Class Notes, 29 June 2011


Narratology is a good way to start analysis: to combine with another critical lens

For interpreting cultural texts:


Social class: poverty/inequities of Maruquita, living in the projects, “culture of poverty”; projects were planned by government forces in order to create “ghettoes”;

Race/ethnicity: Puerto Rican/Nuyorican, white, stereotypes . . .


Class responses to Eterna

Felicia: 3 stars: liked the style, not like anything I had read, didn’t like the storyline: sometimes things got boring, and I drifted off, and had to focus: interesting how many introductions it had

Kimberly: 3 stars: didn’t understand the structure, but once I read it for what it was, I understood it better; liked the poetry sections: took a break from storytelling: mixed genres: the style changes should work with the book

Raspreet: 2 stars: didn’t like it; didn’t understand it; gave up; the changes and styles make it hard to follow, so I stopped wanting to read it; would never want to read a book like this; the overall idea/theme make sense, but not quite entertaining;

Sabrina: 3 stars: it has potential; I gave up on it, but I might come back later; too much for so little time, but since the beginning was confusing, the second part goes faster; it speaks about the capital, Buenos Aires and where I’m from;

Clifton: 3.5 stars: I like things out of the norm, abstract art; touched on some cool things; something I would read outside of class; a little bit like Candide, telling a story, but also insight into different things

Briana: 2 stars: most of it was prologue; didn’t have a style: don’t like the set-up: half the novel is prologues: too much introduction, lose interest by the time the story starts, a little background is okay, but half the book is too much

Avi: 1 star: couldn’t make anything out of it; didn’t get the dialogue between characters; couldn’t follow the story; was it me? or was it the book?

Joely: 2 stars: too many prologues killed me; but I liked the experimentation, unique: so different in style that it intrigued me; didn’t intrigue me enough to give three stars; a book for smart people . . .

Brittany: 1 star: reminded me of my free-writes; thoughts scattered, makes sense to me, but maybe not someone else; selfish, not nice to readers or audience

Rachel: 0.5 star: I like to get lost in novels: couldn’t get into the book; 0.5 star for effort; not lost like I don’t know what’s going on, but lost into the reality of the fiction: plot and characters are realistic, create imaginary worlds; imagine the characters as real

Yocheved: 3 stars: liked the sense of humor, but a very academic sense of humor: reminded me of Jahn; cryptic concepts, for the sake of being cryptic; to leave out the folks who are non-academics; saying the same things over in difficult ways; for smart English people: people who share the academic background will get some of the “highbrow” humor;


Finish this line: remember to write for your imagined audience:

All destiny is . . . is a manufactured illusion historically constructed by a dominant class in order to control the imaginations of a subjected group within the culture at large. All destiny is invented by the social structures which permit imagination to roam free, yet imagined solely as individualized agency for what is possible to be thought within limits. All destiny is a narrative of convention, or a code of conduct between social parties. All destiny permits an imagined timelessness to guide the daily practices of indoctrinated individuals. Destiny though seemingly unconstrained is constrained only by the manufactured illusion of a historical invention of transcendental not-being. All destiny is in essence a totalizing effect of a metadiscourse of divinity which underlies the discourses which compose a social reality. Destiny is only conceptual, and its conceiving depends solely upon its negation: the temporally fleeting, the material, the non-spiritual, finite world. The negation, however, produces an infinite response, a positive generated from an unknown, and lived and understood as a guiding force driving time

INTRO skeleton:

The narratological concept of focalization is important because it establishes the important relation between the agent which sees narrative events and also the receiving end of vision. What gets seen and what doesn’t in a narrative, then, are direct results of choices in the constructions of narratives . . .

[. . .]

This article argues that focalization in Omaha Bigelow and Don Quixote makes claims for narrative truth based on changes of points of view. This is important because point of view is a subtle form of authorial manipulation that often goes unnoticed by readers of novels. The contrasts in the two texts reveal how too much focalization can be problematic for audience participation, while not enough  . . .

CONCLUSION; skeleton

This article demonstrated . . . restate your thesis

What exactly you learned from doing this research . . .

