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Review: A New Synthesis of Narratology Author(s): Harold F. Mosher Source: Poetics Today, Vol. 1, No. 3, Special Issue: Narratology I: Poetics of Fiction (Spring, 1980), pp. 171-186 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1772418 . Accessed: 21/08/2011 22:47
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171-186 . and that it offers deductively a comprehensive theory of narrative. Ithaca: in Cornell Univ. including one of Genette's most important. What makes this study especially appealing is that it is clearly written (the jargon is not overwhelming and is adequately explained). has been continued by the French structuralists. This familiar dichotomy. Story and Discourse. 1978. or the how of narrative) and the form of content (story.notably. may then be reserved for the action as it was supposed to have "really" happened in its order and speed ." or "fable" [fabula]. frequency. Many of these narratologists' ideas are synthesized in this important new book by Seymour Chatman. Vol. For these reasons Story and Discourse will prove useful both as an introduction to the structuraliststudy of narrative as well as an original development of that quickly evolving methodology. was emphasized by the Russian Formalists. that it illustrates its theory with specific examples from literatures of many countries. Within roughly the last dozen years a number of French theorists . two of Chatman's major divisions of discourse. Much of Barthes' work has been translated into English as have some titles by the others. Poetics Today. or the what of narrative)." in Anglo-American terminology) and point of view ("perspective" and "voice"). . derived from Aristotle. 43).A NEW SYNTHESIS OF NARRATOLOGY HAROLD F. Gerard Genette. the term "story. After the analysis of story. chronologically as in life. the artistic ordering and pacing of the narrative we read and would seem to be a means (discourse). which Chatman defines as "story-as-discoursed" (p.have focused on narrative in such new ways that the term "narratology" has been coined to describe their activity. Chatman seems to recognize that time elements are part of discourse when he writes: "Structuralistnarrative theory argues that the arrangement is precisely the operation performed by discourse" (p. and duration . N. Illinois SEYMOURCHATMAN. In fact. Roland Barthes. That these aspects of time could more appropriately be classified as matters of discourse (how the narrative is presented to the reader) instead of matters of story becomes clearer if one adds to this two-part scheme the dimension called by the Russian Formalists "plot" [sjuzhet]. MOSHER English. "Plot" designates. involving as much choice by the narrator as in his decisions about mode ("showing" and "telling. however.Storyand Discourse: NarrativeStructure Fiction and Film.that is. unlike Genette includes considerations of time . Tzvetan Todorov. 43). :3 (1980). then. Press. The two terms in Chatman's title refer to the form of expression (discourse.order. and Claude Bremond .under story rather than in the domain of discourse. Figures III. and is used by Chatman. who.
in a passage from The SecretAgent. on the other. Probably. Stasis statements either "expose" (unmediated discourse) or "present" (mediated discourse) "existents. Statements in narrative are divided into two functional types "process" statements of doing and "stasis" statements of being. What Chatman does not consider here is the admittedly rare case (but his system as a deductive one seeks to be complete) of the story whose narrative-NOW has its own chronology which dramatically affects the narrator'sunderstanding of his story and himself. despite the use of the preterite. though. Events may consist of physical acts. and the story-time in the past." inessential events. Often the time separating the first-person narrator from his experiencing self is a cause of the former's superior knowledge. the last of which are transmitted by "covert" and "overt" narrators. as outlined in his Communications article of 1966. as in The Canterbury Tales. thoughts. and defines many of the important terms. or the narrators'relations among themselves." and any contemporary moment to the narrator in the discouse. unlike Genette's it omits such considerations as the "partial" and "complete anachrony" in order (time-shift) and those qualities of "iterative" (the ." The introductory chapter. a process statement might "index" (imply) an existent as a stasis statement might "project" an event (pp. any contemporary moment to the character in the story." which are classed as characters or settings. a statement about Verloc's way of selling pornography is both a narration (process statement) of an event (locutionary aspect) but more importantly is a characterization (stasis statement) of the trait (illocutionary aspect) of underhanded secrecy. MOSHER Chatman's organization of the treatment of discourse in the two final chapters develops from the two poles of mode . first sketched in his NLH article of 1975. and a stasis statement might "identify" (name) or "qualify" (describe) character traits. as wholes." which are classed as "actions. can thus create complex simultaneous effects. Process statements may either "enact" (unmediated discourse) or "recount" (mediated discourse) "events. accompanied by a chart at the end of the book. the reader must be sensitive to both primary and secondary functions of statements which. whereas it is not evident in unmediated or covertly narrated stories. the narrator being relatively absent. feelings. called "dissonance" by Dorrit Cohn. the first of the two on aspects of story. Correspondingly." causal events. Furthermore. This relation. elaborates Chatman's design. Chatman divides events into "kernels." where an event acts upon an existent." where an agent performs an event. "character-NOW. Chatman may have this in mind when he maintains that only in overt narration is the distinction between story-NOW and discourse-NOW clearly apparent. Chatman draws a parallel between story-time and discourse-time. as in the cases of The Good Soldieror Lord Jim. and. is lucidly demonstrated in her Transparent Minds published in the same year as Storyand Discourse. or "happenings. and frequency. which Chatman cites later for its irony. on one hand. Later in Chapter 4 Chatman points out that the reader must recognize the functions of narrative statements: what seems to be narrating (John Austin's locutionary aspect) might actually be describing (the illocutionary aspect). Thus. and "satellites. but as Barthes has pointed out in Writing Degree Zero. duration. like Genette's. Adapting some of Roland Barthes' terminology. 32-33). there are two earlier chapters on story devoted respectively to "events" and "existents. The discourse-time is usually in the present. and perceptions. speeches. "narrator-NOW" (p. 81). Chatman's treatment of time.unmediated ("nonnarrated") stories and mediated ("narrated") stories.172 HAROLD F. the illusion for the reader of most narrative is that the action occurs in his present. In his chapter on events. is divided into remarks on order.
