a very valuable customer at Fred's deco house. She got insulted by the negative connotations that Desmond
provided of her name (it was because the batteries in his hearing aid went off – he tried to speak as much as possible to
avoid an awkward situation of not hearing what other people say)
Harry's death = During Desmond's visit to Poland he got a call that his son, Richard, went to visit Harry at Lime Avenue and
found Harry lying on the floor. He had a stroke. After his return, Desmond stayed at Harry's house and visited him regularly at
the hospital. One day Desmond was called by the nurse to come to the hospital but by the time he got there his dad had
already passed away.
Allusions = there is an allusion to Jane Austen's Emma where Miss Bates talks about her mother's deafness as if it was
nothing at all: "My mother's deafness is very trifling you see - just nothing at all. By only raising my voice, and saying anything
two or three times over, she is sure to hear; but then she is used to my voice": Here Desmond comments that Austen politely
hints at the frustration and irritation of the company at having to bear the repetition of every banal remark in louder and louder
tones for the benefit of old Mrs. Bates. Other allusions: Desmond reads Hardy's biography on the train
21
; he also reads the
Guardian. Lodge also quotes Bible: "thou shall not curse the deaf, nor put a stumbling-block before the blind".

About characters in Lodge's novels:
He is sympathetic towards his characters
Throughout each novel, the characters become more rounded
He tends to leave his characters in an open-end situation
Many of his characters are Catholic and Catholicism is a major theme e.g. Winifred has Catholic upbringing, in Therapy
Maureen is from a Catholic family
Some characters from Changing Place also appear in other novels (of the trilogy)

21 Toto Petrikova neuznava, lebo o tom nevie

32

Semiotic analysis
22
of a short story by David Lodge

Hotel Des Boobs
There are two texts in one. Main protagonists of the first story: a young man Harry and a young girl Brenda;
main protagonists of the other story are the Author and his wife
Lodge deliberately confuses different levels of reality
There is a realistic beginning depicting Harry and Brenda's holiday in France. There most of the women
who lie sunbathing around the pool are topless, giving Harry the opportunity for "boob-watching". After a few
pages the narrative is interrupted by the sentence "The Author had reached this point in his story, which he
was writing seared at an umbrella-shaped table in the terrace overlooking the hotel pool." Which makes it
clear that this is really a story about the author and his wife. Like Harry, the author is on holiday in the south
of France and watches the women around the pool while he is writing a story. As it happens, a sudden gust
of wind scatters many pages of his story. His story depicts guests from his own hotel, who, should they pick
up a page and read it, might find that the author described them not always to their advantage. So when the
author's wife comes from her shopping trip, he says that he wants her to find another hotel.
“A Peeping Tom is someone who interferes with someone else’s privacy.” - raises a question as to who is
being insulted – two views, duplicity – main discourse
There are two endings: 1. "the blue, breast-less margins of the pool." – the ending of the invented story of
the author. It is double-coded – "blue" stands for the color but also for the sad, depressed. 2. "'No, of
course not,' said the author. But he didn't sound entirely convinced, or convincing." – also double-coded.
Usually the first text is about the author, but here the author's piece of work is first and then the author is
introduced. It has a Chinese box structure.
There is a close parallelism and resemblance between Harry and Brenda and the author and his wife.
He deliberately caters to a cliché, namely, that authors always write about their own experiences
Other double-coded features: he uses two languages: English and French (Hotel des Boobs – French and
English setting), combination of standard English and slang. These duplicities provide the text with
literariness. Combination of slang and formal words also results in irony: “it became the principal theatre of
Harry’s initiation into the new code of mammary
23
manners.”
Examples of icons: perfect cones, brown satin bags, smooth jelly moulds, noses of two small rodents (based
on visual resemblance)
Examples of indices: he opens a book when he wants to watch women (we usually open a book when we
want to read it)
Financial Times = cultural background, culture code
"The author felt raped" – he feels helpless, people could find his papers and find themselves in the text – he
has to leave the hotel
The writing technique is more important than the story itself
Parallelism between the story of Harry and Brenda and the author and his wife (both are on holiday in a
hotel in the south of France,…) – the author writes about his own experiences

22
= analysis of the practices involved (= everything "beyond" the surface [text])
23
Mammary = connected to breasts

33

Canonical post-modern fiction of Barnes

JULIAN PATRICK BARNES

English writer
He has written crime fiction under the pseudonym Dan Kavanagh.
He is one of the best-loved English writers in France where he has won several literary prizes
He is best known for his inventive and intellectual novels about obsessed characters curious about the
past.
Some of Barnes' works: The Sense of an Ending – his last (2011) novel; Arthur and George – it is
considered to be his best novel, it is a story of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and a half-Indian solicitor George
Edalji. It is based on the real story of how Sir Arthur Conan Doyle campaigned to have George declared
innocent of wounding a pony. However, the book doesn't completely stick to the historical record; Nothing to
Be Frightened of – a memoir, set of essays on death; Pulse – collection of short stories; A History of the
World in 10½ Chapters – Barnes describes a number of skin-to-teeth escapes of the human race, epic
voyages and life-threatening reality: Noah's Ark, Jewish refugees. It is called "A history" because it is not just
one history – interpretation of history, history is subjective, each person has his own interpretation of history
– New Historicism; Works as Dan Kavanagh: Duffy; Fiddle City, Going on the Dogs, Putting the Boot in;
collections of short stories: Cross Channel, The Lemon Table
He is known for his complex form of irony and also for his combinations of comic and tragic.

Vigilance

Part of The Lemon Table – a collection of 11 short stories, all variations on the subject of aging concerning
the disconsolations of mortality. It is full of ways to die with dignity and ways to live as if it really mattered.
The lemon is a Chinese symbol for death (because of its bitterness) and the book takes its title from a
restaurant in Helsinki where artists used to sit at a "lemon table" to talk about death. Each story in this book
addresses the topic but Barnes does not portray late life as a genteel quieting of the spirit. Instead, the
characters are extensions of their formal selves, full of love, hatred, jealousy, anger, sympathy and humor.
There are deep layers of meaning and carefully crafted language and tone. The characters are well-
developed and their relationships are complex.
Main protagonists: Charlie and his ex-lover and companion Andrew
Charlie is very keen on attending concerts, he hates when people sneeze, cough, speak or disturb in some
other way. He has fantasies about how to prevent this – electric shocks
PM: he addresses the reader (different narration); the unpresentable (homosexual love), aggressive
postmodern irony, selflessness (people are given numbers instead of names), juxtaposition of two
incomparable things (Mozart + farting), also juxtaposition of fictive and real (the main characters are fictive
but they mention real composers)
He directly address the reader


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Tristram Shandy – a postmodern novel?