Future research into XXX would/could/should focus on . . . .

If I were to continue researching this topic . . .

Conclusion: intro reworded: sums up paper, closes paper; wraps up and ties things together, ties pieces of intro and body

Closing statement: solidify the point;

You could add a new idea in your conclusion: a new example to back up the point . . .

OR never include new info that you haven’t mentioned in your body

OR the further action, what you want the person to do.

Peer Review

Round 1

Check over the title: is it an “academic” title? Remember it should have a colon, as well as the authors’ names and the titles of the texts

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Class Notes, 28 June 2011

Writing at QC: the piece of writing you are most proud of . . . and why

–Briana: creative writing class: a story called “A Homeless Hero”: a homeless man who was once a superhero; a hit with the class; everybody liked it, read it out loud

–Evan: writing in business: pick two laws and change them: be specific and explain law; gave me the power to do what I wanted, I could write whatever I wanted; three hours of writing; had research, argument, and other writing aspects

–Toni: write on anything we wanted: an undistinguished American story: wrote about my aunt’s migration story: interviewed her; true story; learned about family history (though writing).

–Kimberly: in Lit class, create out own dialogue for a section of the novel (between characters); creative writing, also a creative approach to reading literature

–Betty: magazine editing; writing a profile—of family friend and the crisis she experienced; wrote about her life, and did research into the history around the events; takes a lot of time to get the story from someone; she liked it

–Sabrina: non-fiction prose: story about how I met my mother at age 11; write about a personal experience; written about before; looking back to how I thought at eleven, interviewed people; writing about painful things helps to get it out, or not to keep things inside

–Michael: play I wrote: playwriting workshop: earned me some money; trying to write the story in different forms; dialogue; the topic meant much to me; it was read aloud in class;

–Helen: literary studies: paper on Keats; learned a lot about his life, and also about his poetry: able to use for another class; used some of the info from my paper for an oral presentation; as a result, I developed a passion for Keats’s poetry and Victorian Lit.

Eternal: forever, or not constrained by time

Temporary, fleeting would be the opposite

“the infinite is an invention”: nothing can last forever, has to be made or preserved; the infinite is an idea that humans created, can’t be proved or disproved; the opposite of natural: the eternal has to be invented (culturally)

“finale of Academic Death”: an event, a milestone; the last page, it the book has to end, it has to die

–all the other novels aren’t good, because this is the first/last good novel

Academic: audience, learned, scholars of Literature;

Presentation of absence: to give, gift, “showing”; displaying

Represent: stand for something, symbol stands for an idea; media, forms and their constraints

–pg. 3: dedicated to Eterna, the character

–plurality: a state of many ____
relative truth absolute truth

“discourtesy to readers”: confusion, not easy to understand (8). Unique, not a lot of books are written like this, if not used to this style, it will cause confusion;

“all art is labor”: art is hard work, to better the craft, it takes time and effort; energy expended;
–art is work: inspiration is work (revision):

Allegory: when a whole narrative is symbolic of reality
Story as parable: fable
Commentary on the content of the allegory
Characters serve a function:

Parable: story that wants to tell a message; teaches a lesson;
“pairs”: of stories
“parody”: pair of narratives as well


Examples of allegory
Animal Farm: structure of the farm represented Communism

Fahrenheit 451: allegory of free-speech or thought control

Dante’s Inferno: version of Christian hell

Benito Cereno: allegory of slavery

Fairie Queen: Protestantism versus Catholicism, partial to Protestantism

Vanity Fair: path of religion and temptation, path of life

Paradise Lost: allegory of commonwealth versus monarchy

It’s curious about the story it’s going to tell, a reading of itself, or better a narrative of itself, since self-love is inherent in Art (for Art, and to Art). Art is that which is written without knowing what will happen, and thus has to be written while docilely discovering and then resolving each situation, each problem of action or expression” (23)

“a narrative of itself”: a narrative of telling a narrative, narrating a narrative, narrating the telling of a story: self-reflective, and also a preoccupation with form, less than content.