This latter we might interpret as a "clue". Sometimes these omissions can result in confusions." Genette and Chatman would call this early material an analepsis. depending on its "distance' [Genette's porteel from the primary narrative (Genette. if it is a complete analepsis. 65)." a plot which establishes no chronological progression. One of the problems here is the identification of the main story and. Just as Chatman considers exposition to be a function of analepsis so he would no doubt consider foreshadowing as a function of prolepsis. call them prolepses. between a degree of suspense in the story for the character Pip and the narrator or limited reader (resolved. for instance. and reserve Genette's amorce for foreshadowing. Meir Sternberg (1974: 54-57) has provided one solution by calling the firstdynamic action in the story that is presented by scenic pace and singulative frequency in the plot the beginning of the "story proper. 1972: 111-112). whether they are "completive" (filling in "ellipses" or omissions in the plot) or "repetitive. and many of them can also be applied to "heterodiegetic anachronies" (involving a different story-strand) but not to Genette's "achrony. the explicit. it could end at the moment of NOW. Genette's examples of annonce contain kernels. not shared by Pip who is consequently surprised. therefore." What precedes this first scene in the story (though it may not precede the firstscene in the plot) Sternberg calls "exposition. The beginning of the "mixed analepsis" is outside the main story's amplitude while its ending is within. in turn. it must end some time before the moment of NOW. particularly in extremely unchronological plots like Proust's. not kernels. who is convinced that Miss Havisham supplies his fortune (pp. as Genette recognizes. brief repetitive prolepsis fannoncel and the implicit. Of course an analepsis cannot by definition begin after the story-NOW. it would seem that internal analepses." which depends on an analeptic partial knowledge. However. drawing on examples from Great Expectations. as well as external ones. 1978:60). and "extension" (the duration of each unit of the series). though. Chatman elsewhere reserves the term "exposition" for an explaining function of analepsis (see Chatman. as a partial analepsis. "specification" (the number of repetitions of the occurrence in the story). By the same token. Indeed. the beginning of the "mixed prolepsis" is within the main plot's amplitude while its ending is without (Genette. when Pip's theft of the pies is discovered. Foreshadowing. 1972: 90-91. and Chatman would probably. . Genette distinguishes two special kinds of prolepses. the "mystery.A NEW SYNTHESIS OF NARRATOLOGY 173 single narration for a repeated event) frequency that Genette calls "determination" (the beginning and end of the series' amplitude or duration). the former may be the equivalent of Chatman's term "foreshadowing" except that in differentiating it from the prolepsis Chatman defines foreshadowing as an anticipation drawn from satellites or existents. whose significance is not recognized until the reader arrives at its allusion (Genette. could provide exposition. of where the main story-strand begins and ends." These terms are most useful in the analysis of "homodiegetic anachronies" (involving the same story-strand). as the reader is not. The "duration" [atmplitudelof the external anachrony is outside the limits of the main story while the amplitude of the internal anachrony is within those limits. 59-62). 1972:101). when the convict accepts the stolen pies) and furthersuspense in the discourse for the implied reader. can generate suspense (Chatman. and Chatman makes an interesting distinction. 106-109). 1974: 358). about the identity of Pip's real benefactor exists in the discourse for the implied reader but not in the story for the narratorand the character Pip. brief prolepsis (amorcel. Genette does not define internal or external anachronies in regard to story-NOW but rather in regard to the beginning and ending of the primary story. as when Chatman defines an "internal anachrony" (including both the analepsis or flashback and the prolepsis or flashforward) as one that "begins after NOW" (p.
Some verbs. The reverse may be true. As for duration so for frequency Chatman basically accepts Genette's classification of the four relations between discourse and story . Although Genette only mentions this possibility. he . or the ignored story-strands may continue to progress outside the discourse and be continued from the point that the discourse returns to them. scene. and Chatman demonstrates this alternating rhythm with an interesting example from Pride and Prejudice on a much smaller scale than most of Lubbock's examples. summary. In addition to these matters of pace. as Percy Lubbock has pointed out. narrated n times in the discourse).ellipsis. Of course. the others may be stopped for that time and then return to their progressions whenever the discourse narrates them. as Chatman shows in another example from Pride and Prejudice. though some of it is summarized. In this example summary serves the minor function of binding together separated scenes. the action will seem to be presented in a scenic pace if the setting remains constant and fairly circumscribed and if roughly the same characters are present. fast-paced narrative. One way that narrativecan unobtrusively assimilate anachronies into the main plot is to present their action in the form of a character's "retrospection" or "anticipation" (Genette's terms. In regard to this last frequency Chatman contributes an important observation concerning the manifestation of iterative narration and related forms. iterative (happening n times in the story. which is a group of events containing one or more kernels and is unified by character and an Action (Barthes' word) or motif that can be named. repetitive (happening once in the story. Chatman accepts the four traditional speeds of Genette .and Chatman adds what he calls "stretch. though at times pace might be faster than the one we expect in scene (discourse time Jquals story time). and pause. which may also require unity of place as well as time and. the thoughts take as long to think as to read (1978: 76). 72-73). of character. 1972: 81-82). Thus in some of the action of Chatman's example. Such alternation of paces or modes of presentation is an effective and economical way of advancing the story quickly while at the same time maintaining intensity. This latter is called "unchronicled growth" by Carl Grabo. Chatman points out that often the action of these anachronies is fast-paced but that the act of remembering or anticipating is slow-paced or scenic: that is. may not seem to differ so greatly from the framing situation. narrated once in the discourse). paces in most novels vary. where the scene plays the secondary role of illustrating the summarized action (pp. MOSHER In regard to duration ("pace" in Anglo-American terminology). Chatman also considers such problems of pure duration as occur in narrative with multiple story-strands. 75-76). as Chatman reminds us. two possible durative relations may exist among them: while one strand progresses in the discourse. would comprise one episode. his extensive. macro-sequence or macro-narreme in structuralist terminology. It is useful also to distinguish between scene and episode.174 HAROLD F. In other words. listed in order of decreasing speed which result from the relationship between the extent of the discourse and that of the story . one might add. Chatman has established it as both a theoretical and actual category. When more than one story-strand is being narrated by the discourse. Thus particularlyif the character's thoughts occur in the context of a scene. thought at a slower pace.singulative (happening once in the story. multiple singulative (happening n times in the story. useful for such novels as Ulysses. the sequential material involving Darcy and Elizabeth. Chatman correctly observes that the scenic pace does not alone guarantee scenic presentation." a pace slower than scene in which the discourse takes more time to read than the time represented in the story (pp. narrated n times in the discourse). narrated once in the discourse).
