IRONY

[VERBAL IRONY] [TRAGIC IRONY] [ROMANTIC IRONY] [DRAMATIC IRONY] (Gr. eironeia, Lat. dissimulatio, esp. through understatement). A. Classical I. In Gr. comedy the eironwas the underdog, weak but clever, who regularly triumphed over the stupid and boastful alazon. In Theophrast's Characters, the ironist appears as a deceitful hypocrite pursuing his own advantage. The cl. image of i. as a lofty, urbane mode of dissimulation, practiced in conversation and public speech and without one's own advantage in mind, finds its origin in the Platonic Socrates (hence the term "Socratic i."). In front of his conversational partners who claim to know, Socrates professes not to know, but through insistent questioning proves them also not to know, thereby finding a common basis for their quest for knowledge. Hence Socrates dissimulates not for his own advantage but for the sake of truth. Aristotle (Rhet., Bk. 3) presents i. as "a mockery of oneself": "the jests of the ironical man are at his own expense; the buffoon excites laughter at others" (1419b7). In the Nicomachean Ethics Aristotle conceives of i. as "the contrary to boastful exaggeration; it is a self-deprecating concealment of one's own powers and possessions; it shows better taste to deprecate than to exaggerate one's virtues" (1108.19-23). In the same work Aristotle discusses eironeia and alazoneia, understatement and boastfulness, as deviations from truth, holding that i. is a noble form because it deviates not for the sake of one's own advantage but from a dislike for bombast and a desire to spare others the feeling of inferiority. The prototype of this genuine i. is Socrates (1127b22-26). Cl. rhetoricians distinguished several varieties of i. In i. proper, the speaker is conscious of double meaning and the victim unconscious; in sarcasm both parties understand the double meaning. Other forms incl. meiosis and litotes (understatement); hyperbole (overstatement); antiphrasis (contrast);asteism and charientism (for ms of the joke); chleuasm (mockery); mycterism (the sneer); and mimesis(imitation [q.v.], esp. for the sake of ridicule). Cicero termed i. "that form of dissimulation which the Greeks named eironeia" (Academica posteriora 2.5.15) and also considered Socrates the prototype of this witty and refined art of conversation (De officiis 1.30.108). Quintilian assigned i. its position among the tropes and figures discussed in Books 8 and 9 of his Institutio oratoria. For Quintilian the common feature in all rhetorical forms of i. is that the intention of the speaker is different from what he says, that we understand the contrary of what he says (9.2.44). In late antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Ren., and neoclassicism, the cl. delineation of i. was varied and enriched by including other rhetorical forms and elaborating a more complex system of figures, but the basic meaning remained the same. The Fr. Encyclopédie of 1765 summarizes the various nuances of i. found in numerous critical handbooks of the time by defining i. as "a figure of speech by which one indicates the opposite of what one says" (8.905). To this one should add that, according to cl. opinion, in order to distinguish i. from mere lying, the entire tenor of speaking, incl. intonation, emphasis, and gesture, was supposed to reveal the intended meaning. One should also recollect that authors (Boccaccio, Cervantes, Shakespeare) whom today we consider ironic in their literary creations were not viewed so in their time; this term remained confined to the field of rhet. until late in the 18th c. B. Romantic I. The most significant change in meaning took place in 1797, when Schlegel observed in hisFragments: "there are ancient and modern poems which breathe throughout, in their entirety and in every detail, the divine breath of i." Schlegel's most constant description of i. in its literary and poetic forms is that of a consistent alternation of affirmation and negation, of exuberant emergence from oneself and self-critical retreat into oneself, of enthusiasm and skepticism. In Ger. romantic poetry (Tieck, Jean Paul, Hoffmann, Heine), i. became a conscious form of literary creation, although its prototype was seen, as is now fully recognized, in older European authors such as Boccaccio, Cervantes, and Shakespeare. Particular points of ironic contrast, of creation and annihilation, were the relationships of illusion and reality, subjective and objective, self and world, the inauthenticity and authenticity of the self, the relative and the absolute. A new dimension was introduced when these relationships were viewed not only in terms of artistic playfulness (Schlegel) but also in terms of melancholy and sadness as the mal du siècle(Fr. romanticism), the transitoriness of life (Keats), or the perishing of the divine in this world (Solger). See ROMANTIC AND POSTROMANTIC POETICS.

C. Tragic I. was introduced by Connop Thirlwall in 1833, who based it on a distinction among three basic types of i.: verbal, dialectic, and practical. Verbal i. establishes, as in cl. rhet., a contrast between what is said and meant; dialectic i. relates to works of lit. and thought in which i. permeates the entire structure. Practical i., however, is the most comprehensive form, present throughout life in individuals as well as in the hist. of states and institutions, and constitutes the basis for tragic i. The contrast of the individual and his hopes, wishes, and actions, on the one hand, and the workings of the dark and unyielding power of fate, on the other, is the proper sphere of tragic i. The tragic poet is the creator of a small world in which he reigns with absolute power over the fate of those imaginary persons to whom he gives life and breath according to his own plan. D. Cosmic I. I. took on a new and more comprehensive dimension with Hegel, who strongly opposed romantic i. because of its "annihilating" tendency, seeing in it nothing but poetic caprice. Yet in The History of Philosophy, Hegel sensed in the "crowding of world historical affairs," in the trampling down of the "happiness of peoples, wisdom of states, and virtue of individuals," in short, in his comprehensive view of hist., an ironic contrast between the absolute and the relative, the

i. rich in all forms of dramatic i. has gained "vision" after blinding himself. is considered the "principle of structure" in literary works. Mercutio's comment on his death-wound. however. Form (b) is present in Oedipus' insistence on pursuing his investigation to its bitter climax (the fact that his basic motivation is a desire for justice and public welfare is a further i. is illustrated in Comus' seduction speech. i." and "i. paradox. 'tis not so deep as a well. i. can be noticed with the literary theory elaborated by the New Criticism (q. In Verbal I. meaning is intended." Later we find this phrase in Heine and Kierkegaard. on i. "Wonderful day. effects the reverse. Richards. of the world" to express the disappearance of reasonable order in the world.g. i. hist. "No. which he expressed by the phrase. The i.). The necessity for a sudden reversal or catastrophe in the fortunes of the hero (Aristotle's peripeteia) means that the fourth form of i. and variety of meaning in a work into the unity. G. lie--if God himself should prove to be our most enduring lie. present in the contrast between what Oedipus hopes to accomplish and what he finally does accomplish.. (b) the character reacts in a way contrary to that which is appropriate or wise. F. practically coincides with the notion of deconstruction (q. equating i. esp. Dramatic I. an absence of coherence or gap among the parts of a work. in the work of I. Form (d) is. An important new step in the crit. "general i. of the world. of i. Oedipus Rexpiles i.).general and the individual. Cleanth Brooks. Tragedy is esp. common in Am. and modern. (c) characters or situations are compared or contrasted for ironic effects. functions as an agent of qualification and refinement. but by way of reversal. and Robert Penn Warren. i. Heine uses terms such as "God's i. For Brooks in particular. can arise from explicit or implicit contradiction.v. whereas coward is a pejorative. In Kierkegaard. as when Marvell begins his proposition to his coy mistress with the remark that time is short. . such as parody. If one looks out of his window at a rain storm and remarks to a friend. 