Treating art not as art, but as a person, as human, or that has elements of consciousness
–acting: that which is written without knowing what will happen
–being in the moment: as character, being focused on the character, and not stepping outside the “play.”


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Class Notes, 27 June 2011

For Final Essay
12-point font, Times New Roman

Minimum page length: 10 (Max: 12): includes the works cited

Two aesthetic texts: two novels, or a short story and novel, or two short stories

Narratological lens: Jahn

Embed two forms of media. (Don’t worry about including them within the body of the essay as content.): DO make sure you include the media in your works cited

For fiction-project (fight story/near death): 5 extra-credit points

Use the narratological element(s) you’re using in your critical essay
Post on your blog as a page.

Peer Review
Round 1

Check the title: make sure it sounds “academic.”

Imagine what you read was a section in the essay: what would be a good subtitle for this section

What are the main points the author addresses?

What is this response about?

Round 2

Read the comments from the first reader, “What is this response about.” And the “main points”

Begin with the last paragraph, then work your way to the first paragraph (read from the beginnings of each paragraph).

ADD five more sentences about what this response is about . . .

Round 3

First: look to the quoted passages:

Focus on the key words of the quoted passages: underline these

Make sure that the author has some “key words” in their E sections

Add what you see as the “POINTS” of each paragraph at the end of the response

Any films, songs, or other books that you think relate to some of the themes covered in the response? Please list four . . .

Write why the narratological concept in the response is important for understanding stories
Representing dialogue practice

“Tell me what you just said.”

“I like—I like you—when you gif me coo-ookieth.”


Eterna’s Novel
–Confusing: doesn’t have the standards of regular books, like a storyline, or at least not in the first part: a regular book has a preface of two or three pages, and this one has 120 pages of prologues

–All of the prologues: the novel better be good . . .

–from the preface: Fernandez is trying to achieve something, maybe something not possible: what exactly is he trying to achieve; what’s the point of the experiment
to do the greatest and worst creation in one shot
the same text as his best/worst creation
to see the story in a certain way (35): characters are not original

–to turn reality into fiction (vii )
–to prove that love wasn’t a waste of time (vi)
–give up understanding the plot: trying to focus on some of his ideas
–set up: short prologues: quick read
–the “skip-around reader”
–gimmicks can’t substitute for a good story, you need a good story: there’s no story, nothing happens, he’s just rambling: trying to be clever, but there’s no technique
–“gimmicks”: tricks that quickly wear out . . .
(tricks—formal tricks, technique) (Postmodernism: depthless)
Form is privileged over content

–expectations for novels:
–expecting something:


Narratological concepts class list

1. focalizaztion/narration . . .

2. narrative levels . . .

3. static/dynamic characters . . .

4. characterization . . .

Some passages from the novel
“if every a book demanded hard work it’s this one” (Fernandez 8)

“An irritating read, this book will annoy the reader like no other, with its fale promises and inconclusive and incompatible methodology” (Fernandez 8).

“It’s curious about the story it’s going to tell, a reading of itself, or better a narrative of itself, since self-love is inherent in Art (for Art, and to Art). Art is that which is written without knowing what will happen, and thus has to be written while docilely discovering and then resolving each situation, each problem of action or expression” (Fernandez 23).

“”to slow down the narration” (95). : Jahn, N.5.2.2

“There’s nothing worse than sloppiness, unless it’s the facile perfection of solemnity. This book will be eminently sloppy, which is to say it will commit the maximum discourtesy possible to its readers-except an even greater and all too common discourtesy: the perfect, empty book” (Fernandez 8)

All the inhabitants sensed the dream-like quality of finding themselves there all reunited, on this unstable settlement, due to a lucky encounter with the President, who was passing through just as they were, but who could have left them at any second. They associated this quality with great dreamers like themselves, living there together freely, finely, affectionately, changing, with numerous new sympathies, living their dreams, not being able, no matter how they opened their eyes, to convince themselves that they actually were where they had dreamed they were. They resigned themselves to the fact that it was a dream, which initially made them feel anxious, but later gave them the feeling of being real. (136)

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Class Notes, 23 June 2011


(Response 3 due next class: don’t forget to add the “academic title”)