" A character's angle and distance in relation to objects frame his "perceived story-space. Basing his analysis on J. 141-143)." viewed from his "occupied story-space" (pp. 141). depending on how evident they are (p.and a chapter on narrated or mediated stories . and who never reappears in the story (p. unimportant. narrated singulatively. 129-130). and Chatman admits that setting has been relatively neglected by structuralists. or to act as mental pictures (pp. to create atmospheres that may act as support to characters' moods or else act in ironic contrast to moods. to serve as symbols. A trait. P. 146). Chatman takes up character and setting. Chatman defines a trait as an enduring characteristic that distinguishes one individual from another. as it persists over part or whole of the story (its 'domain')" (p. At present it will suffice to call attention to his distinction between the total "story-space" of a narrative and that part that is isolated at any one point for the reader. rather. Many of these ideas on the function of setting come from Robert Liddell (1947). are innately "punctual. as in the systems of Propp and his followers. temporary motives. and both durative and iterative narration should be distinguished from descriptions of states which involve no movement in the story. Guilford (1959) and Gordon W. Some of Chatman's treatment of character and setting impinges on what is more relevant to point of view. 68). The second part of Story and Discourse. feelings. Although traits may not be evoked until late in a narrative and although they may disappear to be replaced by other traits. that a human who is named.that is." denoting actions that occur once in a brief span of time. .Plato's "diegesis" .by either "covert" or "overt" narrators. even though they may be "flat" in Forster's term. including Bremond. Often narratives will play one frequency off against another for dramatic effect. thoughts. present. must be distinguished from people who function rather as setting. and though traits are different from habits. true characters. Turning to the other half of story." the screams of the squaw in labor are juxtaposed with the silently smoking braves by the iterative or perhaps. Settings provide various functions: to provide a background for characters. and Greimas. He rejects the structuralist closed concept of character that restricts it to filling roles and acting out functions.-space. perhaps the more original and more difficult at once. traits are said to be both "parametric" (constant over their domains) and "paradigmatic" (available to be evoked at any time) (pp. and attitudes which are more fleeting. Chatman makes a valuable distinction between character traits and moods. Others are durative. discussed later. then. Plato's "mimesis" . they must be differentiated from moods. In contrast to events which have a set position and limited domain in the story. Odbert (1936). is a "narrative adjective out of the vernacular labeling a personal quality of a character. durative narration and these acts are in turn juxtaposed with the Indian father's suicide. Such durative narrations should probably be distinguished from iterative ones which depict repeated but interrupted actions ("on Sundays he would visit his aunt"). traits and habits are interconnected despite the possibility of their sometimes being contradictory. existents. Thus in Hemingway's "Indian Camp. and important to the action will be a character than a human who is unnamed.A NEW SYNTHESIS OF NARRATOLOGY 175 says. Furthermore. Todorov. particularly in modern fiction. Allport and Henry S. It is more likely. indicating a continuous action composed of repeated but uninterrupted units ("he was jumping") or a continuous action ("he was thinking") (p. divided into a chapter on unmediated or "nonnarrated" stories (perhaps better termed "minimally narrated") . is devoted to a consideration of discourse. the "discours. for example. 102-103). 125).
one can accept Chatman's classification of the so-called "first-person" narrations as unmediated along with the "third-person" narrations like interior monologue novels. diaries. Thus the strange conclusion that narratees can be present without narrators. By preserving such distinctions. between story-time and discourse-time. Since Chatman accepts the conventional definitions of the dramatic monologue and . Furthermore. as we shall see. diary. As Chatman's example from Ulysses shows (pp. and soliloquy. and autobiographical novels are different from the interior monologue novel also because in the latter no gap exists. or autobiographies. though. It is true that Chatman refers to internal and external narrators (apparently equivalent to Booth's dramatized and undramatized narrators). Similarlyhe implies that only "genuine narrators"know the outcome of the action unlike the writers of epistolary or diary novels (pp. diary. but also recognize a difference between them beyond Chatman's degree of mediation. Certainly these presences are not narrators in Chatman's sense of the term. who are instead writers of letters. but sometimes these distinctions are not applied where they would be useful. for instance. the diary and epistolary novel differ from other forms because they are often not narrations: their writers are concerned with their own here-and-now rather than with the there-and-then of others or of themselves at another time and place. than in epistolary novels. These are somewhat less unmediated than the written records because they assume that another presence other than the speaker. whether inside or outside the narration. a sort of anonymous stenographer. 169-170). but these narratees are different: letters are addressed to a correspondent while a diary (and probably the autobiographical novel) is addressed to oneself. memoir novels) followed by the text that pretends to be an oral narration or a transcript of dialogue (p." in Genette's terminology) narrator can be more evident in indirect (third-person) interior monologue novels (Dorrit Cohn's "narrated monologue"). as when he labels as "external narrators" those he had previously called "agents. Epistolary. as it does in the former. Actually. depends on the distinction between narration and diegesis. or speakers of soliloquies. is still a mediator. Thus the narrator of Tom Jones is put into the same category as Marlow. Epistolary and diary novels are alike in that they have narratees. dramatic monologue. or interior monologues. 170-171 ). 167). 183-184). usually much more of the content of epistolary and diary novels consists of true narration than Chatman seems to admit.176 HAROLD F." or redacteurs. MOSHER One big difference between Chatman's system of mediation and most previous ones is that for him a narrator." framed by the external narrator? Moving slightly away from the pole of "pure" stories. an external ("extradiegetic. which are less dependent on the extradiegetic "heterodiegetic" (writing or talking about someone else) editor or presence. though by an internal or dramatized narrator rather than an external or undramatized narrator (see Wayne Booth. but that gap is much smaller in the epistolary and diary novel than it is in the autobiographical novel (entirely retrospective) and separates the autobiographical novel from the other two. although not in the direct (first-person) types or in stream of consciousness. Chatman next takes up what he calls "pure speech records" . Chatman first identifies the purest type of nonnarrated (objective) representation as the text that imitates written materials (the epistolary. The complexity of this problem leads Chatman to make self-contradictory or confusing statements. and so these forms are probably more narrated than not. 1961: 151-153).or "editors" of epistolary or memoir novels like Laclos' Les Liaisons dangereuses and Sartre's La Nausee (pp. records the words. dramatic monologues. Are we then to consider the Marlow of LordJim not a genuine narratorduring his oral relation of Jim's story? Or would Chatman consider Marlow a "secondary narrator. unlike an interior monologue (another nonnarrated type).dialogue.