LAURENCE STERN

Postmodern classic; born in Ireland, died in London. After his father’s death he was sent to Yorkshire to his
uncle. His great-grandfather was the Archbishop of York. He studied at Cambridge (his study was paid by a
scholarship founded by his great-grandfather). He was made a priest, but he was also a member of
demoniacs. They held meetings in so-called “crazy castle” (Skelton Castle) owned by his friend John Hall
Stevenson.
He was influenced by John Locke.
His sermons in Minster Cathedral, Yorkshire were very famous, even atheists were coming to see him. He
published his sermons in Sermons of Mr. Yorik.
He also wrote A Political Romance: a satire on local enthusiastical courts.
Journal to Eliza, A Sentimental Journal
After his death, his body was stolen by grave robbers.

The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy

It is a postmodernist, didactic text. It is difficult to ascribe to Tristram Shandy the title of "postmodern"
because it precedes postmodernism in over a century (it was written during the Age of Reason (18
th

century): first volume appeared in 1759 and the last in 1767). However, Tristram Shandy does contain
fictional and narrative elements which clearly invite comparison with the fiction of the postmodern movement.
It is the first anti-novel
24
in English literature: it is not about the life and opinions of Tristram Shandy - it’s
about his uncle Toby. It breaks all the rules, even of language and punctuation
Characters: Uncle Toby (gentle, uncomplicated), Walter Shandy (rational, interested in philosophy)
Tristram is the narrator – he is a narrator with a body (constantly complains about his health)
The story itself isn’t interesting, interesting are the digressions - very surprising, shocking
He uses topography (=graphical games): one page is black; when Toby falls in love with widow, her beauty
is indescribable, so he left one page blank for the reader to draw her; a page with marble design on it.
It is also autobiographical (Mr. Yorik)
He uses different languages
He uses a naratee (citatel v texte) for the first time.
The knobs are also a metaphor for the reader who cannot unknot the story.
Sterne employs association: he talks about the bridge of a nose and suddenly he starts to talk about a
bridge over the river.
There are many sexual connotations. One occurs every time when Toby’s wound is mentioned because it
is in his groin. Wadman widow – in love with Uncle Toby, she is very interested in the wound but she
doesn’t want to ask because Uncle Toby is very shy. Every time when someone was talking about
something sexual, Toby started to whistle “Lillibullero”.

24
Disappoints readers expectations

35
It’s also about hobbies: Toby’s hobby is building fortifications. Running motives: wound, fortifications (they
are being repeated). Towards the ending, Toby promises Wadman widow to show her the “very place”. The
reader expects him to show her the wound, but he shows her something on the map.
He often talks to the reader in 2nd person. It looks like drama. It also is like drama because the nature of the
characters is not in their words, but in their gestures. He also uses ostranenie and meta-textuality. Metanovel
includes: digressions, discussing the way of writing with the reader, aesthetic dominant features (irony)
He not only addresses the reader but very often he also addresses the characters and tells them what to do
Time is treated very often; John Locke’s philosophy of time: there are two kinds of time: 1. Objective =
measureable; and 2. Subjective = not measureable

Tristram Shandy consists of nine books:

1) How it was conceived, the family and friends are introduced
2) Uncle Toby’s hobbies
3) Tristram’s birth
4) Typical digression: Completely new character is introduced (Slawkenbergins), long piece of Latin.
5) Bobby – Tristram’s brother dies. We know nothing about him, we only know that he dies. It is a reflection on death.
6) Le Fevre’s story, 1st breeches
7) Toby’s travels in France
8) Uncle Toby and Wadman widow
9) Tale of Mad Maria

Tristram’s delivery: his mother refused to have her husband present; she was there only with a woman who helped. But the delivery was too
long and they had to call the doctor. Dr. Slop didn’t come at first, that’s why they sent Obadiah to get him. On his way, Obadiah bumped into
the doctor, they fell down and the doctor came to the delivery dirty. He also had instruments that were rattling. That’s why he tied them
together and made knobs. When he arrived, he couldn’t untie them, also the family tried to help. Someone brought a knife, but together with
knobs, cut off doctor’s finger. The doctor was also an inventor of new instruments → he wanted to test them, but he crashed the baby’s nose
(another of Walter Shandy’s philosophies: the better nose, the better luck has the baby). The baby’s face blackened - everyone thought it was
going to die. They wanted to baptize it; they asked his father for the name. He said Trismegistus, but it was mispronounced. Tristram blames
his parents for his misfortune.

According to Ihab Hassan, there are 11 ways of how to define postmodernism:
1. Indeterminacy = violation of logical and chronological order, events are not explained, they just happen.
2. Fragmentation = 1. Thematic fragmentation – new things begin and the old ones are not finished = 2. Formal fragmentation – each
chapter is written in a different style; different narrative techniques in one text, the end is a gesture, it is very open.
3. Selflessness = about double identity, search for identity, loss of identity. It was initiated by modern writers e.g. Kafka’s Jozef K.
4. The un-presentable = something that wasn’t written in the past is written in postmodernism - everything is written about (including
the ugly and bad – e.g. cow shit, also violence, sexual behavior, stages of death)
5. Irony = postmodernist irony is more aggressive.
6. Performance = necessity to have an active reader (the reader must finish the text); e.g. French Lieutenant’s woman
7. Decanonization = new texts don’t follow the older ways of expressions. New ways are initiated.
8. Hybridization = it is very difficult to say what kind of novel a novel is, because it is a mixture of different genres.
9. Carnivalisation = mood is playful, polyphonic; they are wearing masks, or verbal masks.
10. Constructionism = literature is only a verbal play.
11. Immanence = texts have their own internal rules.