'twill serve. The ultimate extension of Hegel's concept was made by Nietzsche. e. one meaning is stated and a different. "Thus conscience does make cowards of us all. On this basis. beginning with romanticism. and an inability to escape from a situation that has become unbearable. but 'tis enough.v. (form d) is almost inevitable. of a statement often depends on context. In understatement the expressed meaning is mild and the intended meaning often intense. a reconciling power fusing the ambiguity. in terms of a discrepancy between sign and meaning. and identity which constitutes its modes of being. where a true principle (natural fertility) is used to prove an untrue doctrine (libertinism). has become inseparable from literary and poetic expression itself. multiplicity. Form (a) is present because of the fact that the audience becomes increasingly conscious as the play progresses that Oedipus is rushing blindly to his doom. Thus. of course. but ends with the observation that love can make time pass more quickly. blindness. if nothing should prove to be divine any more unless it were error. usually antithetical. wholeness. cl. who asked what would happen if all our ultimate convictions would become "more and more incredible.--his fall is in part caused by his nobility). (d) there is a marked contrast between what the character understands about his acts and what the play demonstrates about them. A. In this sense i. with poetry as such." E. isn't it?" the contradiction between the facts and the implied description of them establishes the i. But during the modern period esp. becomes an absolute and irreconcilable opposition between the subjective and objective. The same kind of i. too. In all its forms of expression. Poetic I. esp. is a plot device according to which (a) the spectators know more than the protagonist. folk humor. Paul de Man conceives of i." Overstatement. (see paragraph 2 above)." his remark is ironic because conscience is a sacramental word associated with moral goodness. nor so wide as a church door. When Hamlet rejects the idea of suicide with the remark. Foreshadowing is often ironic: Hamlet's speech on the fall of the sparrow has one meaning in its immediate context and a somewhat different one in Hamlet's own "fall" at the end of the scene. Form (c) is illustrated in the parallel between blind Tiresias (who can "see" morally) and the figure of Oedipus when he.

deictic signals. Classical Genettean narratology concentrates on the surface structure of narrative and on the mediation of the story within the narrative discourse. and has tended to exclude performance texts and the media. récit (discourse). Thomas Pavel.-J. drama. including psychoanalytic studies of narrative. in Monika Fludernik's Towards a "Natural" Narratology (1996). Mieke Bal's De theorie van vertellen en verhalen (1978. linguistic analysis of conversational story-telling by William Labov and Mary Louise Pratt has provided crucial insights into key features of narrative as an anthropological universal. developed by Marie-Laure Ryan (1991) and Ruth Ronen (1994). the concept of narrative has been applied more broadly and narratology has begun to focus on narrative discourse couched in a variety of media. Since the 1970s. narratology can in fact be traced back to Käte Friedemann's seminal study Die Rolle des Erzählers in der Epik (1910. narratology is centrally concerned with the establishment. and Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan's Narrative Fiction (1983) extends the range of narratorial functions. Thus. Greimas proposed a narrative grammar that is "to consist in a limited number of principles of structural organization of narrative units. and major discourse features of narration. the handling of perspective. Roland Barthes' work on narrative codes in S/Z.or triple-tiered base structure of narrative levels that provides a frame for other narrative phenomena. Classical typologies of narrative have proposed a double. S/Z) and "Introduction to the Structural Analysis of Narrative. Genette also uses mood. focuses on linguistic surface structure phenomena. attempting a more precise description of the development of narrative forms through the centuries. but roughly compatible. a project that coincided with linguistic attempts at defining cognitive story schemata. and temporal arrangement. which has largely neglected the issue of character even while it lionized the equally anthropomorphic narrator. Uri Margolin. and ballet. The Grammar of The Decameron) to refer to a structuralist description of narrative parameters that constitute narrative discourse and are in systematic interaction with each other. narrative levels. or "signifies. possible world theory. Wayne C. and tense but applies them to surface features of the narrative. accounts of the basic narrative constituents. person. Work by Percy Lubbock and Norman Friedman on narrative perspective as well as the early work of Käte Hamburger and Eberhart Lämmert laid the groundwork for the classic texts that have played a central role in the development of the discipline: F. and the like. such as tense. discourse markers. and Marie-Laure Ryan. narratology has focused on written narrative. voice. narrative mediation. (1970. this branch of narratology produced a number of proposals for grammars of narrative. The narrative discourse (récit) is the actual text produced by the act of narration. For instance. 1972.Narratology: An Introduction to the Theory of Narrative) and Seymour Chatman's Coming to Terms (1990) introduce refinements to Genette's theory of focalization. as in Peter Brooks' Reading for the Plot (1984). perspective. and it conveys. and linguistic narratology.NARRATOLOGY [NARRATEE] Narratology is a branch of narrative theory. In its heyday. Gerald Prince." as well as the work of Philippe Hamon. the analysis of the way narratives establish virtual realities replaces the traditional narratological analysis of plot mediation. narratology has developed in directions that supersede narrowly typological formulas. deep-structural narratology puts a premium on character functions. and their actions as verbs. Linguistic narratology. that is. Thus. film. Building on Genette's work. The Role of the Narrator in Epic). narrative grammar has been discredited in the wake of the paradigm shift in linguistics away from Chomskyan syntax to pragmatics." Meanwhile. however. Traditionally. In Ross Chambers' formulation in Story and Situation (1984). however. the story "seduces" the reader by means of its persuasive authority and undermines the narrator's interpretive authority. In possible world theory. including cartoons. Genette's categories of tense (temps) and mood (mode) describe the relationship between the levels of discourse and story as instantiated in the surface structure of the text. Morphology of the Folktale). Not necessarily structuralist. Narration refers to the process or act of narration. It originated with Vladimir Propp's seminal work Morfologiia skazki (1928. frequently in the shape of a typology of narrative forms. critics have developed a number of different. especially fiction. characters are said to function as nouns. in a historical framework." the story of the narrative. Although Todorov was the first to use the term. and narration. The analysis of deep structure elements and minimal constitutive features represents another tributary to narratology. Narrative Discourse). In the case of Gérard Genette. Fludernik's work illustrates narratology's increasing interest in the diachronic perspective of literary history. Susan Lanser's The Narrative Act (1981) proposes a complex web of subcategories. their characteristics as adjectives. and comprises the narrative poetics of Claude Bremond and Tzvetan Todorov. Stanzel's Die typischen Erzählsituationen im Roman (1955. rearrangement. focusing on such issues as the origins of the novel and the development of the historical novel. In recent years. Seymour . In psychoanalytic studies. the transaction between the narrator and the narratee.K. The term was first used by the structuralist French critic Tzvetan Todorov in his Grammaire du Décaméron (1969. plot becomes the focal point for the reader's suspense-driven desire for narrative closure that motivates the reading process.Narrative Situations in the Novel). leading to the production of narrative objects. Booth's A Rhetoric of Fiction (1961). Recent developments have been in the direction of a greater refinement of individual categories. and mediation of plot and typically provides a systematic account of functionally related elements such as plot levels. At the same time. Unlike classic narratology. this is the division into histoire (story). A. and above all Gérard Genette's Discours du récit (in Figures III.