Pick two aesthetic texts






Your theoretical text (critical lens)

Jahn: pick TWO critical terms

Term 1: focalization

Term 2: narrator

Free-write about TERM 1: for example “focalization” everything you can remember about it (five minutes)

Free-write about TERM 2: for example “free-indirect discourse” everything you can remember about it (five minutes)

Romeo and Juliet (aesthetic text)

Critical lens (heuristics)


Marxism: proletariat; working class revolts (takes over the means of production) against the Capitalists; class struggle; communism/socialism; capital; oppression

Feminism: repression; inequality/equality; gender (male/female); patriarchy; oppression

Psychoanalysis: repression; unconscious; delusions; dreams; confusion; id; super ego; ego; Oedipal complex; Elecktra; neurosis; fetish

Postcolonial: “Other”; indigenous; oppression; empire; mother country; alienation

Narratology: focalization; free-indirect discourse; narrative levels . . .

Structure for a scholarly article

 1. Introduction section

 2. Theory section; define your terms, also why one would use this critical lens; focalization

 3. Theory applied to Text 1: focalization applied to Samperio

 4. Theory applied to Text 2: focalization applied to Cervantes

 5. “Discussion” or comparison of the theoretical model within the two texts. Focalization compared between Samperio and Cervantes

Quick video interview of William S. Burroughs, stories about some Beat writers.

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Class Notes, 22 June 2011

In-class writing warm-up:

Writing about hand writing: describe your hand as it writes across the page

Surrealists: elements of magic, and/or chance, or the unconscious (dreams) and Dali and Bunuel:

Magic: magical realism—Europe discovers the “primitive” cultures of Africa and the Americas

Who has magic in the novel:

Women; Nuyorican; Brujas

Buckley grandma—Puritan witch–magic in the New England colonies, but not necessarily mixed with indigenous magic, as throughout the Americas, and also through the southern colonies and states. The Caribbean basin especially had huge mixes of peoples from three different continents.

1966: Garcia Marquez writes One Hundred Years of Solitude, puts Latin American Literature on the World Literature stage . . .

Magical realism: starts to become a fad

Pg. 98: When I was . . . joke on one of Vega’s first novels. The “Nuyorican” novel he makes fun of.

     “Mean-Street ghetto novel”

Down These Mean Streets, Piri Thomas: kid gets in trouble; “show heart”; East Harlem/Spanish Harlem;

“Meta”: higher, but a self-reflective turn,

Characters move in and out of speaking slang and standard English

Intention: the effect: of strange language in the voice of “Pooh” after seeing Omaha’s bohango:

Pg. 116: “WASPs” voice, discourse, quoting different styles within the voices of his characters, quoting different accents

–Making realistic characters: identification

–breaking down the wall between characters and audience

–intelligent language with low subject matter

–narrator becomes intrusive: maybe too intrusive: character of the author takes over the story . . .

–possibly bring the audience into the text: possibly push audience away, offending the audience

–something fake about a book: being aware of itself, and being aware of what it is: treating audience as implicit in the creation of a fiction

artifice: lying; deception; trickery; artificial; artifact; art; façade; artificer; fiction;

Fine art: authentic, original . . . subject to institutional definitions

Pop art: Harry Potter

Formula novel

Certain structure to follow, an equation, recipe, ingredients; selling-out:

Harry Potter: it’s fun; easy to read; plots not too complicated but interesting; entertaining; original; well-written, ageless; goes across genres religions;


“romance” novel: love; lust; sex; escape from relationships . . .

“mystery” novel: steps to retrace events; murder; deception; false leads; dead ends;



: society deems it: mindset of looking at something as literary; institutions classifying:

 Canon: required reading: institutionalized (and some interpretive strategies for reading cultural dominance:

                                 Gender         Social Class              Race/ethnicity

Jane Eyre                woman

Canterbury Tales     dude

Beowulf                   dude

Telltale Heart         dude

Paradise Lost           dude

“Ode to a Grecian Urn”  dude

 (left some blanks for you to fill in)

 1. Samperio, “She Lived in a Story”

Free-write about this story

 –Similarities to Borges:

 –Similarities to Cervantes

 –Similarities to Vega

 2. Borges, “Pierre Menard”

Free-write about this story, begin with “I remember” and keep going for five minutes.

