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Who Is Speaking (Here)? Parentheses and Focalization Shifts in Free Indirect Discourse

Madre, Matthew S. Who Is Speaking (Here)? Parentheses and Focalization Shifts in Free Indirect Discourse. 2017. Radford University,

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Abstract

The present study argues that parentheses have an under-recognized potential to signal focalization shifts in free indirect discourse. By combining linguistic and narratological scholarship with criticism on the role parentheses play in the presentation of voice more generally, it asserts that the divisions in textual space created by parentheses facilitate focal transitions when free indirect discourse is implemented. Analyses of Elizabeth Bowen’s The Last September, H.D.’s HER, and Virginia Woolf’s middle-period novels Jacob’s Room, Mrs. Dalloway, and To the Lighthouse support this argument, demonstrating that these modernist authors use parentheses to mark alterations between narrator and character voice. Moreover, recognizing the influence that parentheses have in how focalization is presented in free indirect discourse has larger ramifications for interpreting the narrative characteristics of these texts. Critical readings concerned with Bowen’s resistance to objective renderings of reality, H.D.’s interest in palimpsestic reexaminations of gender and myth, and Woolf’s evolving methods of relinquishing authority are all enhanced by an understanding of how focal changes in parenthesized space impact narrative presence.

Item Type: Thesis
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PE English
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General)
Divisions: Radford University > College of Humanities and Behavioral Sciences > Department of English
Date Deposited: 18 Sep 2017 14:47
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2023 19:05
URI: http://wagner.radford.edu/id/eprint/323

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