and perspective on the basic binary opposition between the story and its mediation through the narrative instance. arguing for a continuity between literary and nonliterary types of narration. on the other hand. Bal. and epistemological points of view. including spatial. ballet. Such a definition needs to be supplemented by qualitative factors. Although these metaphors are visual. Against this communicative model of narrative. Fludernik proposes a four-level model of mediation through cognitively anchored modes of consciousness. The classic omniscient narrator is an extradiegetic heterodiegetic narrator in Genette's model. narrative and communication are mutually exclusive categories. metalanguage. Hayden White and Paul Ricoeur correlate narrativity with constructedness or emplotting. and in reference to the presence of one constitutive feature (story in Genette. Chatman questions the adequacy of this visual conception since the narrator. in which somebody tells a story to the narratee. Narratology must account both for these elements embedded in the plot and for the techniques by which story is transformed into plot. There have been three approaches to the definition of narrative: in opposition to drama (F. even if the narrator figure does not display attributes of existence beyond the mere speaker function as indicated by the use of the first-person pronoun. referring to "who sees" in a narrative. Jon Adams (1996) to exposition and description. In the second case. linguistic discourse analysis in the wake of William Labov's work suggests that narratives of personal experience are amenable to a very literary analysis.K.e. and so on.K. In the first case. Prince. Genette distinguishes between the diegetic level of the story. between the implied author and the implied reader. or instances of colloquial speech. adding motivation and causation to the basic event sequence. Stanzel posits mediacy as the constitutive feature of narrative. historical) and fictional (i. One of the most extensively debated aspects of narrative is that of focalization or point of view. that is. A more general definition of narrative is based on the commonalities between historical writing and narrative fic tion. literary) narratives. Eventfulness in and of itself does not imply a superior quality of narrativity: narrative transforms mere events into plot. Chatman contrasts narrative to argument and description. Most traditional narrative theories assume that every narrative has a narrator even if that narrator is not personalized.. adhering to a bipartite schema.Chatman's model in Story and Discourse (1978). Fludernik also shifts the central emphasis from the story or plot to the notion of experientiality--a concept that includes story but does not reduce narrative to action sequences. F. and instruction.. does not occupy a theoretical position in Stanzel's schema. Fludernik. experientiality in Fludernik). the story/discoursecomplex in Chatman. Concerning the issue of narrative levels. some narratologists have pointed out that the narrative is no mere message shunted from the author to the reader and that texts with a merely covert narrator function cannot be interpreted as the equivalence of an utterance or speech act in conversation. and the intradiegetic (or metadiegetic) level of the story within the story. counterpointing the equivalences and differences between "real" (i. cannot see but merely describe through the "filter" of a character's psyche or through external focalization on the character---a factor Chatman links to knowledge or access to characters' consciousness rather than point of view. Inside the narrative. conversation. By contrast. in particular to a minimal narrative base unit consisting of at least two events in temporal sequence. from his position outside the narrative world. the narrative is classified as heterodiegetic or heterocommunicative. and between the narrator and the narratee in the frame of the narrative text. The most traditional definition of narrative refers to the story or plot. extrapolates voice phenomena from the textual level. Stanzel). sees little .e. This communication pattern has been articulated in narrative theory on several levels: communication between the real author and the real reader. address formulae directed at the narratee. Stanzel's typology is the most complex of all since it superimposes a triad of person. ideological. In Banfield's model. They define narrative on the basis of its fictionality. In Towards a "Natural" Narratology. theatre. The text. Such a conception of the narrator presupposes a communicative model of narration. and Fludernik to argument." The narrator may either be a part of the narrative world as a character or stand outside the story world. narrative now needs to be contrasted to other text types. by contrast. the term has been extended to cover perspective in general. On the basis of the opposition between narrative and drama. to accommodate the media of film. mode. to account for the aesthetic properties and signification of narrative. linguistic. her title alluding to the thesis that third-person narrative clauses are "unspeakable. especially in unreliable narration. the extradiegetic level of the narration about the story world. The most radical stand in this line of argument was taken by Ann Banfield in her book Unspeakable Sentences (1982). in opposition to other text types (Chatman and Fludernik). characters also communicate with one another. the narrative is homodiegetic in Genette's term or homocommunicative in Fludernik's. although it is the material entity from which story and narration are extrapolated. Since a great number of younger narratologists base their definitions on the presence of a story.

