Sunday, 27 May 2007

A question of emphasis

In the context of a long and fascinating piece on E.M. Forster’s attitude to fiction in the LRB (10 May 2007), Frank Kermode comments:

Discordances between the order of story and the order of the narrative can be methodically and minutely accounted for, though ordinary readers may not always see the need, understanding from their nursery years that ‘some months earlier’ can introduce a portion of narrative which occurs earlier in the story but later in the narrative. But the narratologist will continue to discuss analepses as either homodiegetic or heterodiegetic, according to the status of the story affected by the analeptic intrusion, because he or she is more interested in what he or she is doing than in what the author was doing (my italics).

This ties in neatly with what Doris Lessing was saying (quoted below) about the way in which all groups tend towards religiosity and the establishment of orthodoxies based on unquestioned, and finally unquestionable, truths.

More tragically, it glosses the appalling cruelty of the Pescara priest’s refusal to receive an autistic child (previous post).

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