36
Film adaptations of Hamlet
WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE

He married Anne Hathaway. They had twins and one daughter
Writer, actor, and the shareholder of the Globe – one of the first permanent theatres.
Sonnets: develop a single mood, elaborate a single image, and express a single thought. There are three
characters in Shakespeare's sonnets: poet himself, a dark lady and a friend. At the beginning the poet is in
love with both but they betray him and he stays alone. Main theme in his love sonnets is fever of a wanton
(nerestna) love. Poems: Shakespeare's sonnets, A Lover's Complaint
Comedies: they are set in a fairytale setting, but the characters are realist. The tone is full of love and
harmony. There is always a happy ending. The conflict is usually between nature and nurture. Comedies:
Love Labor's Lost, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Taming of the Shrew, the Merry Wives
of Windsor, As You Like It, All's Well That Ends Well, The Comedy of Errors
Histories: Richard II, Henry IV, Henry V, Henry VI, Richard III, Henry VIII
Tragedies: Romeo and Juliet, Julius Caesar, King Lear, Macbeth, Othello, Antony and Cleopatra
Female protagonists are very special: brave, noble and free in speech. Shakespeare uses three different
types of love: friendly, wanton, and nuptial (svadobny).

Hamlet

The plot wasn’t originally invented by Shakespeare; he found it in a Danish chronicle.
Shakespeare’s Hamlet is not only about revenge, but also about the contrast between his duty and his
inability to act – he is too weak, too deep, and too sensitive to act, to kill someone without a reason.
Hamlet is quiet, thinker, he likes to contemplate, ruminate; postponement (of murder), hesitancy (“to be or
not to be” – his soliloquy)
It is the longest and greatest Shakespeare’s play.
Setting: Elsinore Castle (in Kopenhagen), 12
th
century
It is the most speculative play (characters think really deep). Deep thoughts are expressed by soliloquy
(=long monologue towards the audience).
There are 5 acts divided into scenes (some say three): 1. When Hamlet meets his father and he is asked to
revenge his death 2. When Fortinbras (doer), Norwegian prince, the very opposite of Hamlet (thinker),
inspires Hamlet. 3. When Hamlet becomes the one to be killed.
Characters: Hamlet (heir); Claudius (brother of the king); Gertrude (Hamlet’s mother); ghost of king Hamlet;
Horatio (Hamlet’s best friend); Rosencrantz and Guildenstern (spies, Hamlet’s classmates in Germany);
Polonius (lord Chamberlain, Claudius’ chief advisor), Ophelia (Polonius’ daughter); Laertes (Polonius’ son).
When we compare Olivier’s and Gibson’s Hamlet, Olivier’s fidelity to the novel is higher
Hamlet has three weapons: madness (by pretending to be mad he is able to tell the truth), script of the play
he wrote and thought.


As to the differences between Olivier’s and Gibson’s Hamlet:


37
In general we can say that Olivier’s Hamlet is a transposition to the original text whereas Gibson’s Hamlet
can be considered to be a commentary version.
The 1948 production is artistically narrated rather than all being said aloud – voice over occurs very often in
this version. Gibson employs subjective camera, showing the scene through the eyes of a character.
Olivier's film includes an opening voice-over that represents Hamlet's fundamental problem as indecision:
„This is the tragedy of a man who could not make up his mind“.
If we compare the atmosphere of these films, Olivier’s is more gloomy, dark, and depressing. Gibson’s is
more vital, there are more people, the action is dynamic. Olivier’s version is more theatrical and dramatic.
Olivier completely omitted the characters of Fortinbras, Rosencratz and Guildenstern (the “political
elements”). It was in order to save time but also to focus more on the psychological part of the play.
Gibson’s version presents Hamlet as more emotional and animalistic, Hamlet in Olivier’s version in milder,
calmer, for example in the part when he meets Gertrude, Gibson reacts to her with anger and rage – he
points his sword on her, Olivier is more tranquil, peaceful, he asks Gertrude for forgiveness.

Laurence´s Hamlet Gibson´s Hamlet
1. scene: there is a summary in the beginning, at the guard
platform
Funeral , the ghost appears after the funeral
The ghost appears in the fog, there´s gloomy and much
more scary atmosphere, we cannot see his face very well.
We can see his body and his face very clearly, we even
can see that he is crying.
Hamlet´s soliloquy: “frailty is thy woman” is said by Hamlet
in the room where he is alone, there is voice over used,
and the monologue is complete
Hamlet´s soliloquy is not complete, there is the subjective
eye perspective when he is watching his mother and his
uncle leaving, through the window
The main soliloquy “to be or not to be” is placed on the
platform of the castle, Hamlet is watching the wild sea
which is a metaphor for his unstable soul
He is pronouncing his soliloquy in the tomb
The scene when players come, Polonius comes to say this
news to Hamlet
Rozencratz and Guidestern come to see Hamlet and they
also tell him about players
The payers don´t speak in the play, the theatre is dumb,
Hamlet is more serious when he is speaking about his
father´ s death.
The players are speaking, it is more vivid, the play is more
funny,Hamlet is walking around and speaking to the others
during the play, he is less serious.

The scene immediately after the theatre: in the queen´s
room, Hamlet enters, the dialogue between Hamlet and
Gertrude is the same, Hamlet kills Polonius and he blames
his mother of the death of his father
This scene is almost the same , but the ghost is again
seen very clearly in comparison to Olivier´s ghost which is
shown just for a little moment, in dialogue with his mother
Hamlet is more aggressive, more rude
The match: It seems that the queen knows about the
poison in Hamlet´s glass and that´s why she wanted to
drink it, it is quite unclear whether she really knows it or not
In Gibson´s film she doesn´t know it before, but she thinks
it after she drinks the wine and feels bad
The end is different, Olivier´s film ends with the scene
where they carry Hamlet´s dead body to the platform, it is
the same place where the film starts -circular structure, he
stings the king more times
Hamlet stings the king one time and then forces him to
drink the poisoned wine, the film ends immediately after the
death of Hamlet , Hamlet makes a lot of jokes during the
match, it is again less serious in some parts