the speaker then becomes an internal or dramatized narrator. Another distinction. is often not a narrator. I would assume. In classifying ways of representing thought. an external or extradiegetic narrator. but critics like Norman Friedman often use it to qualify an omnipresent or omnitemporal narrator as well. the point of view in this novel is patternless. These distinctions allow one to place at a narrative level in Genette's system a character who. the latter being a virtually impossible narrative act (p.A NEW SYNTHESIS OF NARRATOLOGY 177 soliloquy. that between classical ominiscience and what Chatman calls "shifting limited" access to characters' minds. Such terms seem useful in identifying these modes midway between the patternless but purposive (to use Chatman's criteria) type of point of view in Madame Bovary or Vanity Fair and the patternless and purposeless type in Mrs. 188). different types of point of view are apparent in Chatman's examples from Mrs. at least. Chatman does seem to recognize the possibility that some. whose speech. Although in practice it might be difficult to distinguish between these two types of omniscience because "teleological purpose" might be hard to disprove in any fiction. distinguishes records of speech from records of thought. indeed. if. just as with the epistolary novel. Nor does Chatman seem to recognize as a distinct mode what Friedman calls "selective omniscience" which limits access to one mind as in James's The Ambassadors. 1972: 207). Dalloway and from Vanity Fair. and. 174). and if. though speaking. which seems to relate to what Genette calls "paralipsis. However. but shifting-limited access follows no pattern or purpose in moving from one character to another as in Woolf's Mrs. Chatman's term "shifting limited" does suggest Friedman's "multiple selective omniscience" (probably equivalent to Genette's "multiple focalization". purpose or lack of it can be detected. the result is "direct free thought" which is called "direct interior monologue" when found in extended form (p. whose main purposes respectively are to characterize the speaker or comment on the speaker's situation. Chatman makes distinctions among these terms. demanding more than just a stenographer. is covered in the section on covert narration. three forms of recording thought -direct tagged thought. When the tag and quotation marks are dropped. Nevertheless. The term generally used in Anglo-American criticism for the narrator'sability to reveal the workings of a character's mind is omniscience. Requirements are that the character . of the speaker's activities could be narrative.are relatively unmediated. of course. Omniscience allows the narrator to shift from one mind to another in order to carry out some teleological purpose. direct interior monologue.e application of Genette's narrative levels makes us more easily aware of the intradiegetic (internal) position and the slightly less unmediated stance of the speaker of the soliloquy. in Genette's terminology. as well as the one between a narratorwho knows all and one who tells all. Dalloway. 212). but Chatman's system does not seem to provide for this variation where access to characters' minds follows a set pattern governed by chapter or part divisions in the narrative. the diegetic quality of the speech. for which mediation increases slightly. he labels these speakers' activities as basically nonnarrative. In other words. This latter distinction. Direct tagged thought is expressed as in direct tagged speech with the introductory clause and quotation marks. Dalloway. indeed. Such a tag. Chatman includes in his definition of thought not only verbalized concepts but also perceptions conveyed "by conventional verbal transformation" (p. Th." is an important and complex one which we shall take up later. provides the distinguishing criterion. and stream of consciousness . as in Henry James's The Golden Bowl or The Wingsof the Dove or in Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury. dealing with the here-and-now of the speaker. which in that case becomes "secondary narrative" (p. intradiegetic. 182). according to Chatman. must be tagged ("he said") by a presence outside the narrative.
it seems to me helpful to make a distinction between the mediation of a narrator outside the narrative (extradiegetic) and the "mediation" of a narrator who is a character (intradiegetic)." he seems to forget the frequent possibility of a character's misjudgments. or theme. the reader must detect the illocutionary meaning of a statement and supply a metatextual word to describe that meaning. Though the vision (perceptual point of view). the voice might be the narrator's. the reliability of speakers. except in cases of willful self-deception. whose "autonomous monologue" is throughout an a-chronological self-communion in the first person and narrative-NOW (Cohn. Chatman correctly identifies the voice as the narrator's speaking in the first chapter about MariaGostrey's ability to classify her "fellow mortals. despite some disclaimers. not a case of willful self-deception. Basically in the unmediated stories. Chatman is indebted to Boris Uspensky for these distinctions (see Uspensky. that discourse-time and story-time are synonymous and are expressed by the present tense. or concerns (interest point of view) might be the character's. we certainly must add that the ideological and perceptual points of view are the narrator's and that they are more important here in establishing the "truth" of Maria Gostrey's character as a reliable observer. Thus Chatman does not make his distinction between interior monologue and stream of consciousness on the basis of cognitions and perceptions. Even if we accept Chatman's reasoning. 1978: 219). as Wayne Booth. that the language is the character's. as does Lawrence Bowling. 153-154). as we have seen. among others. In The Ambassadors. Recuperation. and. has emphasized. 157-158). Chatman assigns to Strether the point of view of the preceding characterization of Maria Gostrey (though he is not aware of her traits) on the basis that the "focus of attention remains on him" and that her "traits are significant only in their implications for him" (p. resulting especially from his applications of interest point of view. Chatman asserts that voice is always in the discourse. thoughts (conceptual point of view).178 HAROLD F. In fact.are useful (pp. existents. Stream of consciousness adds to these qualities the feature of random progress based on free association of the speaker's mind (p. outside the story (pp. Again. but the apparent equivocations (Chatman would probably say "plurisignifications"). the character's "thoughts are truthful.perceptual. Certainly the "truth" for a fiction is more likely to come from the former than the latter. Certainlyv point of view . interest . have voices. does shift frequently to overt narration (nonobjectivity). lead to difficulties. 189). 157). and the very frequent cases of narrators' (especially extradiegetic ones) reliability. 151-158). for all its famed covert narration (relative objectivity in Anglo-American terms). Evidently we are to understand interest point of view as meaning the sympathy the reader feels for a character or simply the interest he takes in a character or the interest a character takes in someone else (pp. narrators. or on the basis of technique and genre. that allusions to the speaker's knowledge are left unexplained. as well as extradiegetic narrators." The characterization of Gostrey ends with the narrator'sremark that Strether was not yet entirely aware of these traits. as do Melvin Friedman and. which seems to be a gratuitously perverse statement when one considers that characters. a fiction which. MOSHER speaks in the first person. A distinguishing element between these unmediated stories and mediated ones is that in the latter the narrator's voice becomes more apparent. Dorrit Cohn. In emphasizing Strether's interest point of view. Thus. and characters is an important element for the reader to determine if he is to Chatman's distinctions between the different types of read the storv correctly. and that no audience is assumed. Chatman suppresses the . might have to be practiced by the reader in regard to events. in Jonathan Culler's terminology. 1974). When Chatman says that unlike the narrator. ideological. although exceptions like Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown" do exist.
