Introduction to Fiction
Introduction to Fiction ENGL 2307
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This 4 page Class Notes was uploaded by Dr. Henriette Anderson on Thursday October 22, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to ENGL 2307 at Texas Tech University taught by Anne Hiemstra in Fall. Since its upload, it has received 31 views. For similar materials see /class/226371/engl-2307-texas-tech-university in Foreign Language at Texas Tech University.
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Date Created: 10/22/15
Fiction narrative writing drawn from the imagination rather than from history or fact Nonetheless ction has been informed by both history and fact since the beginning of literature Sometimes authors weave ctional episodes around historical characters epochstime periods and settings and thus make historical ction Robert Penn Warren s All the King s Men is a good example of this Sometimes authors use imaginative elaborations of incidents and qualities of a real person resulting in a type of writing popular in recent years the fictional biography The Agony and the Ecstasy is for instance a ctional biography of the painter Michelangelo Sometimes the actual events of the author s life are presented under the guise of imaginative creations resulting in autobiographical fiction Some critics claim that David Copper eld is Dickens ctionalized autobiography The term FICTION is most frequently associated with novels or short stories though drama and narrative poetry are also forms of FICTION NOVEL broadly de ned a novel is a booklength300 pages is a rule of thumb story in proseinstead of in verse which is poetry Prose is discursive writing whose author tries to create the sense that while we read we experienced actual life Unlike other major literary formsdrama lyric ballad and epic the novel is a relative newcomer Originally the DRAMA in ancient Greece came alive only when actors performed it the EPIC or heroic poem from the classic Iliad through the Old English Beowulf came to life only when a bard sang or chanted it But the English NOVEL came to maturity in literate times speci cally the 18Lh century and by its very nature was something different a story to be communicated silently at whatever moment and at whatever pace the reader desired 3 THINGS length is 300 pages novel is written in prose and unlike lyric ballad and ep1c Some de nitions of the novel would more strictly limit its contents The Nocel is a picture of real life and manners and of the time in which it was written declared Clara Reeve in 1785 thus distinguishing the NOVEL from the ROMANCE which describes what never happened nor is likely to happen By so specifying that the novel depicts life in the present day real life real people de ned in the time it was written contemporary Reeve was probably emphasizing the derivation of the word novel Akin to the French word for news novellas the word novel comes from the Italian novella something new and small a term applied to a newly made story taking place in recent times and not in a traditional story taking place long ago A keen sense of the actual is perhaps the hallmark of the novel whether or not the events it related are literally possible To achieve this sense novelists have employed many devices and frequently have tried to pass off their storytelling as reporting To this end many early novels were told in the form of letters Sometimes these epistolary novels contained letters by only one character often they contained letters by several of the characters of the book These letters give the story the appearance of not being invented but discovered from real documents In other words this device lends a story an appearance of realism Another method favored by novelists is to write as though recording events in a diary setting down a memoir or autobiography 1LETTERS ARE FIRST PERSON NARRATIVES1 The terms sh01t novel or novella mainly describes the size of a narrative it refers to a narrative midway in length between a short story and a novel General a short novel like a short story focuses on just one or two characters but unlike a short story it has room to examine them in greater depth and detail A short novel also often explores its characters over a greater period of years than does a short story CHARACTER An imagined gure inhabiting a narrative or drama The reader interprets the fictional character s moral dispositional and emotional qualities by means of what the character SAYS the dialogue and by means of what the character DOES the action What a character SAYS and DOES in any particular situation is motivated by his or her desires temperament and moral nature in other words by his or her character NARRATIVE POINT OF VIEW The vantage point form which an author presents a story If the author serves as a seemingly allknowing maker the point of view is called OMNISCIENT At the other extreme a character in the storymaj or minor or marginal may tell the story as he or she experienced it Such a character is called a FIRST PERSON NARRATOR The author may tell the story in the third person and yet present is as it is seen and understood by a single character restricting information to what that character sees hears feels and thinks such a point of view is said to be THIRD PERSON LIMITED FIRST PERSON NARRATIVES focus on character of the narrator they offer intimate portrayals of their narrators they invite us to engage among other things in psychological analysis of their narrators FRAME NARRATIVE A story inside a framework a story within a story Frankenstein is a frame narrative because the story of Victor Frankenstein and his creature is included in Robert Walton s account of his northward explorations related in letters to his sister UNRELIABLE NARRATOR A narrator who may be in error in his or her understanding or report of things and who thus leaves the reader without the guides needed for making adequate judgments Unreliable narrators may be unreliable for a range of reasons Youth a lack of sophistication or a lack of emotional or intellectual capacity are just a few of the conditions of a narrator that leads us to conclude that he or she is an unreliable narrator THEME A central idea In poetry ction and drama it is the abstract concept that is made concrete through representation in person action and image No proper THEME is simply a subject or an activity THEME implies a subject and a predicate of some kind not just vice in general say but some such proposition as Vice seems more interesting than virtue but turns out to be destructive Human wishes is a topic or subject the vanity of human wishes is a theme You have gone from corruption to corruption and now you have culminated in crime p 164 The Picture of Dorian Gray Climax Denouement and Resolution What is the turning point of this story Is it the choice that Dorian makes on page 102 or is it the encounter he has with Basil in Chapters 1213 that end with Dorian murdering Basil Choice Dorian Gray makes both reminiscent and reversal of the relation of Hyde to Jekyll Role of the book Lord Henry gives Dorian Gray Murder of Basil motive for an response to Blackmail of Alan Campbell Desire to Escape Self drug use Pursuit of safety death of James Vane Release of Hetty Attempt to Destroy Painting
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