38
Beckett's drama and fiction

SAMUEL BECKETT

He bridges modernism and postmodernism.
He is of Irish origin born in Dublin.
He studied at Trinity College in Dublin where he studied modern languages. Later he was a teacher.
He wrote poetry, drama, and fiction.
Theatre of the absurd = a modern subgenre applied to the group of artists who initiated it in the 1950's:
Backett, Ionesco, Pinter. The human condition is presented as harmony with its surroundings, sad to the
point of anguish, and at the same time, funny, irrational, ridiculous. The feelings of solitude,
purposelessness, failure of communication and destructive nature of time are stressed. The plays
themselves lack a formal logic and conventional structure. They express the belief that human existence has
no meaning or purpose.
A poem Whoroscope where he used punning: dedicated to Rene Descartes (I think therefore I am = real
identity of human beings is in mind): split human beings into body and mind (first dualism); Endgame, Happy
Days – dramas; He also wrote one act plays, radio plays and he also wrote one script for a movie named
Film.; He also wrote short fiction and novels (Molloy, Malone Dies, The Unnamable – trilogy; Ping); Small
Picks Then Kicks – collection of short stories, First Love – a short story
He was bilingual – wrote both, in English and French.
His first novel was Dream of Fair to Middling Women which is an allusion on Alfred Lord Tennyson’s Dream
of Fair Women. It is sort of autobiographical, he writes about his first erotic experiences. His
autobiographical character is Belacqua, a writer and a teacher. He took his name from Dante's Divine
Comedy: Belacqua is the most passive character in literature. He is a musician – it is about passivity of
virtue – he sees passivity as virtue and activity as vice. Because he thinks that people are active only to
earn money and buy useless things – he didn't like the consumer society. A female character in this novel is
Smeraldina who is modeled on Beckett's cousin Peggi Sinclaire who was an Irishwoman living in Germany.
Peggi studied music in Vienna, when he saw her face he fell in love with her face, but he hated her body.
She married someone else without love, only for money and died of consumption. Before Peggi's death,
Beckett published a letter from her which was very passionate, but funny because she couldn't speak good
English – minimum parody.
He was a stoic. Stoicism believed in the existence of only what is reflected in mind, it is an extremely
subjective idealism.

Waiting for Godot [godou]

The first piece of the theatre of the absurd.
It was originally written in French, Beckett himself translated it into English
For this play he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1969.
It has two acts and it is about two tramps (they are never referred to as 'tramps' in the text)– Vladimir and
Estragon who wait endlessly and in vain for someone named Godot to arrive.

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The name Godot = in English it sounds like “God”; in French it sounds like a word that means “boot” – boots
are important for tramps.
Waiting is a metaphor for life – during our life we are waiting all the time for something.
There are four characters – Vladimir (Estragon calls him Didi, the boy refers to him as Mr. Albert; he seems
to be more mature and responsible than Enstragon; he protects and takes care of him), Estragon (Vladimir
calls him Gogo; he seems weak and helpless, always looking for Vladimir's protection – he can't even put on
his boot without help. He also has a poor memory and Vladimir has to remind him in the second act of the
events that happened the previous night), Lucky (slave, carries Pozzo's bag and stool), and Pozzo –
represent four European countries – Russia (V), Greece (E), England (L), and Italy (P) (podla Petrikovej to
tvori stvorec ale kazdy kto niekedy v zivote videl mapu Europy vie, ze od stvorca to ma daleko)
Setting: they are waiting on a country road by a tree
There are many repeated sentences, there is constant repetition. When Vladimir and Estragon alternate
short lines back and forth, Estragon often repeats himself at the end of a string of lines. The most basic
repetition is that at the beginning when they state that they are waiting for Godot. Also Vladimir's song about
the dog who stole a crust of bread repeats itself perpetually; also hat switching is an example of an endless,
often mindless, repetition
It is about the failure of communication – typical for PM. (main discourse)
The two acts end in the same way
There are no physical descriptions of either of the two characters.
Plot: Vladimir and Estragon meet near a tree. They converse on various topics and reveal that they are
waiting for Godot. While they wait, Pozzo and Lucky come – they are on their way to market where Pozzo
wants to sell Lucky as a slave. Lucky entertains the tramps by dancing and thinking. After they leave, a boy
comes who says that he is a messenger from Godot. He tells them that Godot will come tomorrow. After the
boy leaves, Vladimir and Estragon decide to leave, but they remain standing (paralysis). The next night they
again wait for Godot. Lucky and Pozzo enter again but this time Pozzo is blind and Lucky is dumb. They
don't remember meeting the tramps the day before. They leave and the tramps continue to wait. Shortly
after, the boy enters and once again tells Vladimir that Godot will not be coming. He insists that he did not
speak to Vladimir yesterday. After he leaves, Estragon and Vladimit decide to leave but again, they remain
standing – presents their hopelessness, even though they have decided to go, they are not strong enough to
produce the action. Instead of acting, they can only wait for someone to act upon them. (paralysis)
Vladimir is very quick to change his mind – at one point he is angry with Pozzo for mistreating Lucky but
very quickly transfers his anger to Lucky
Godot might be representing God and the two tramps humanity (when Pozzo asks Estragon about his name,
he replies 'Adam'.)
Estragon compares himself to Christ when he wants to walk barefoot – reference to Bible; another Biblical
allusion is presented through comparison of Pozzo and Lucky to Cain and Abel.
Unity of place: crossroad near a secretly looking tree which invited them to hang themselves, but they don´t
as they consider or conclude that if nothing is worth anything then even suicide or death is not worth doing;
Unity of time – happens in 2 days; Unity of action – circle, nothing is completed
Alienation and estrangement is one of the themes



40
Great English Ballads
ROMANTICISM

The first Romantic poems were published in 1798 and these were the Lyrical Ballads: an experiment; a
result of Creative Corporation of Coleridge and Wordsworth. They introduced literature of instinct, emotion
and enthusiasm.
Older generation of Romantics: Coleridge, Wordsworth, Southey.
Younger generation of Romantics: Scott, Byron, Shelley.
It’s about exceptional characters in exceptional circumstances. Protagonists are exceptional characters, they
were excluded from society. They are fighting for freedom, but they usually die. This leads to weariness,
Satanism (Byron), and mysticism (Coleridge).
It stresses intuition for the powers of wild landscape, spiritual correspondence between man and nature
(human is a natural being). It emphasizes individualism.
An ideal person is a noble savage or a simple peasant.
Protagonists are divided into positive (they’re glorified) and negative
Irrational is more important than rational.
Themes: freedom, liberty, childhood experience, unrequited love, conservative morality, the exiled hero
revolts against classical forms, personal insincerity.
Romantic ideas: give rise to aestheticisms, identified with Platonism, Christian ideas
Synonyms to Romanticism: emotional, unselfish, passionate, wild, gallant, irrational, mysterious

What is a ballad?