240). of reporting thoughts and speech is the narrator's summary in a phrase without the "that" clause. According to Chatman. Roy Pascal. conforms to this description of indirect free style except that indirect discourse includes the tag and possibly also the relative conjunction that." In practice. as in his awareness of the irony shared between narrator and Strether that lan Watt and Chatman refer to. 199-202). whose analysis depends on such studies as those by Dorrit Cohn. but in Chatman's example. not thinks or says. and by the absence of the quotation marks. indirect free style is marked by the absence of the tag.Still another subclass of indirect discourse and indirect free style is the expression in the narrator's words of what the character perceives. the dividing line between the narrator's point of view and the character's is indeed very fine.that is. Chatman calls this "indirect free perception. and think in their own words. When. 240 from Jude the Obscure and The Ambassadors). often depend on the reader's identification of point of view. In contrast to nonnarrated stories. a device which Chatman calls "internal analysis" (p. is slightly more mediated. One might argue that Maria's ability to "pigeon-hole" people is something that she is and has been conscious of and therefore this trait is represented from her point of view. rather than try to separate Strether's interest point of view from the narrator'sanalysis. 238 from Pere Goriot of Eugene's bafflement about women) or when a character's very deep thoughts are suggested (as in Chatman's example on p. The language may or not be that of the character although expressive words will usually be understood to be the character's (pp. which. and Derek Bickerton. we might simply recognize a somewhat lesser degree of overtness on the narrator's part than when he speaks of thoughts or feelings that do not occur at all to the character. 203-205). of which he is not conscious. Stephen Ullmann. as in Chatman's example. It seems sufficient to say that the narrator has chosen certain words like "secret principle" or "wholly instinctive" to voice Strether's feelings. or summarized discourse. Ambassadorsis a good illustration of only One might note here that this passage from IThe one of the causes for difficulties in assigning point of view. reporting what charactersdo not think (pp. 209). or when unknown results of feelings or hidden motives are given (as in Chatman's examples on p. by the change of pronoun from first in direct discourse to third in the indirect. Ann Banfield. nevertheless. 226 from Women in Love of Gerald's feelings) or when absence of thought is indicated (as in Chatman's example on p. the reader may not be able to distinguish one voice from another (pp. characters' expression in covert narration is presented by indirect discourse. from The Ambassadors concerning Strether's "wholly instinctive" "secret principle" for not desiring Waymarsh's presence right away. of course. a narrative or even a sentence in a narrative might mix these modes and. which by Chatman's own system. by the tense shifted to one tense earlier than it would be in direct discourse. 238 from Pere Goriot of Eugene's being unaware). the reader's understanding and enjoyment. where characters write. indirect free style. a character's consciousness is reported in retrospect by the narrator or when a character's unvoiced feelings are expressed (as in C(hatman's example on p. Still another covert form. just mentioned.A NEW SYN THESIS OF NARRATOLOGY 179 narrator'sideological point of view. Such difficulties arise especially in covert narration. we can settle for a "merger of narratorand charactersympathies" (p. the subject of Chatman's last chapter. 225-226). Though the issue might seem to be a futile exercise. Indirect discourse. speak. a somewhat misleading label since little analysis of character by the narrator is . as opposed to overt narration. Chatman accepts the term "narrated monologue" to describe the class of indirect free style where the words are the character'sand proposes "narrative report" for the class where the words are the narrator's. would appear in this passage as overt narration. as Chatman suggests. especially when a character is as articulate as the narrator. Sometimes.
as Genette points out (1969: 57). who as secondary narrators or describers relieve the primary narrator of that burden and consequently avoid his mediation. because obviously in Flaubert's or Balzac's descriptions details are used symbolically or for atmosphere (these and other purposes of setting are set forth in Chatman's chapter on existents) and would therefore be essential to theme. he recognizes the act of summary as an unnecessary mediation . the question that Chatman discusses is not the requirement that discourse must name (describe) an object before and as a condition for narrating an action but rather the question of how much discourse-space will be devoted to a description and to a summary.180 HAROLD F. If by overt narrationChatman means summary as opposed to scene and if the choice is not between leaving out action (ellipsis) entirely and summarizing it but between summarizing it and narrating it in detail (essential narration). as well as narration. and one which is "set. MOSHER involved.that is. the narrator and the describer are confronted with the same options and may decide on the same aesthetic basis how overt their narrations or descriptions will be. summaries. according to Chatman." Such a report. Genette calls this form "narrated" or "narrativized discourse" and distinguishes it from analysis (1972: 191). 74)." nonessential to the plot. that description can exist without narration but not vice versa. although the excessive detail would not necessarily be essential for the simple action. The second part of Chatman's chapter on narratedstories treats overt narration. but perhaps for different reasons. Although it may be true. Narration. he provides less detail to fill in more story-time. may be accomplished by other means than by summary. or plot.whereas the narrator becomes more overt as he devotes less discourse to his narration of a long story-time that is. An even further step toward overtness is what Chatman calls "space summarizing"(pp.that is. 68-69). more mediated kind (p. Closest to covert narration that is. In fact." description essential to the plot. and Flaubert's or Balzac's extensive descriptions are examples of the set. 220) in his analysis of Zola's use of it (p. One might ask how the narrator can accomplish the same ends by omitting action (ellipsis) as by summarizing it. and therefore the reader is less indulgent . It depicts large areas . Hemingway's bare back-drops are examples of the purposive. to which Chatman attaches the term "summarized dialogue" (discourse) (pp. One might argue that the describer might actually become more overt as he devotes more discourse-space to his description of story-space in the case of what Chatman calls "block descriptions" (p. such as by ellipsis. the least mediated of overt narration . In both cases the narrator and the describer may be equally overt. it is difficult to understand why he classifies description as less overt than narration on the basis that description can only be performed by the narrator. less mediated type. and various other types of commentary. characterization. reports of what characters do not think. 223).with the summarizing narrator than with the describing narrator who has no other means to achieve his ends (p. 168). Related to this is the device by which the narrator cites the exact words of the character but leaves out much of what he said or thought. Within this function Chatman distinguishes two poles. Probably the operative phrase here is "essential to the plot. can be performed by characters. would probably be classified as unmediated narration. Since Chatman himself acknowledges this alternative (p. he provides more detail to fill in relatively circumscribedstory-space . 223) . which is still more obviously mediated than covert narration because the narrator's voice is the sole means of effecting descriptions." rather than essential to theme.is description. one which is "purposive. being direct discourse. 168). Furthermore an apparent contradiction arises when Chatman writes in the chapter on nonnarrated stories: "The bare description [narration]of physical action is felt to be essentially unmediated" (p. on the other hand. Admittedly description. 224-225). but which one might call "elliptical discourse.