and first person narrative diegesis. More radically still. but "The rose was red and emitted an alluring fragrance" does. such as peripheral first-person narrative in which the "I" functions as a witness to another's story. "personale Erzählsituation"). since events need to be located in space and time. then the setting and temporal anchoring of narrative and the constitution of character move back into focus. Another manipulation of point of view that has played an important role in literary narrative is the first-person narrator who filters the narrative through the eyes of his or her former self as opposed to his or her present. for example. perhaps alternated with snatches of the character's perception of the scenery (in internal focalization). the establishment of the setting in the orientation section of the story is an important constituent of the narrative structure. Stanzel's narrative situations maintain the regular co -occurrence of certain features associated with historically observable generic types. refers to the prototypical scenario of quasiautobiography in which a homodiegetic. Although such alternation on the sentence-by-sentence level of narratives is admitted to exist by most narratologists. "All roses are fragrant" does not evoke a narrative scenario. morally superior. limiting access to information. Narratology therefore counterintuitively backgrounded what in the traditional analysis of novels was quite crucial: the delineation of character and the realistic evocation of a fictional setting. are open to modifications as the narrative progresses. and heterodiegesis combine into one prototypical schema. as we know from Labov's work. which he defines as complexes of prototypical alignments between the categories of person. or narratorial omniscience in the sense of access to the characters' thoughts and full access to the fictional world. When plot is displaced as the central defining feature of narrative. Whereas the first issue is one of the management of knowledge or information. Internal perspective restricts the field of vision. Stanzel calls these larger perspectives narrative situations. In homodiegetic narrative. Novels like Thomas Hardy's Tess of the D'Urbervilles (1891). challenging traditional formulations of the point-of-view question. focalization changes frequently. the narrating self. Focalization. Under this aspect. internal/external/zero focalization). which. is important to narrative because it attempts to account for access to characters' interiority and the prevailing perspectivity of the novel of consciousness. Likewise. again. Figural texts can employ third. is the recurrent prototype of an internally focalized narrative. This is most obviously the case for Stanzel's authorial narrative situation. more knowledgeable perspective on the past. Focalization is also crucial to firstperson (homodiegetic) narrative since the narrator. while characters seemed to function as propellors of the plot. Doctor Faustus). is situated in the transitional area between first-person and authorial narrative. The same is true of much second-person narrative. first-person narrative. In conversational narrative. the where and when of narrative have always been implicit in the standard definitions of plot. autodiegetic narrator evaluates and comments on his or her life story. the experiencing self. the now very popular genre of the first-person present-tense narrative problematizes the narrator's mastery over his or her experience. second. so that the plot definition of narrative is no longer adequate in capturing the properties of narrative art. even though it continues to be controversial. For this reason. extra/intradiegetic. Traditional narratology subsumes characters and setting under the title of plot: characters are the necessary agents (or actants) effecting the succession of events. in which external perspective. in which the narrative continually shifts between the authorial and figural mode. Whereas the Genettean typology proposes a combinatory of all categories (homo/heterodiegetic. It is . as Stanzel calls it. This schema. experimental writing has undermined traditional plotting in various ways. In most narratives. Stanzel's three narrative situations operate as abstract prototypes. the presentation of a (pseudo-) human subject within a specific environment becomes very important. particularly by the narrative's deictic structure. Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (1749) is the prototypical authorial narrative.heuristic value in the concept of focalization and conceives of various points of view as mental schemata that are elicited by the linguistic make-up of the text. The second sentence contains a primitive narrative scenario with a specific rose and a specific time. At the same time. a narrative in the reflector mode. Thomas Mann's Doktor Faustus (1947. teller mode. is a historically recognizable type of narrative that combines a prominent teller figure with an alternation between external and internal perspective involving the distancing of the now wiser. the analysis of description in narrative and the investigation of character have attracted little interest in classical narratology. particularly when narrative is contrasted with poetic discourse. and somebody is registering the rose's color and smell. Stanzel arranges these three narrative situations on a typological circle that allows for intermediary forms. displaying---in Genettean terminology---an extradiegetic-heterodiegetic narrator persona and employing zero focalization. models of focalization (with the exception of Bal) stress overall macrotextual perspectives of entire narratives. belong tothe recurring intermediary form of the authorial-figural continuum. the distinction between access to knowledge and filtering collapses. Stanzel's second narrative situation. and mode. perspective. and sedate firstperson narrator. in which the narrative is filtered through the eyes and mind of a protagonist. as a character. Fludernik argues. as is character in narratives of personal experience. on the other hand. has similarly limited access to information. wicked. Description used tobe treated as a pause in the much more important sequence of events constituting plot. the figural narrative situation (in German. or adventurous incarnation. Stanzel's third narrative situation. the other relates to narrative presentation from the inside rather than from the outside. from his or her earlier naive. with the presentation moving from a brief description of a character's intimate thoughts to an external summary of the goings-on. or. Much of the discussion about focalization fails to distinguish between small-scale and large-scale contexts.

. Narratology has devoted much attention to time. in Genette's terminology.possible. Besides the noted changes in tempo. or it can come to a standstill or pause (allegedly so in descriptions where no "action"occurs). Genette's most original contribution lies in the study of chronological frequency: some events may be told again and again in one novel (like the episode of the killing of the centipede in Alain Robbe-Grillet's La Jalousie [1957. for example. after all. Narrating time. on the other hand. experimental texts undermine mimesis by means of self-reflexive textual strategies and metafictional techniques. or they rearrange the narrative text in typographic shapes that are reminiscent of concrete poetry. and frequency presuppose that a story. dialogue in the narrative text is traditionally taken to be pure mimesis. on the other hand. These distinctions and subcategories under the headings of order. the story is a construct that the reader pieces together on the basis of the "deviations" in the discourse. Characters. the story. Philip Sturgess and Jon Adams have insisted on plot dynamics. a technique that Genette labels iterative. as Raymond Federman does in his novel Double or Nothing (1971). narrating time can speed up (one chapter summarizing the events of several years in the hero's life. or metaleptic constructions (transgressions of narrative level as when characters appear in search of their author). The nonrepresentational nature of narrative has been foregrounded in recent literature on experimental fiction. Order is of course the category that has been most carefully analyzed in criticism since rearrangements of chronological order are so very prominent in the modernist novel. In other texts. the consistency of plot dissolves to create hierarchically indeterminate levels of the story (heterarchy)---the functional analogues of Möbius strips. plot progression. Genette also subdivides the narrative restructurations on the temporal plane into changes in frequency (e. in which the protagonist's entire imaginative life passes before his mind's eye in the brief moments before his death by drowning). or---in Stanzel's typology---between openly mediated and apparently unmediated parts of narrative discourse. and in a text like Robert Coover's "The Babysitter" (1969) temporal reshufflings or iterativerenderings of events prevent the construction of a consistent storyline. foregrounding the constructedness of