A ballad is a narrative poem that often retells the story of an heroic deed, a legend or a recent event. The
story is sad, depressing, tragic.
The basic rhyming pattern is ABCB. A traditional ballad stanza has four lines. The second and fourth line
rhyme. Ballads appear all through English literature. Ballads were originally sung in musicals as an
accompaniment to a dance. The beginning is abrupt, the language is simple, the story is told through
dialogue and action, the theme is tragic, there is often a refrain (Pope, Byron, Wordsworth, Blake, Coleridge,
Shelley, Wilde, etc.)
Most famous ballad is the Ancient Mariner. Coleridge uses the basic form only as a framework. Sometimes
he expands the stanza to six lines or more. Sometimes he uses internal rhyme in the odd-numbered lines.
Oscar Wilde in The Ballad of Reading Gail makes the six-line stanza his standard.

OSCAR WILDE

Irish writer and poet
Themes of decadence, duplicity and beauty
He is very well known for his epigrams: "Always forgive your enemies. Nothing annoys them so
much.""There is only one thing in the world worse than being talked about, and that is not being talked
about.""Experience is the name everyone gives to their mistakes.""A poet can survive anything but
misprint.""The truth is rarely pure and never simple."

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His only novel is The Picture of Dorian Gray
Other works: plays - Lady Windermere's Fan; An Ideal Husband; The Importance of Being Earnest; Salome
poems: The Ballad of the Reading Gaol; fairy stories House of Pomegranates; Happy Prince and Other
Tales (includes the story of the Selfish Giant)
He was married to Constance Lloyd, they had two sons – Cyril and Vyvyan. Two most important lovers of
his life: Lord Alfred Douglas (Bosie), Robert Ross
Aesthetic movement: British version of French symbolism or decadence. It emphasizes the absolute
autonomy of works of art: art for art's sake = art is created for its own sake. The Aesthetes developed a cult
of beauty which they considered to be the basic factor of art.

The Ballad of Reading Gaol

It was written after Wilde was released from jail where he spent two years for homosexual offences
This poem was originally published anonymously under C.3.3. (Wilde was imprisoned in block C, landing 3
cell 3)
A great poem about guilt – he loves his wife and he feels guilty, injustice, betrayal, need for prison reform
The main character: Charles Thomas Wooldridge – a real person, he killed his wife Laura Ellen – he was
hanged, it had a huge impact on Wilde, it inspired him to write the line "Yet each man kills the thing he
loves."
The main character is executed because he killed his mistress – he cut her throat with a knife. He laments
about the fact that everyone does the same thing (i.e. everyone kills in some way even though it must not
be a physical murder – people kill love through greed, cowardice, toying with emotions), but only he is
executed – he criticizes human justice. The other prisoners are impressed by him – they don't see a sign
of dread or fear
It is also confessional: he confesses about his personal experience and he laments about his relationship
towards women.
The poem is didactic.
Visual images prevail
"ABCBDB" rhyme pattern
The walls of the prison are mentioned very often in the poem – demonic image
Criticizes priests and jailors, governors – the greatest injustice is that a person has no right to take life.
Characters: the prisoners, the lyrical hero, Chaplian, the Trial Men, Warders, Sheriff, Governor, Doctor –
they should stand for justice, but they rather stand for injustice. Other characters: hangman, guardsman, the
Watcher
There are many biblical references: the kiss of Caiaphas, God, Christ, Lord Christ, God's Son, Son of God,
the Fool's Parade, Lord, Cain, Judas' Kiss
Repetitions, exclamations, gradation (at six o'clock…at seven…; the grey cock crew, the red cock crew,
but never came the day…), drama in descriptions





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SAMUEL COLERIDGE

English poet, Romantic, literary critic and philosopher
Founder of the Romantic Movement in England and modern literary criticism
Member of Lake Poets – older generation of Romantic poets (term Byronism: revolt of the heart against the
reason, intuition is stressed, the cult of nature, language of rural people. A poet should be a prophet, initiator
of the truth).
His contribution to the Romantic Movement lay in the return to magical and mysterious
His major prose is Biographia Literaria: autobiographical work with many essays on philosophy, mainly
philosophy of Immanuel Kant, Johann Fichte and Schelling. It is also a long-term reaction and comment on
William Wordsworth.
He coined many familiar words and phrases, including suspension
25
in disbelief (=use of fantastic or non-
realistic elements in literary works of fiction – Coleridge suggested that if a writer could infuse a human
interest and semblance
26
of truth into a fantastic tale, the reader would suspend judgment concerning the
implausibility
27
of the narrative)
Common everyday language to express poetic images and ideas – he stresses the simple language of
nature and rural people
His best poems: The Rime of the Ancient Mariner, Christabel (a Gothic tale known for its musical rhythm
and language; it was never finished), Kubla Khan – all of these poems are colored with the mysterious and
supernatural
The conversation poems: a group of eight poems (The Eolian Harp; Reflections on having left a Place of
Retirement; This Lime-Tree Bower My Prison; Frost at Midnight; Fears in Solitude; The Nightingale: A
Conversation Poem; Dejection: An Ode; To William Wordsworth). Each details a particular life experience
which lead to the poet's examination of nature and the role of poetry. They describe virtuous conduct and
man's obligation to God, nature and society, and ask if there is a place for simple appreciation of nature
without having to actively dedicate one's life to altruism.
According to Coleridge, understanding = gives us knowledge of the ordinary world and interacts with senses;
fancy = imagination in its passive sense; imagination = divided into primary (brings order to the chaos
created by senses) and secondary (artists have secondary imagination, it dissolves in order to create); joy =
a state in which the imagination can wait and watch for its chance.

The Rime of the Ancient Mariner

A Ballad - a tragic, dramatic, sad story
The language is very simple. He uses ancient form of Shakespeare's time because he wants to stress the
mariner's ancient form (stoppeth, thy, thou)
"abcb" rhyme pattern based on iambic meter
The story can be divided into seven parts
There are signs of modernism

25
Suspension = prerušenie, vyhodenie
26
Semblance = výzor, podoba
27
Implausibility = neprijatelnost

43
The language and form are special (special rhythm and structure). The structure is called “Chinese box”
(matrioška) = in literature it means that there are two stories (story of the ancient mariner and the story of a
wedding guest).
Two main protagonists: an ancient Mariner and a wedding guest; other characters: pilot (the captain of the
small boat that rows out to the Ancient Mariner's ship. He loses his mind when the Ancient Mariner, whom
he thinks is dead, abruptly comes to life and takes the oars from him); pilot's boy (an assistant to the pilot);
Hermit (a recluse who prays three times a day and lives in communion with nature in the woodsl he
accompanies the pilot; the AM reverses the Hermit as a righteous and holy man and asks him to absolve
him of his sin. The Hermit is the first person to whom the AM is compelled to tell his tale.)

