By Isla Duncan
One of the first severe works on Alice Munro's writing, this research of her brief fiction is trained by way of the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics.
Through an exam of Munro's narrative paintings, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy knowing of the advanced, densely layered, frequently unsettling tales.
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Extra info for Alice Munro's Narrative Art
Although a confident heterodiegetic narrator begins the story, control is quickly and often surrendered to the focalizer, an outsider and a careless observer, with the result that narrative authority and reliability are compromised. The reader is then unsure of where to place her trust. Additionally, Munro arranges the textual segments in ways that frustrate reader expectations; more than the customary Munrovian temporal and spatial shifts, there are overtly placed retardatory devices, such as the tantalizing withdrawal from the open bedroom door in the Weebles’ house (p.
In a piece of prescient advice, the narrator encourages her husband to “pay more attention to Dotty if he wanted to be a writer,” but he seemed uninterested, as he was “writing a verse play” (p. 38). From being a source of amusement to them, Dotty becomes the cause of conflict. The description of this conflict reveals much about 28 Alice Munro’s Narrative Art the imbalance of authority and priorities in the narrator’s marriage, and may explain her resentment and envy. It appears that Hugo dislikes their neighbor’s piano playing, and the narrator has to go “down to the basement, of course” and ask her to stop.
The narrator closely analyses the entire episode, speculating on hypothetical resolutions, while candidly evaluating her own weakness and omissions, for the basement did indeed flood. . But I did not do it” (p. 44). ’”22 His perception is rather favorable toward the male protagonist: after all, the “could haves” relating to how Hugo might have acted are discounted or countermanded by the narrator, who accepts that she must bear much of the blame herself, as her reference to a woman of character suggests.
Alice Munro's Narrative Art by Isla Duncan