the narrative text. bases his analysis of temporal relations in narrative on a fundamental dichotomy between the story. In experimental fiction this option often disappears. Gérard Genette. and the teleo logical factor that reconfigures the story in relation to its closure. anticipatory passages (prolepsis). The temporality of narrative.. linguistic constructs. narrative as a whole is frequently taken to be mimetic in the sense of representing a (fictional) reality. like Seymour Chatman. prevails. setting. As a consequence. Achrony. a distinction first proposed by Günther Müller in 1968. and presents a very thorough comparison between fictional and historical narratives. in such largescale analyses as Paul Ricoeur's magisterial Temps et récit (1983-85. Gerald Prince's concept of the disnarrated (1988). Moreover. In the wake of such narrative experiments. which is measured in terms of the time it takes to read the text or in terms of the number of printed pages. and indeterminate items whose position on the temporal scale cannot be specified in relation to other events (achrony). and temporal structure have undergone similar experimentation. as in Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27. Experimental texts further undermine mimetic presuppositions by utilizing pronominal or temporal choices that are odd or deviant. duration. is therefore set in relation to a supposedly pre-given sequence of events. with its exhaustive account of possible temporal relations between the story and the discourse and between narrated time and narrating time. telling one event twice. The anti-novel and several forms of anti-illusionistic fiction have deliberately inverted and subverted traditional narrative technique. The distinction between mimesis and diegesis was originally a distinction between types of speech repr esentation (indirect versus direct speech). or several events only once) and in chronological reshufflings. serves to designate events that never happened but are related in the narrative discourse. voice or focalization. the first-person narrator strategically "fails" to tell us that he committed the murder. The dichotomy has now come to signify the opposition between the narrative and dramatic genres.g. In actual fact. In a more general sense. that the person who perceives the rose will materialize to pluck the rose and thereby effect the change of state formerly taken to be a base requirement of narrative discourse. Genette's terminology for different types of anachrony comprises flashbacks (analepsis). Time and Narrative) and in Genette's seminal study. More recently. can indeed be made out from the text. according to Ricoeur. for instance. the chronological sequence of events underlying the discourse. Like Ricoeur's. slow down (an entire novel being devoted to several moments of consciousness. Whereas narrated time is uniform. This kind of representationality comes close to the evocation of an illusion of reality since literary texts are. such as the elusive quality of the present. one scene of a dinner at the Guermantes may serve as a consideration of many such dinners. and they critique merely chronological definitions of story. Ricoeur concentrates on the philosophical issues of temporality. Jealousy]). a chronology. can be located in the dynamic tension between chronological sequence. as in William Golding's Pincher Martin [1956]. for instance). their work explicitly considers the reader's active cognitive involvement in the establishment of plot. as Genette is certainly aware. but some types of action report have also been seen as mimetic. Ellipsis refers to the complete elision of an event from the narration: in Agatha Christie's The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926). translated as Remembrance of Things Past and also as In Search of Lost Time). Plot is also reduced to nearly complete uneventfulness or proliferates to staggering proportions. and the textualization of that story in the discourse. such as "we" narrative and future-tense narration. Chinese boxes.

some of these thematic questions are posed in narrative theories that do not see themselves as narratological. since traditional narratology has tended to neglect diachronic issues. complicating all-toosimplistic definitions of genres or narrative modes. to name just three lacunae in the field. and for the examination of generic modes. including the ideology of the narrator function. . However. It also suggests to us how narrative levels overlap and interact. for the precise description of individual texts. Narratology need not be as formalistic as its reputation would suggest. narratology provides a toolkit for historical analysis. Much research still remains to be done in the realm of the history of the novel. and the repurposing of narrative technique in marginalized ethnic and postcolonial texts. and in recent years it has accommodated more thematic concerns. we do not have any studies that attempt to trace the origins of unreliable narration or analyze the properties of verse narrative. the significance of gender in narrative. and we also lack a comprehensive history of focalization before the 18th century. Thus.On a very pragmatic level.

makes amends. "He is not guilty")." and the discourse is the "how. the narrator is the speaker. An argument turns not on events but on propositions and proofs. settings. In Great Expectations. the story is not told for its own sake. is the place occupied by the narrator when he tells the story. and the earlier events are told later. In Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness" (1902) the discourse-space is the yacht Nelly. he has to fall down before his crown is broken. In story-time. Pip goes to the Orient to seek his fortune. Miss Havisham. unlike the other text types. leaves his humble home for London to become a gentleman.) Just as we distinguish between story-time and discourse-time. He believes that his benefactor is the lady of the manor. the house Lockwood has rented from Heathcliff. of course. If I tell you a joke that I heard. and so on. I am both the author of the story and its narrator or transmitter. others believe that narratives are "non-narrated" if the reader cannot discern an audible voice. Of course. each novel. Joe. Recall the main events of Charles Dickens' Great Expectations (1861). also. the place(s) where the story events occur. the argument is a text that unfoldsin time. he or she tells what happened. the narrator is also the author. A defendant's attorney may tell a story of how his client was bowling when the murder occurred. In the simplest kind of narrative. I am only th e narrator. The discourse-space of Emily Brontë's Wuthering Heights (1847) is Thrushcross Grange. The text type of description even more typically subserves narratives. Pip. and the like. lying becalmed in the London estuary. for instance. but on the support furnished by the reasons to the assertion in question (in this case." Although story (sometimes called the "narrated") and discourse (the "narrating" or "narration") are useful terms devised by narratologists to explain the structure of the novel. then. Narrative. to another person. it is there that Lockwood. sacrificing everything for a chance to see "his boy. The situation in novels and short stories is still more complex. the time it takes to read or hear it. the person who originally made the joke up is the author.characters. and finally goes off to a glorious future with Estella. But there is another kind of narrative time. Story-space is the setting. The story the defense attorney tells about his client's bowling at the time of the murder is an instance of a narrative subserving an argument. but in some novels it is clearly located. When an author decides to write a novel. a story may be used by an arguer to support the argument. namely the time (whether stated by the narrator or reconstructed by the reader) that it takes the narrator to tell the story. Yet the larger structure of the lawyer's argument does not depend on timesequence. That chronology may be called story-time. Miss Havisham's ward. but as evidence. whereas the space of Marlow's story extends from Belgium to Africa." Here the last event is told first. narrative necessarily communicates a chain of events or happenings. the means by which the story is told or otherwise transmitted. Unlike the other text types. that is. Jack has to climb the hill before he can fall down it. of course. actually comes to a reader as a string of words. Discourse-space. events can only occur in one sequence. argument. Dean's tale. returns to his village. but later learns that it was really Magwitch. has a double time arrangement. the oral personal anecdote. Upon the invitation of an anonymous benefactor. up the Congo River. Of course." this audience has been named (by Gerald Prince) the narratee. she chooses not only the story elements---events. Miss Havisham's manor. where Pip lives as a boy. on the other hand. It appears as early as Homer's Iliad. characters. lists. in setting the scene. But the discourse-time could have been arranged in a different way: "Jack lay on the ground moaning. On the