Story: wedding guests are on their way to a wedding ceremony. One of them was detained by a strange man
who was skinny and old. He forces him to listen to his story. He later unhands him, but the guest is still forced to
listen to his story because of the man’s glittering eyes. He doesn’t want to listen – he wants to go to the
ceremony. While listening, he faces the house where the ceremony takes place. The man tells him a story about
a strange voyage. The ship of the mariner and his crew is stuck in ice in the South Pole. Suddenly an albatross
appears and he stays on the ship for nine days. The ship can go on but the mariner kills the bird with a
crossbow (he doesn’t know why - modern sign, romantic sign – sometimes we don't know why we do devilish
things): it’s about mystery of evil in human heart. As a punishment, the mariner has to wear the dead bird’s
body around his neck. The rest of the crew doesn’t remember if the bird brought evil, or if evil was brought there
by its death (modern sign). Then they got stuck in hot waters round the equator because of no wind. In the
rotten water, they are thirsty. Out of the mist, a skeleton of a ship (wreck) appears. The crew of the ship is
“death” and “life in death”. They are playing dice for the life of the sailors. The “death” wins the crew, but “life in
death” wins the mariner. After the death of the crew, one evening the mariner watches sea snakes and the play
of moonlight in the water. He is amazed by its beauty. At that moment, he is forgiven and the dead bird’s body
falls off his neck. There is the author’s message: a man can be forgiven when he sees real beauty. The
mariner goes home, but as a penance he has to re-tell the story. After hearing the story, the wedding guest is
sadder, but wiser.

There are many personifications e.g. life in death = she; death = he; ship = she; moon = she; metaphors
e.g. He holds him with his glittering eye
Natural phenomena: ocean, animals, sun, moon, wind – mysterious working of natural phenomena – the
boat was getting closer even though there was no wind.








44
Barthe's codes in a short story by William Boyd

BARTHE'S CODES

He substituted the term "sign" by the term "code". Codes = associative fields which impose a certain idea of structure.
There are codes of knowledge, public opinions, scientific codes, rhetorical, meta-linguistic, chronological, socio-historical,
etc. Barthes has worked out a special key – a set of five codes – enabling the readers to unlock, to open a text:

Code of action: concerns the basic sequential logic of action and behavior. It is very important for, and the basic code in,
realist – readerly – texts. Code of action is of minor importance in modernist texts.

Hermeneutic code: important in modernist texts; this code is responsible for the tension in the text. It is about text's
enigmas. It refers to any element in the story that is not explained.

Cultural code: embraces all references to the common fund of knowledge produced by culture, to the things already
known and codified by the given culture.

Connotative code: concerns the connotations often evoked in characterization and description – it's about connotations
that are repeated at the beginning, in the middle and at the end of the text. This connotation gives additional meaning
over the basic denotative meaning of the word.

Symbolic code: marks out patterns of psychological and sexual relations people may enter; can provide readers with the
meaning of the text.

William Boyd

Scottish novelist, short story writer and screenwriter
Novels: A Good Man in Africa, An Ice-Cream War, Any Human Heart, Restless
His novels can be divided into three groups:
1. Very funny, comic novels: A Good Man in Africa which is his first novel. It is about an English diplomat,
Morgan, who works for the British Embassy in West Africa. He is fat and cynical. The novel is about his
failure in his relationship with his boss' daughter. Boyd also includes a students' revolt in the story. Stars and
Bars – about an Englishman in New York
2. Fake biographies: The New Confessions – rewriting of Rousseau's confessions; Any Human Heart –
biography of Logan Mountstuart (series of his journals), who is a writer – social background, covers all the
important events of the 20
th
century (war, death of a PM, abdication of the king) – Boyd explores how public
events impinge on individual consciousness. The character meets also several well-known writers such as
Waugh, Joyce, Woolf, and Hemingway.

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3. Feminist novels: Restless – about a female spy during World War II, Brazzaville Beach – about the a woman
researching chimpanzees
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, the intervention of humans with chimpanzees and their protection;
Collection of short stories Destiny of Natalie X and other stories – ironic short stories of love, loss and
ambition

Cork

Short story set in Portugal at the beginning of the 20
th
century
Main characters: Lily Campendonc – a rich lady who owns a cork company and Boscan – he has many
names: PM sign (selflessness, search for identity).
Boscan's fake names are the names of the Three Magi
29
: Melchior, Gaspar, Balthazar → reference to
Bible; there are also other references to different newspaper articles (about cork)
Story: Boscan talks to Lily, who is in charge of the cork factory after her husband died, about being in love
with her, he wants to leave. Afterwards they spend three Christmases together as lovers. At the end Boscan
dies. (code of action)
The reader figures out that Boscan is gay (Barthes' code of culture – Portugal is a Catholic country)
Code of connotation: yellow code – when she comes to see Boscan a young man in yellow coat appears.
Symbolic code: the characteristics of Boscan are the same as the characteristics of cork.
Boscan worked at the cork company, when he left he worked as a translator
At the end of the story we learn that Boscan was an alcoholic who lived in Paris where he was abandoned
by his friend.



















28
According to Petríková she is researching gorillas
29
Also referred to as The Three Kings, The Three Wise Men, Kings from the East

46
Contemporary critical strategies

Rooted in Russian Formalism and Anglo-American New Criticism
Formalism, New Criticism, Structuralism, Phenomenal Reader Response Criticism, Linguistic Criticim,
Archetypal Criticism, Poststructuralism

FORMALISM
Finds connection between what a text says and the way it is said
It answers the question: How does the work's form reflect its content?
Founder is Viktor Skhlovsky – tried to make literary criticism more precise and objective discipline. He
introduced the term 'ostraneniye' (=defamiliarization). To defamiliarize is to make fresh, new, strange,
different what is familiar and known. Through defamiliarization the writer modifies the reader's habitual
perceptions drawing attention to the artifice of the text. He believed that the process of perception of art was
an aesthetic end in itself and had to be prolonged. What the reader notices is not the picture of reality. He
argues that art is thinking in images and making of symbols. According to his opinion a satisfactory style is
precisely that style which delivers the greatest amount of thought in the fewest words.
The basic principle of defamiliarization, that the old and habitual must be spoken as if it were new and
unusual, is performed in the works of writers who disrupt normal text conventions and deviate from a
standard language. It can be produced by the use of very diverse linguistic techniques and devices like
metaphor, clashes of style, parody, breaking of syntactic rules, use of unusual vocabulary, invention of new
words, etc.
(Wikipedia) Formalism deals with structural purposes of the text; it analyzes, interprets and evaluates
features of a text (grammar, syntax, literary devices); reduces the text's historical, biographical, and cultural
context.