The basis for Chatman's distinctions might be the categories of terms established by Allport and Odbert. For Chatman overt characterization would be classified as the type of "commentary" called "interpretation. note 38). as in many of Chatman's examples of interpretation (p. and it seems illogical to separate summaries and descriptions from the itemizing of the qualities that belong to them as a "third kind of summary. 238). the covert description or narration would not be unified in the discourse but would be interrupted by other material and remain incomplete up to a point at least. any narrative statement might perform more than one function. A third kind of summary for Chatman is the description of qualities attached to events. or we must define events and existents as being named only by a noun. and settings. and interpretation might be joined with judgment and generalization.A NEW SYNTHESIS OF NARRATOLOGY 181 of setting and. Chatman claims.is difficult to understand. as being separate from the description of their qualities. Theoretically. or event without those qualities . but adds. and the third as judgment. in what would seem to be a reversal of his former position on the overtness of temporal summary." Rather. Although adjectives may be distinguished from nouns. how one may distinguish between a setting. unfortunately. In other words. Adapting these classes. or Designating Influence on Others. this space summarizing is even more overt than time-summarizing. fast or slow-paced). we might recognize this last as simply the identifying or naming of characters. Capacities. character. 221 and 225). characters. Exactly how one separates these qualities from the things they modify ." and "Miscellaneous: Designations of Physique." and "comments on the discourse" (p." "Terms Primarily Descriptive of Temporary Moods or Activities. cited earlier by Chatman: "Neutral Terms Designating Possible Pertinent Traits. character. The narratorwho concentrates his summaries or descriptions in one paragraph or on several consecutive pages becomes more overt than the narrator who disperses the same narration or description piecemeal throughout his discourse. character. as we have seen. Although commentary might come from characters (nonnarrated) or from an ironic narrator(implicitly or "indirectly" narrated). terms . Of course. 228). of block descriptions (and presumably of block characterizations) as whole entities when by definition they contain the qualifiers that make them extended in the discourse'? Either we have to define the events or existents as including their qualifiers and describe their narrationsor descriptions as being long or short (summarized or detailed. as if these qualities were not also present in overt characterization as well. if we separate the qualities from the setting. calling it a formal introduction with qualifiers. 225). it is overt (explicit or "direct") commentary (p. that covert characterization is marked by specific naming and deixis. and Developmental Conditions: Metaphorical and Doubtful Terms" (p.that is. as Chatman does. The second category. it seems to me that the third kind of mediation of this type in addition to temporal summary and spatial description is the overt characterizing of fictonal people. and accept that they will all be more or less equally paced. 225) that Chatman treats in this penultimate part of his argument. Chatman certainly recognizes this mode'. as his examples from Emma and Jude show (pp. 125. These would paradigmatically add up to wholes in either case. the first (neutral terms) as interpretations. or event and the qualities that adhere to them and still talk about a setting. how can we talk." Interpretation is the most pervasive type of commentary and may he found mixed in the other types which are "judgment " "generalization. interpretation might explain events and setting as well as character although all Chatman's examples are concerned with character." "Weighted Terms Conveying Social or Characterial Judgements of Personal Conduct. or event. Probably what Chatman has in mind is a continuous. uninterrupted narration or description as opposed to those "dispersed by hints throughout the text" (p.