analogy of "narrator. the narrator often interrupts the story by advancing a moral argument. (Narratives may subserve descriptions. If I tell you about something that happened to me yesterday. But that is external text-time: it is not intrinsic to the structure of the argument. The story-space of Mrs. When Magwitch returns to England. arguments. and 2) the discourse. In the nursery rhyme "Jack and Jill." the discourse-time follows the same order as the story-time. however. The main agent of the discourse is the narrator. the listener. the initial narrator. Time-sequence is essential to the text type we call narrative: every story rests on a chronology of events. a convict whom he had helped escape and who has made a fortune abroad. Dean's story of Heathcliff's tempestuous love for Catherine. is the estate of Wuthering Heights. In rough terms. following the natural order of life." Pip learns the truth and is ashamed of the snobbishness he has developed toward the poorer classes. A narrative is one of several types of text---others are descriptions. expositions. this kind of time may be called discourse-time. The reader reads the words and interprets them as events. including Magwitch and his brother-in-law. That string---the published text---is an actualization or instance of the narrative structure.THE NARRATOR Fictional narratives have two dimensions: 1) the story. the story is the "what. the discourse-space occupied by the narrator is indeterminate. usually after the fact. we may distinguish between story-spaceand discoursespace. The reverse also happens: in Henry Fielding's Tom Jones (1749). In the personal oral anecdote. and . as when a travel book recounts the history of a castle as part of its description of the building. This discourse arrangement is usually called flashback (oranalepsis). Some narratologists believe that every narrative has a narrator. becomes narratee to Mrs. Compare the double time-scheme of narrative with the single time of a different kind of text. He had just broken his crown after falling down the hill. Story-space in Great Expectations includes Joe's forge. In that case. a poor country boy. the chain of actions and events performed or experienced by characters in a setting. and London. so a chronology is invoked.

However. makes the narratee. as a mark of modesty." but in this unusual form the "you" again seems always to refer to a character (or to the character aspect of a characternarrator). indicating that what is happening to the character may easily happen to anyone. not an individuality. Michel Butor'sLa Modification (1957. who comes to life each time the novel is read. How are we to understand this rather unnatural way of telling a story? In some cases we seem to be dealing with an external narrator telling the events to some "you" who actually has experienced them but is either unwilling or unable to articulate the story (as a psychiatrist might tell an amnesiac patient his own story to help him recover his memory.. as in parables. Some narrators are also characters in the story. and so on. The former are sometimes called overt." since the third person in question is generally not a speaker or an addressee but some other person.. some only tell the story and do not participate in it.settings---but also the discourse elements. The narrator of Fedor Dostoevskii's The Devils (1872) is an even more minor character. not on the narrator. Sometimes the character-narrator is not the protagonist but a lesser character who tells what happened to the protagonist. The first kind may be called character-narrators. as if from the outside. Despite the fact that they inhabit only the discourse." A more technical term for the external narrator isheterodiegetic narrator. Mark Twain decided to have Huckleberry Finn narrate the novel The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn (1884) because he wanted a naive spokesman. Nick Carraway." inThe Company She Keeps (1942). although her consciousness may "filter" the story-world. Others are simply voices. on the other hand. The character-narrator can tell what happened in the story even up to the present moment. and "homo-" means "the same. He was a character "back then. for example. Whatever the case. the first-person speaker refers to himself by his own name. even if the narrator refers to herself as "your author" or the like. either explicit or implicit. contrarily. the "you" form seems intended to make the reader identify closely with the addressed character. (An exception is the narrative in which." But neither narrator is a character in the story. including the best kind of narrator. Gatsby is the protagonist. the narrator simply recording what the character who refers to himself as "you" is thinking. for some extranarratorial reason. in addition to being the narrator of Great Expectations.. an unnamed and undistinguished inhabitant of a provincial Russian town. The collective "we" -narrator is rare. and prejudices. the narrator. appearance. Scott Fitzgerald's novel The Great Gatsby (1925). In some cases. The author is or was a real historical person. the "we" represents a village community who witness the bizarre aftermath of Miss Emily's jilting by her fiancé. or a third person who. Some examples are Rex Stout's How Like a God (1929). In a few cases the firstperson plural "we" is used to refer to the external narrator. and so on. as does Julius Caesar in The Gallic Wars. one who does not inhabit the story-world but only the discourse-world. the better to convey the conflict between Elizabeth's prejudice and Darcy's pride." or "What we are especially concerned with . the "now" of the discourse. Classic examples are the narrators of Henry James' The Ambassadors (1903) and his short story "The Beast in the Jungle" (1903). and Lorrie Moore's Self-Help (1985). That means that the latter is by definition a non-participant in the immediate communication of the discourse. speaking as she does for the entire kingdom) or. no less fictional than any character. about themselves. and is now a narrator in present discoursetime. A character-narrator who is only an observer is called a witness narrator. Or "you" may simply be a vivifying form of "I" (as in some detective novels). The narrator of the former. to one speaker presuming to speak for others (who may or may not be willing to let her be spokesperson). and often ambiguous. giving us few clues. the better to ironize life on the Mississippi River. even describing their own personality. The expression "third-person narrator" is even more confusing than "first-person narrator. the narrator may be referring to him-/herself in past (or future) time." during storytime. Change of Heart). to a speaker who includes the addressee in the group (that is.. and the third person the one spoken about." and the latter alludes to himself in sentences beginning "Our point is . expressing opinions. Pip. the latter covert. ("Diegetic" refers to story-telling. Jay McInerney's Bright Lights. But some narrators are plural in the ordinary sense: in William Faulkner's short story "A Rose for Emily" (1931). or a prosecuting attorney might tell the accused his version of a crime in the hopes that the accused will break down and admit that it is true). In other cases. the "you" may be generic. In second-person narration.. is spoken to as well as about.") Thus.." into a member of his party). one may reasonably speak of third-person narratives. A more technical term for the character-narrator is homodiegetic narrator. Grammatically. remembering that the focus is now on the character. but also may be the narratee. the second person is the one spoken to. Big City (1984). but the narrator is his neighbor. the narrator-Pip is the same person as the protagonist-Pip. a short story by Mary McCarthy called "The Genial Host. attitudes. even in modern fiction. Character-narrators often are referred to as "first-person-" or "I-narrators. the second external narrators. It can refer to such different entities as an actual community of speakers speaking as one (like the chorus in a Greek tragedy). to avoid the suggestion of egotism. by definition a "you. is a personage in the novel. even though Pip is a single person. Is there such a thing as a second-person or "you"-narrator? Again we can speak of "second-person narratives. the narrator may be speaking to himself about himself. . Jane Austen decided on an anonymo narrator to narrate Pride and us Prejudice (1813). it is important to recognize that "Pip" refers to two different narrative agents. some external narrators emerge as full-blown personages in their own right. either in the royal sense (the monarch is so grand a figure as to encompass a plurality. It is important not to confuse the real author with the narrator.) However. Or the passage may be in interior monologue. the first person is the one who speaks. in F. To call the narrator a third person is to confuse story and discourse. says on the first page "The principle I have just mentioned ." but those terms can be misleading since an external narrator. could just as well refer to herself as "I. for some reason. For example. is also its hero or protagonist.

