NHui Blog

June 8th, 2010


Posted by nhui100 in Uncategorized

Introduction, then, a text is a finite, structured whole composed of signs.  These can be linguistic units, such as words and sentences, but they can also be different signs, such as cinematic shots and sequences, or painted dots, lines, and blots.  The finite ensemble of signs does not mean that the text itself is finite, for its meanings, effects, functions, and background are not.  It only means that there is a first and a last word to be identified; a first and last image of a film; a frame of a painting, even if those boundaries, as we will see, are provisional and porous” (5).

“A narrative text is a text in which an agent or subject conveys to an addressee (‘tells’ the reader) a story in a particular medium, such as language, imagery, sound, buildings, or a combination thereof” (5).

“A story is the content of that text, and produces a particular manifestation, inflection, and ‘colouring’ of a fabula; the fabula is presented in a certain manner” (5).

“A fabula is a series of logically and chronologically related events that are caused or experienced by actors” (5).

“Events, actors, time, and location together constitute the material of a fabula […] refer to them as elements” (8).

“An event is the transition from one state to another state” (6).

Actors are agents that perform actions.  They are not necessarily human.  To act is defined here as to cause or to experience an event” (6).

“An event, no matter how insignificant, always takes up time.  This time has hypothetical status: in a fabula the events have not actually occurred, or at least, their reality status is not relevant for their internal logic.  Nevertheless, the time is often important for the continuation of the fabula and deserves, consequently, to be made describable” (7).

“A point of view is chosen, a certain way of seeing things, a certain angle, whether ‘real’ historical facts are concerned or fictitious events” (145).

“Focalization is, then, the relation between the vision and that which is ‘seen,’ or perceived” (146).

“[…] point of view or narrative perspective.  Narrative situation, narrative viewpoint, narrative manner are also employed” (146).

“Focalization is the relationship between the ‘vision,’ the agent that sees, and that which is seen” (149).

“Character-bound focalization (CF) can vary, can shift from one chracter to another, even if the narrator remains constant” (151).

“When focalization lies with one character which participates in the fabula as an actor, we could refer to internal focalization.  We can then indicate by means of the term external focalization that an anonymous agent, situated outside the fabula, is functioning as a focalizaor.  Such an exeternal, non-character-bound focalizor is abbreviated EF” (152).

“It is also possible for the entire story to be focalized by EF.  The narrative can then appear objective, because the events are not presented from the point of view of the chracters. The focalizor’s bias is, then, not absent, since there is no such thing as ‘objectivity,’ but it remains implicit” (153).

Work Cited

Jahn, Manfred. Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative. 1.8. University of Cologne,  28 May 2005. Web. 1 June 2010.

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