NEW CRITICISM
Claimed that literary criticism could be completely self-sufficient discipline.
Combined the romantic concern for literature's imaginative unity and wholeness with a scientific spirit of
analysis.
Each major work was viewed as a verbal icon, possessing an objectively achieved unity.
Literary language = special form of language with specific devices, such as paradox, irony, tension, and
ambiguity.
Advocated close reading and detailed textual analysis of poetry rather than an interest in the mind and
personality of the poet, sources, the history of ideas and political and social implications. For them the text
existed as a text on a page, an object in itself, with its own structure, which should be explored in its own
terms.
W.K. Wimsatt, M.C. Beardsley, T.S. Eliot, I.A. Richards
Not concerned with context and interested in fallacies of intention or affect.
(Wikipedia) NC emphasizes close reading, particularly of poetry, to discover how a work of literature
functioned as a self-contained, self-referential aesthetic object.


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STRUCTURALISM
Movement in the human sciences which had an influence on literary theory and criticism
Views any cultural phenomenon as a system of signification, and maintains that it is the relationship between
the elements of such a system that allow it to signify, rather than the relationship between the elements and
reality.
Concentrates on binary oppositions as keys to open textual structuralist discourse (culture v. nature,
metaphor v. metonymy, subject v. object, sender v. receiver, character of helper v. character of opponent)
Jakobson, Genette, Propp, Todorov, Levi-Strauss, Lodge, Barthes
(Wikipedia) Structuralist criticism relates literary texts to a larger structure, which may be a particular genre,
a range of inter-textual connections, a model of a universal narrative structure, or a system of recurrent
pattern or motifs. It argues that there must be a structure in every text, which explains why it is easier for
experienced readers that for non-experienced readers to interpret a text. Hence, everything that is written
seems to be governed by specific rules, or a "grammar of literature" that one learns in educational
institutions and that are to be unmasked.

Roman Jakobson
A founder member of the Moscow Linguistic Circle
First to identify metaphor and metonymy as models for two fundamental ways of organizing discourse that
can be traced in every kind of cultural production. His theory has been further developed by David Lodge.
He defined literariness = a quality which makes a verbal message a work of art
Essay Linguistics and Poetics: outline of constitutive factors in any speech event, any act of verbal
communication, with the six key items: an addresser, message (plus context, contact, and code), and an
addressee. It has become a classical communicative and semiotic model.

Roland Barthes
One of the most influential literary scholars
Opened the discourse on the death of the author and active participation of the reader.
Writerly texts: provide readers with pleasure of the text. "A birth of the reader must be at the cost of the
death of the author". He also defined the text as "tissue of quotations".
Readerly texts: have closed ending, there is only one strong voice and one prevailing point of view
(omniscient narrator), problems and dilemmas are solved at the end, they conform to tradition and cultural
habits, they tell us what we already know
He substituted the term 'sign' for the term 'code' – see previous chapter.

Gerard Genette
Outstanding narratologist
Considers the problems of narrative theory by exploring three binary oppositions:

1. Diegesis v. mimesis: the author speaks in his own voice as author, he assumes the voice of the
character
2. Narrative v. description: a distinction between an active and a contemplative aspect of narration

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3. Narrative v. discourse: a pure telling in which no one speaks, and telling in which we are aware of the
person who is speaking

He distinguishes the three dimensions of narrative related by three aspects of the verb: tense, mood and
voice.
He believes that the value of the structuralist method may lie in its ability to find, beneath each silence, a
question.

Tzvetan Todorov
Literary theorist who investigates narratives
Minimal unit of narrative in his system is proposition which can be either an agent (e.g. a person) or a
predicate (e.g. an action)
The propositional structure of a narrative can be distinguished in the most abstract and universal fashion.
Argues that the narrative structures of popular literature can be studied more systematically than those of
great literature, because they readily conform to the rules of popular genres
Essay The Typology of Detective Fiction: he distinguishes whodunit (detective story based on two murders,
of which the first is merely the occasion for the second. There are two stories: the story of the crime and the
story of the investigation. Its style is simple, clear, direct, everything is explained rationally, and it employs
authentic documents and individual points of view. The author cannot be omniscient and he must explain
that he is writing a book. There is no open ending and no place for love and psychological analysis in the
classical detective story) from the thriller (there is violence in all forms, cynicism, brutality, no mystery,
detectives risk their health and life and criminals are professionals).

PHENOMENAL READER RESPONSE CRITICISM (Reception theory)
Subjective criticism
Analyzes the ways individual readers experience texts to find meaning in the act of reading
Stresses receiver's central role in determining meaning
It claims that the proper object of philosophical investigation is the contents of our consciousness and not
objects in the world, and only what appears in consciousness is truly real for us.
Knowledge is made by people and not found.
Reading is uncovering the unformulated part of the text, filling in the gaps in reader's own ways, filling in the
unwritten and unspoken. Through omissions a story gains dynamism.
Every text provokes certain expectations.
Readers reduce the polysemantic possibilities into a single interpretation when extracting an individual
meaning.
Based on the assumption that each person's most urgent motivations are to understand himself (presene
takto to ma Petrikova v knihe). It distinguishes between the reader's spontaneous response to a text and the
objective meaning the reader attributed to it through a pedagogic situation.





49
Wolfgang Iser
Main representative of the reception theory
Discourse on indeterminacy: way in which 'gaps' or 'blanks' in literary texts stimulate the reader to construct
meanings which would not otherwise come into existence.
Presented the text as a potential structure which is concretized by the reader in relation to his extra-literary
norms, values and experience.
The critics task is to explain the text's effects on the reader.
The term 'reader' can be subdivided into 'implied reader' (the text creates him for itself) and 'actual reader'.

LINGUISTIC CRITICISM
An attempt to apply the key terms of Chomsky's transformational generative grammar to criticism of literary
texts.