listeners living in the discourse-world. An unnamed member of the party narrates the story of the men's conversation. is called anunreliable narrator . in Jason Compson's section of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury [1929]). (A similar structure informs Wuthering Heights. make comments about the narrating process itself. like Marlow in "Heart of Darkness. in "A Painful Case. for example. which presents nothing but the rambling thoughts of the heroine. which neither he nor anyone else possibly could have known)." we infer.Narratees are even more likely to be blanks. or feel). but simply to tell the story. At one end of the scale is the narrator who has the power to tell the narratee explicitly. "Omniscient"---"all-knowing" (from Latin "omni-" "all" and "sciens" "knowing")---is not felicitous because the narrator's function is not to know something. like JeanPaul Sartre's La Nausée (1938. It is important to understand that the character whose flow of thoughts is recorded is not the narrator. a correspondent in an epistolary novel. often cited as classic examples of limited narration. rather. as well as hints of his own attitude toward Dublin and its inhabitants (not to speak of his knowledge of medical history). Such a narrator is sometimes called self-conscious. judge. but only insofar as she perceives and understands---or fails to understand---them. we may speak of naive unreliability. Such a narrator is like the passive narrator of a story told completely through the quoted dialogue of one or more of the characters (for example. or "dear readers." who make no response to the narrator's tale. framed story. Marlow. This is the effect called interior monologue or stream of consciousness. For instance. such a narrator has been called the omniscient narrator. at any moment of his choosing. he is presumably telling the story of the conversation to "us readers. The stories in James Joyce's Dubliners (1914). provide a great deal of information directly to the narratee. Nausea). intelligence. was of the brown tint of Dublin streets. When the narrator is all too knowing. explaining. or whatever. interpret. like Samuel Richardson's Pamela (1740). think. Molly Bloom. that these are not the main narrators of their novels. which carried the entire tale of his years. who learns everything in the course of reading the novel. The outer or containing narrative may be called the frame. that is. The limited narrator tends not to give overt clues about his own personality. but we might do better to call her the unlimited narrator. As for character-narrators.) We can also distinguish among narrators according to the kind and amount of information they provide. His face. age. An unreliably narrated story is one whose "true version. and at any moment he likes. in Conrad's "Heart of Darkness. everything one needs to know to understand the story. some exceptions. when the narrator does not undersand. which we find in Huckleberry Finnand Ford Madox Ford's The Good Soldier (1915). philosophize about the real world (as opposed to the fictional world of the story). The unlimited narrator can. think. for doubting that he understands the import of the events. The most celebrated example is the last section of Joyce's Ulysses (1922). but some may enter the minds of other characters without explaining how they could do so (the minor character-narrator of The Devils recounts the secret thoughts of the protagonist. A classic example is Henry James' What Maisie Knew (1897): the adult external narrator narrates the erotic carryings-on of a small girl's estranged parents." Here the narrator stands back from the character's consciousness and gives an independent view of the character's appearance. narrators who do not know the whole story from the outset. Another narrator who may not know the whole story. the only one for whom knowing is an issue is the reader. Traditionally." theframing narrative recounts a conversation among four men on a yacht. as when the text is "nested" and the discourse becomesitself a little narrative. including the anonymous narrator of the outer. another member of the party. and feel (or what they don't do. for instance. or that he is being truthful about them. but we can often catch hints of it. embarks on the framed story. do not know in mid-novel how things will ultimately turn out for them. or the diarist of a diary novel. It could be argued. Square hadn't announced it either). For example." a sentence summarizing the protagonist's general attitude toward life---"Mr Duffy abhorred anything which betokened physical or mental disorder"---is followed by "A mediaeval doctor would have called him saturnine." most are limited. and comment upon what characters do. The (implied) author puts no limits on what the unlimited narrator can say. Marlow is the narrator of the inner. that the narrator. There are. Another example is Gustave Flaubert's Madame Bovary (1857). is the one who compiled and/or edited the letters or diary. and his narratees are the other three men. contained narrative the framed. To do that she must already know the story. since in a fiction the author is the one who has invented everything. for instance. There are extreme cases of limitation in which the narrator has the power to present only the contents of a character's mind. She is not telling . For example." At a certain point. Square as well as Tom Jones was Molly's lover (he saw no reason for doing so. simply ears. the narrator may be limited. he can summarize events and situations. On the other hand. mentioning no narratee. however. introduce metaphoric language. we may speak of lying unreliability (as. But sometimes they are fleshed out. We piece together the "real" story because we find reasons in the narrator's character. the way he expresses himself. Usually the limitation takes the form of restricting what can be told at any given story-moment to what one character experiences. framing story. since Mr. Ordinarily. It makes even less sense to say that the author is omniscient. most of which is screened through Emma Bovary's flawed consciousness. about his trip to Africa and meeting with Kurtz. and the inner. Dorothy Parker's short story "Lady with a Lamp"). however. why he has withheld the information that Mr. or who knows it only inaccurately. differs strikingly from what the narrator actually tells us. The narrator of Tom Jones offers copious explanations of his narrative procedures. In the former case. imply some attitudes of the narrator. and so on.