and judge. and while characters may narrate. requires a different definition of mediation from Chatman's. 242). at least. an activity requiring less overt mediation than the former. 238). explicit: an extradiegetic narratorcharacterizes or analyzes directly the traits or moods of an existent as in "John reacted angrily"). "expose" in Chatman's terms." Related to interpretation is the category of overt narration that Chatman calls "Reports of What Characters Did Not Think or Say. their accounts are not said to be mediated but are rather assigned one of Genette's levels intradiegetic. ironically. Such an example. for instance. Balzac. MOSHER interpreting temporary moods." could be added another term. those characteristics of limited domain. in Jane Austen and Henry James. It seems useful to distinguish between more overt interpretation of what characters do not think. directly. to suppress in his discourse a narrationof what happens or of what a character thinks in the story ". and those reports of what characters are not conscious of but still feel. for the sake of suspense or ambiguity for example. such omissions can call attention to the narrator as. the equivalent of Booth's "norms. 226). who "added an 'e' to his name.his other two distinctions of commentary implicit or explicit." in Genette's terms. and Tolstoy where they may range from one sentence in length to a whole chapter. one might call it "super-omniscience. which when revealing traits we might call "characterization. indirectly. Booth bases much of his argument on those intrusions that Chatman calls generalizations. for the sake of euphony.paralipsis. indirectly his traits or moods as in "Red-faced. where the narrator simply reports a character's mood at a deep level of consciousness.narrated and nonnarrated . Ultimately. 1978:243). They abound in such novelists as Fielding. as in Chatman's example from Women in Love (p. especially in regard to the problem of separating the character's point of view from the narrator's. or "below. more subtly expressed and less extensive. as other great men have done before him" (p." and Barthes' "cultural code": "philosophical observations that reach beyond the world of the fictional work into the real universe" (Chatman. explicit (direct) judgments of characters from Trollope's Barchester Towers and at least one example of mediated implicit (indirect and here ironic) judgment of Mr." to which we have referred already in passing. Chatman provides good examples of mediated.182 HAROLD F. the term is applied only to the extradiegetic narrator. as in those examples Chatman takes from Pere Goriot in which Eugene is completely "unaware" of something (p. metadiegetic. ." Friedman's "editorials. Thus to Chatman's interpretation. explicit: a character's words name reliably. John stamped on the floor". it will be noted. Trollope. Furthermore. illustrates the value of Booth's corrective to the exclusive praise of the nonnarrated story bv the so-called Jamesian school of critics. at the end of Hawthorne's "Young Goodman Brown.characterizes or analyzes extradiegetic narrator "presents" in Chatman's terms the traits or moods of an existent as in "John reacted so calmly"." which would describe the narrator's (or a character's or even an action's) activity of revealing a character's moods. demonstrating the pleasure resulting from the narrator's overt partiality. perhaps "analysis. They can also be found." where the narrator refuses to tell the reader whether the witch's sabbath "reallv" occurred or was a dream. his or another's traits or moods as in "Mary observed John's anger") and mediated implicit and explicit interpretation (implicit: an ." Sometimes the narrator might choose. two double categories result: unmediated implicit and explicit interpretation (implicit: a character's actions reveal. if we add to each of Chatman's two basic distinctions of discourse . would include words chosen to describe what Chatman also calls moods. Such a system. If a separate term is needed for this deep-level report. interpret. Slope. as distinguished from the pervasive traits.
Chatman's use of Booth's descriptions of certain implied authors results in confusion because Booth sometimes seems to have a narrator in mind while speaking of an implied author's "overt. 1961:71). 1978: 250). one that is basically unmediated. narrator. who is the subject of the last section of Chatman's book. and artful" (p. from the author to the reader through. reader. self-consistent. in Booth's terms. 233)." Likewise in differentiating between the real author and the implied author. narrator of The Secret Agent. indeed. but still there seems to be a real difference of opinion when Chatman defines narrator as one who tells a story and Booth defines narrator as one who speaks. Perhaps some reconciliation of these differing views can be made if we realize that Booth would identify the narrator with the implied author in a story like "The Killers. the implied author silently seeks to "make the whole package. interesting. what is involved technically and theoretically in the making'" (Chatman. including the narrator's performance. In other respects Booth and Chatman seem to disagree. so to speak. Chatman seems to have the narrator in mind when speaking of the "reactionary attitudes of the implied author of The Secret Agent or Under WesternEyes" for which we cannot "hold the real Conrad responsible" (p. quoting Booth. identifies three different implied authors for three of Fielding's novels on such bases as their having "'an air of sententious solemnity'" or sounding "'facetious' and 'generally insouciant'. seem rather to condemn despotic government as severely as revolutionaries). on the other hand. Chatman relies on Robert " Alter's description in Partial Magic: "'a testing of the ontological status of the fiction' in which we watch how the novelist "'makes his novel. expressed and implied. is quite different from his second self or the implied author. Unlike the narrator. The political attitudes or. the norms of the implied author of these two novels are probably closer to the center. story and discourse. not even to themselves (pp. Although Booth's examples of his "undramatized narrator" are somewhat confusing (both the narrator of "The Killers" and Horatio speaking about the ghost in Hamlet are cited as examples). For example. "The Killers" is a mediated story (1961: 152). "is reconstructed by the reader from the narrative" and is the inventor of the narrative and the narrator (p. 149). 148). Chatman often insists that the James' central consciousness character and even Joyce's Bloom are not narratorsbecause while in the act of thinking they are not telling narratives to a narratee. In distinguishing between this implied author. implied author. (narratee). A facet of narrative receiving much attention recently is the "narratee. the central consciousness of "The Beast in the Jungle." . this ultra-conservative political and social philosophy is expressed by the language teacher in Under WesternEyes and by the anonymous." a narrator (p. The disagreements here may be partly semantic. though almost equally dramatized. who. 154-155). Occasionally Chatman will slip as when he labels Marcher. If.A NEW SYNTHIESISOF NARRATOLOGY 183 For "commentary on the discourse. Booth seems to imply that. 227). nevertheless. and implied reader. while Chatman uses it frequently as an example of the nonnarrated story. 233-234). the implied author and the implied reader if not always also through the narrator and narratee (pp. divided into comments that undercut the fiction and those that do not." the narrator's receiver. according to Chatman. we should also consider his treatment of the author. Chatman. who tries to convince us of the "truth" of his narrative. does consider these centers of consciousness as narrators (1961: 153). speaking role" (Booth. we can say that the narratorsof these two novels hold reactionary attitudes (the attitudes. all of whom are grouped in this order on a horizontal line to convey the narration from left to right." comments on the making of the fiction. who is "without personality or even presence" (p. The real author. 158) as well as without voice. acceptable. To put the narratee into the context of Chatman's argument. as Wayne Booth has pointed out. Booth. at least.