Roger Fowler
Linguistic Criticism: he introduces his approach as criticism using linguistics. Literature is creative use of
language. For post-structuralist criticism literature is language. In linguistic criticism the key terms are
surface structure (observable layer of the text, the shape of the text, its visible dimension which can be
experienced directly), deep structure (abstract content, the structure of meaning, covering the plot,
characters, setting and theme. It can be experienced by the complex act of decoding) and discourse (set of
voices in the text; its synonyms are dialogue, point of view, attitude, tone, world-view).
Fowler studied many literary texts to pursue their linguistic structure with an extra discursive dimension and
came out with modality of verbs, parallelism, equivalence, foregrounding and words of estrangement.
The words of estrangement include: modal auxiliaries (may, must, might, should, need to,…), modal
adverbs or sentence adverbs (certainly, probably,…), evaluative adjectives and adverbs (lucky, luckily,
regrettably,…) and verbs of knowledge, prediction and evaluation (seem, believe, approve,…). Different
points of view may be communicated by different styles and registers.
Narrative discourse is created out of the interaction of the culture's conventions, the author's deployment of
these conventions as they are coded in language, and the reader's activity in releasing meaning from the
text.

ARECHTYPAL CRITICISM
Traces cultural and psychological myths that shape the meaning of texts.
Investigates archetypal narrative patterns, and their recurrence in literature.
Pursues archetypal images and characters in literary texts in good faith that these archetypal patterns will
help to illuminate the individual text by connecting it to more universal patterns that often transcend literature
itself.
ARCHETYPE: a prototype, a basic model from which copies are made. It is general and recurrent, and both
a microstructure (image) or a macrostructure (archetypal characters). Archetypes manifest themselves in
dreams, myth and literature.
MYTH: basically a story about gods set in prehistoric times. Myths are collective and communal, they make
our chaotic world seem plain and crystallize the values of our culture. Their structure is cyclic. Many
modernist texts show links with myth not only in presenting the variations of archetypal heroes, but also in

50
the specific cyclic composition. The cyclical form of modernist novels have also a significant temporal
dimension: the time here is the mythical time of chaos and flow. Modernists reflect relativity of time, merge
past and future in a mythical cycle. The tendency of myth is to expand into mythology and mythology has
an encyclopedic quality about it: it tends to cover all the essential concerns of culture. In both aspects it
relates not to the actual but the possible. The myth can say both at the same time: This happened and This
can have hardly happened. Myths reflect the unconscious desires and anxieties of individuals, and are
symbolic projections of the hopes, values, fears and aspirations of mankind. They do not respond to our
standards of factual reality, and neither does great literature.
Northrop Frye, Carl Gustav Jung, Claude Levi-Strauss

Northrop Frye
Founder of archetypal criticism
Literature is a reconstructed mythology
Advocates the intrinsic criticism: We should trust no writer's beliefs or attitudes, but concentrate on his myth,
which is infinitely wiser than he is, and the only element that can survive when ideology attached to it fades.
The key terms in his system are: mode, myth (conveys psychological and philosophical truth), apocalyptic,
demonic and analogical imagery and displacement (= result of the writer's auto-censorship regarding the
plausibility and moral suitability of the imagery in question).
Anatomy of Criticism: his masterpiece, it is considered to be the best literary criticism; it offers an original
periodization of literary texts where he employs modes. A mode, unlike a period, is a timeless category. The
system of modes is cyclic and there are two criteria for the division: type of prevailing imagery and a type
of the protagonist:

Mythological mode: the heroes are gods who are superior to other characters, the prevailing
image is apocalyptic, positive, representing the words we wish: god, wise old man, lamb, tree of life,
cathedral, garden,…
Romantic mode: the protagonists are heroes, the prevailing imagery is an analogy of innocence,
i.e. displaced apocalyptic imagery.
Mimetic mode: the protagonist is an average person, the prevailing imagery is displaced demonic
imagery.
Ironic mode: the protagonist is an inferior person, who is not able to face and solve his problems,
the prevailing imagery is demonic presenting the world we refuse: devil, tyrant, enchanted forest,
snake, ruins, labyrinth, wasted work, incest, spilled blood,…

David Lodge
Discusses the postmodern situation and namely the aesthetic pluralism, plurality of different voices and
approaches in contemporary critical practice (biographical, textual, ideological, archetypal, etc.).
The quality of literariness is provided by double coding or duplicity or multiplicity of any component, any
item, of literary communication: sender, message, context, medium, code, and addressee, conveyed by
devices as irony, paradox or ambiguity.
Argues that the absence of a general agreement and aesthetic concord, and a common critical meta-
language is a negative phenomenon i.e. literariness is given by the unity of topic or theme that regulates the

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development of discourse without being literally present in it. The unity is provided by the aesthetic
dominant which sets in motion and gives direction to the relationship of all other components of a text, in
other words, a sign or device which organizes other signs or devices in a text.

POSTSTRUCTURALISM
Ideologically oriented and combines methods of classical structuralism with the ideology of Marxism,
psychoanalysis and philosophy to analyze literary texts as mediators of the ideologies mentioned.
There are three basic features of post-structuralism: Marxism, feminism, deconstruction


Marxism
Primarily interested in content
Literature should be progressive, optimistic, realist, and accessible to the masses.
Key figure: Terry Eagleton: suggests that the basic problem is to make clear the relationship between
ideology and literature

Feminism
Cultural and literary critical term
Describes and interprets women's experience, it questions patriarchal attitudes and male interpretations in
literature.
Criticizes male authors and representations of men and women in literature and praises women writers.
Chief representative: Virginia Woolf (see chapter Traditional feminist fiction of Virginia Woolf)

Deconstruction
Most influential feature of post-structuralism because it defines a new kind of reading practice which is a key
application of post-structuralism.
Looks at the relation of a text's ideas to the way the ideas are expressed.
Finds meaning in the ways the text breaks down, e.g. when rhetoric contradicts the ostensible meaning
Founder: Jacques Derrida: a text may have so many meanings that it cannot have a meaning, that there is
no guaranteed essential meaning. He attacks the classical concept of what he calls logo-centrism (desire
for a center). He introduces the term supplement to convey the unstable relationship between couplets such
as speech/writing. He shows that writing not only supplements but also takes the place of speech, because
speech is always already written. All human activity involves this supplementarity, e.g. nature is always
contaminated with civilization.