we may do better to characterize them in terms of the individual powers assigned them. "Mr. Verloc. Unlike the external narrator. Nick Adams. conveys a rather negative slant on life in Ireland. he or she inevitably presents the story from a certain point of view or perspective.anybody a story but simply living her life in the story. Whatever the powers of the narrator. like letters. leaving what "really" happened open to question. the narrator reveals her slant about a social class whose sole occupation is to marry off its daughters to affluent men: "It is a truth universally acknowledged." comparing Duffy's saturnine face with the "brown tint" of Dublin's streets. moral. Or the objective narrator may present only written documents. leaving us to guess Nick's state of mind as the events transpire before him.. A classic example is Ernest Hemingway's "The Killers. but tells us practically nothing of what he is thinking. "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927). A narrator may be said to be more or less distant from the characters. or long after. not only about events and characters in the story. ideological. Robert Browning's narrative poem The Ring and the Book (1868-69) and the Japanese short story and film Rashomon are good examples of this technique. It is common to use terms like "long shot" and "close-up. as in Richardson's Pamela. Some novels switch repeatedly among different kinds of narrators (James Joyce's Ulysses is a preeminent example). Finally. In the first chapter of Tom Jones. Take.". Slant entails the notion of distance. whose narrator lives in the 1960s but narrates events that took place 100 years before. In English. that a single man in possession of good fortune must be in want of a wife. envisaging what might have happened. as in "Heart of Darkness. of the two characters. narrator's slant toward the story and her earlier. These categories---unlimited. The narrator of John Barth's "Lost in the Funhouse" (1968) has access only to the consciousness of the protagonist Ambrose but at the same time feels free to comment and generalize. Marcel Proust's À la recherche du temps perdu (1913-27. he offers the reader a menu by which to decide whether to partake of the text. consists almost entirely of the speeches. The narrator here is a kind of mind-reading recorder faithfully reproducing her every thought. political. the time of the telling of the story may begin only moments after the last storyevent occurred. The narrator of Joyce's "A Painful Case. the standard verb form for retrospective accounts is the ordinary past or preterite tense. that is.. for example. Instead of forcing narrators into one or another of the categories listed above." . retrospectively. the action. The narrator's slant may reveal psychological. the narrator argues that authors should provide plenty of information---in introductions. Although narrated by the character-narrator Marcel. character's perspective." In "Heart of Darkness. the setting. as opposed to themicroscopic view. distance is used to refer to a broad perspective. This sort of objective narrator functions somewhat like a camera---hence such colorful synonyms as camera-eye or fly-on-the-wall narrator. Sometimes. and the like---about what the reader may expect to find in the text. and in many ways limited to what Marcel-as-character could know. He is even more restricted than the narrators of Dubliners. Tom Jones begins as if high above England: "In the western half of this kingdom . This point of view. This distance may be literally spatial. But a few novels suggest that the discourse and the story are simultaneous. also translated as Remembrance of Things Past). left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law. Some seem to belong in more than one category or blur the norms of a given category. the character-narrator has two perspectives---her present." but we must remember that these apply only metaphorically to verbal fiction. Objective narratives are sometimes said to be "shown" rather than "told. which we can call the narrator's slant. Critics speak of the bird's-eye or God's-eye view. common in hard-boiled detective novels that insist on hard evidence. which give the effect of prophecy." Marlow's slant is against the brutal treatment of indigenous peoples by entrepreneurs. or all three. any mental predisposition whatsoever. but also about the art and mechanics of writing fiction. chapter headings. Conrad's The Secret Agent (1907) begins." like an audiotape recorder or stenographer who does nothing more than transcribe the dialogue of the characters. Another kind of distance is temporal. Some tales are narrated multiply by narrators whose versions conflict. The objective narrator. wrapped in quotation marks. His slant takes the ostensible form of honest business dealings: like a good restauranteur." in which the narrator recounts events that happened thousands of miles away. as in Sir Walter Scott's historical novels or John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman (1969)." The objective narrator "follows" the protagonist. or in the conditional mood. Not that the objective narrator need be the equivalent of a photographic device. He---or better "it"--may "overhear. Marcel-as-narrator also has the power to delve into the intimate thoughts of other characters. and objective---only roughly explain the characteristics of narrators of novels and short stories. We may call the character's point of view "filter. usually recounts only what could be seen by someone standing in the vicinity of the events narrated. may be stated quite explicitly by the narrator. although not necessarily against colonialism as an institution. there is a kind of narrator who may not enter any character's mind. going out in the morning. Most novels are told by the narrator after the fact. This kind of narrator functions like a fax machine or manuscript copyist. There are even a few novels cast in the future tense. limited. and economic attitudes---indeed." but the terminology is only metaphoric: you can literally "show" a story only in a visual medium like a movie or comic strip. In Search of Lost Time. that is. Often it is difficult to place individual narrators. Another Hemingway story." The character-narrator can report the filtered attitude that she had back when she was a character (what I did made sense at the time) but then modify it with her current slant (but I see now that it was quite stupid). that is. In the opening sentence of Pride and Prejudice.

This is a use of the "historical present" tense to vivify the action. The narrators of Virginia Woolf's Mrs. there is a kind of distance that we may call personal. conventional characteristics of narrators as manifested throughout the history of the novel. a narratorial norm is like a red cape to a bull.". seeking ever new ways to tell stories. as is the case in Conrad'sThe Secret Agent. The present tense is used in ordinary conversational narrative to impart a kind of vivid immediacy to the tale: the person next to you in a bar says "So I'm standing there and he comes up to me and makes this remark . the story may be vivified by the use of present time adverbs (technically called deictics) to convey the sense of immediacy felt by a character. or philosophically. morally. "It is raining." Quite often in fiction. and authors press the limits of these norms. indifference or antipathy has been termed dissonance (see Cohn. we understand that the account is retrospective. To many an author. for example. the narrator refers to his feelings upon being interrogated by the police: "No doubt I now grew very pale" (rather than "No doubt I then grew very pale"). are mostly in harmony with the protagonists. Dalloway (1925) and Katherine Mansfield's "The Garden Party" (1922)..Sometimes. that is.however.. Even when the narrator tells the story in the preterite. But the narrator may be very distant. when the narrator tells the story in the simple present tense.In Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" (1843). not something to be revered but something to be subverted or transformed into new realms of expression. Some novels do the same: Ann Beattie's Chilly Scenes of Winter(1976) begins. 1978). Finally. This is particularly true of 20th-century novelists.and Sam's hair streams down his face. . whether progressive (the verb "to be" followed by the present participle---"John is singing") or simple ("John sings"). for instance. referring to the degree of sympathy or empathy that the narrator exhibits toward the character. the retrospective discourse is couched in the present tense. sociologically. Sympathy toward the protagonist has been termed consonance. that the present tense refers to past activity. But art is dynamic. whether emotionally. The properties of narrators described above are not rules but norms. speaking of the protagonist with detachment or even distaste. Even a character-narrator may be very distant from and unsympathetic toward her former self. both modernist and postmodernist.