Narration and Focalization : A Cognitivist and an Unnaturalist, Made Strange

Show full item record



Permalink

http://hdl.handle.net/10138/338541

Citation

Polvinen , M K & Mäkelä , M 2018 , ' Narration and Focalization : A Cognitivist and an Unnaturalist, Made Strange ' , Poetics Today , vol. 39 , no. 3 , pp. 495-521 . https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-7032718

Title: Narration and Focalization : A Cognitivist and an Unnaturalist, Made Strange
Author: Polvinen, Merja Kristiina; Mäkelä, Maria
Contributor organization: English Philology
Department of Modern Languages 2010-2017
Date: 2018-09
Language: eng
Number of pages: 27
Belongs to series: Poetics Today
ISSN: 0333-5372
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-7032718
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10138/338541
Abstract: Any new narratological theory faces the test of being applicable to much-analyzedclassics of prose fiction and of yielding new insights into narratives that have served as textbook examples of narrative strategies for decades. This essay is a constructed dialogue between imaginary narratologists who are paradigmatic proponents of two schools of thought in postclassical narratology: the cognitive and the unnatural. The two narratologists juxtapose their respective concepts and methodologies in an analysis of William Golding's late modernist classic The Inheritors, especially the narrative dynamics of "alien" Neanderthal focalization versus "naturalizing" Homo sapiens narration. Ultimately, The Inheritors reminds the cognitivist of how language-bound the readerly effects of estrangement and integration in internal focalization can be. Conversely, the same novel serves as an example for the unnaturalist of the paradoxical necessity for perceptual and emotional familiarization in our attempts to understand fundamental alterity. The parameters of cognitive and unnatural narratology may seem divergent at the outset, but in this essay their representatives find a common ground in an estranging reading of the enactive immersion in The Inheritors. Here the extraordinary embodiedness of the Neanderthal focalization is a key to a literary-allegorical reading of the Neanderthal mind as imagined by Golding. This reading, accomplished through a constructed debate between two paradigms, reflects the actual positions of the authors of this essay: Makela and Polvinen are both proponents of an approach that acknowledges the inherent syntheticity and linguistic overdeterminedness of a literary narrative as well as its "natural" enactivist pull toward bodily immersion.
Subject: 6122 Literature studies
William Golding
unnatural narratology
cognitive narratology
focalization
estrangement
narratology
voice
Peer reviewed: Yes
Rights: cc_by
Usage restriction: openAccess
Self-archived version: acceptedVersion


Files in this item

Total number of downloads: Loading...

Files Size Format View
narration_and_focalization_2018.pdf 305.6Kb PDF View/Open

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show full item record