the example becomes one of the unreliable narrator. narrator. Booth's undramatized narrator would seem to compare to what Chatman calls a "completely external narrator. and his sincerity or ability to tell the "true version" becomes suspect (p. Bennett think. as a character he may be a reader or a listener. depending on their involvment in the action. he may become a narrator in his turn (pp. not meddling. Two problems in Chatman's argument arise here. and "great hereditary wealth" incorrectly used to the great lady (pp. 154-55). narratee. "social irresponsibility" to the do-gooders. If "shifting values" is assigned to the narratorand not the characters. 1973: 190). Ironic and unreliable narration are also subjects that Wayne Booth has ably dealt with. when a communication occurs between the narratorand the narratee at the expense of a character. Chatman describes the various roles of the narratee: the narratee may or may not be a character. The first is that he tends to use Genette's term "heterodiegetic" (talking about another) for Genette's term "extradiegetic" (outside the story). "Further. contrary to what characters like Mrs. Chatman's claim seems rather to point to an unreliable. not the ironic one. but does not make the valuable distinction that Chatman and other structuralists do between the narrating self and the experiencing self in a homodiegetic restrospective narration like Great Expectations. but the narrator is unreliable (p. the narratoris ironic.184 HAROLD F. the narrator'spresentation conflicts with the norms of the work. Booth makes a distinction between narratorsas observers or agents (1961: 153-154). 155). and the ironic narrator of the first sentence of Pride and Prejudice communicates to the narratee that every wealthy man is really not in search of a wife.Booth's narratorbecomes dramatized when he is referred to as "I" while Chatman's narratorbecomes overt when he does more than just report thoughts and words. the court. Drawing on Booth. 232-233) and such acceptable values as justice. On the other hand. similar to Friedman's witness and protagonist. Chatman seems to emphasize the moral relation only in establishing his five possible relations: 1) the narrator and narratee are close to each other but far from the character. the narrator's is second-order or heterodiegetic conceptualizing about the story . When the implied author communicates a covert set of values to the implied reader at the expense of the narrator. From Prince (1973) for example. or possibly even Marlow's listener (pp. It would seem more fitting to assign the shifting values to the characters -"excessive self-righteousness" to the court. 253-255). Chatman relies on Gerald Prince's work. The narrator of The Secret Agent is ironic because the narratee understands his superior attitude to all the characters. Chatman defines the unreliable narrator as one whose "values diverge strikingly from that of the implied author's". the implied author is ironic. and characters that Chatman does not consider is their types: moral. 229). When he claims that the narrator's irony condemning Michaelis. and the great lady is derived from the narrator's shifting moral grounds. emotional. The second problem is that Chatman seems to consider the narratorof A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man (an extradiegetic narrator) as much in the story as is Marlow (an intradiegetic narrator) in Lord Jim. MOSHER while Chatman would eliminate for the most part the narrator." one who unlike Pip never was in the story. do-gooders. another example from The Secret Agent of the ironic narratordoes not seem to follow Chatman's definition. 149). However. and covert when he reports them indirectly instead of directly. Another helpful qualification that Prince applies to the distances between narrator. and correctly used wealth to the narrator. In regard to the narratee and his relation to the implied reader. he may be important or unimportant.as opposed to the first-orderconceptualizing of a character within the story" (p. and Booth's "disguised narrators" would be intradiegetic narrators who are characters in the story (1961: 152). he may be influenced or not. all of which become part of a unified ethos. intellectual. . and physical (Prince. not ironic.
producing unreliable narration. Transparent GENElTE." and the narratee is close in TornJones and far in Heart of Darkness. S. G. creating a sympathetic atmosphere. ALLPORT. W." I should think that Story and Discourse will stimulate much discussion from such readers and will act as a basic guide to the study of narrative. Again the disagreement would seem to stem from Chatman's conception of mediation in his nonnarrated. aside from my disagreement with its definition of mediation. It reviews much important theoretical material from French sources. 1961. Better examples or more explanation would help in Chatman's book toclarifv the even more complex relations involving not only the narrator.. is a clear theoretical statement. 233). 1972 Figures III (Paris: Seuil). 5) all three are far from each other. and characters but also the implied author and the implied reader although his chart (p. he means an intellectual one. is not afraid of offering specific examples from a wide range of narrative to encourage what Chatman calls the reactions of "engaged readers. 1936. Another example of this irony might very well be Chatman'sown description of the deliberate misleading by the narrator of the narratee into believing that Miss Havisham is Pip's real benefactor. Minds (Princeton UP). BOOTH. 259-260). W. perhaps best of all. creating an unsympathetic atmosphere (pp. who is as much in the dark as the character Pip. who understands the true nature of love better than the narratee and the characters. Jthe audience presupposed by the narrative itself." Communications 8. would seem to be true if distance is defined as moral. 1966." L'Esprit Createur14.. TraitNames: A Psychosexual Study (Princeton UP). 4) all three are close to each other. 1974. 2) the narrator is far from the narratee and character who are close to each other. 3) the narratorand the characterare close to each other but far from the narratee. "the counterpart of the implied author . is an intellectual. 1969. BARTHES. or as he admits. G. giving another type of irony.A NEW SYNTHESIS OF NARRATOLOGY 185 resulting in irony. An example of the second type might be one that Prince draws from TornJones where the narratee is as insensitive as a character: to both of them the delights of love are equivalent to those of eating a beefsteak (1973: 192). The reverse. not a moral distance. 1959. GUILFORD. D.. REFERENCES H. COHN. Figures II (Paris: Seuil). J. Personality (New York). Similarly when Prince mentions the great distance between narrator and narratee in Tom Jones. P. for Chatman it would not. "Introduction a l'analyse structurale des recits. but the distance here between the narrator and the narratee. introduces a number of original ways of approaching narrative especially in it distinctions among nonnarrated. but Chatman's statement would be acceptable if distance is defined as physical...narratee. and overtly narrated stories. R... and. For Prince a simple "he said" would be a sign of mediation. minimally narrated stories. S. Chatman seems to disagree with Prince who claims that every story has at least a narrator and a narratee (1973: 178).. but he could also speak of the closeness between the narrator and the implied reader. The Rhetoricof Fiction(Chicago UP). AND ODBERT. my sympathy with its description of narrative. "Genette's Analysis of Time Relations. showing how messages between the implied author and reader can bypass narratorand narratee. . covertly. Despite my few objections and questions. at least for Tor Jones. In this regard. Chatman's failure to consider different types of distance also leads to the confusion resulting from his claim that the distance between the implied reader. I wish to end by emphasizing my admiration for Story and Discourse. CHATMAN. and. 1-27. organizes it in a coherent way. 1978.
G. PRINCE. Essays (New York: Oxford UP). "What is Exposition?" in: John Halperin.186 HAROLD F. A Treatiseon the Novel(London). 1974.. 178-196.. ed. The Theoryof the Novel: New M. 1974.. STERNBERG.. USPENSKY. MOSHER R." Poetique 14. Poetics of Composition(Berkeley: California UP). 1973. LIDDELL. "Introduction a I'etude du narrataire. . B. 1947.
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