 –Similarities to Sampiero

–Similarities to Cervantes

–Similarities to Vega

  3. Cervantes, Don Quixote

 Free-write an “I remember” about the novel, go for ten minutes.

–similarities to Sampiero

–similarities to Borges

–similarities to Vega

  4. Vega, Omaha Bigelow

Free-write I remember to Omaha Bigelow

–similarities to Sampiero

–similarities to Borges

–similarities to Cervantes.

Note: Cervantes’s name gets dropped in both Vega and Borges.


For your essay you will need to analyze TWO aesthetic texts, or artistic texts. Of all the structured brainstorms, see where you can apply some Jahn narratology.

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Class Notes, 21 June 2011

Q. Why is Narratology useful or not useful for interpreting Literature?

–helps guide readers toward story’s message

–helps us comprehend the author’s message(s)

–gives us insight as to “why” a writer chooses to write a certain way—insight into the author’s technique

–helps to apply to small sections of texts instead of entire novels

–gives a more concrete understanding for analysis

–gives terms for a vocabulary of story

–concepts are simple, but some of the terms

–adds to the interpretation of the story (the structure of the story)

–how the author uses the text, and less than the why . . .

–structure can change affect the interpretation of a text

–a lot simpler to compare two books, because every narrative has structure (system)

–brings an appreciation to what the author writes; readers can catch on to some of the writers’ techniques

“exclusion of folks who don’t know the vocab from the discourse”

“English’s way of taking revenge on Math folks”

“making simple stuff more complicated than it needs to be”

[use this free-write to think about a “theory” section in your final essay]


Q. What are some of the narratological elements you see happening in Omaha Bigelow?


 Go through chapter by chapter and give a short summary:

 Narrator of the novel:

Omaha: narrator has a distinct voice, “comfortable” “casual”

 Bruja: witch, magic

Sequence of events in Omaha

Ch. 1: Introduction to Omaha and his adventures in the park. Description of his relationship to his Mom: Oedipal complex; fired from Kinko’s; Mom’s nail polish and his sexual fetishes; talks to the polar

 [. . .]

 Ch. 13: characters called the narrator, and has exchanges with them. Distinct voice.

Is the narrator the author?

 Or is “Vega” a character?

 Narrative: time and sequence

 Free-indirect discourse


Remember your fight/near-death experience, then do a free-write beginning:

I remember . . .

I remember . . .

Keep the pen(cil) moving



–Winter—December 1999

–use sensory details—smells, sounds, etc.


“dialect” and character

 Make a list of vocabulary terms your protagonist would use

“talkin shit”

“tell you what”

“I might could”


“my friends”


“I know huh””

“_____’s all _____, huh?”


      He entered the book fair, and he knew he would find something nice. He would find a good book, and his Mom would be happy that she helped him.

    “I hope I find something about Transformers,” he said to himself. 

Your goal: “ambiguity”


    He looked over the books. He thought he saw one he liked, but then he turned away because he noticed someone was staring in his direction. Who could it be? Why stare? Chingao, what would happen if someone saw his money?

–next version of story: change pronouns of narrator to third person (now a heterodiegetic narrative)

–All third-person narration is in the past tense

–All spoken dialogue is in the present tense.

–play with some free-indirect discourse

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Some Narratology Advice

A. Questions regarding narrative situation

  1. What is the text’s major narrative situation? Or does it use several narrative situations? If so, what is the pattern or strategy behind the juxtaposition of several narrative situations?
  2. Does the text stand in the tradition of certain other texts? Or does it deviate in certain respects from the stylistic norm, perhaps to the extent that it originates a new pattern?

B. Questions focusing on the narrator

  1. Who does the author choose for a speaker? Does s/he have a name and/or a distinctiv voice? Is the narrator overt or covert or somewhere in between? Is the voice quality different in specific location such as (chapter) beginnings and endings?
  2. Does the narrator make any assumptions about actual or potential addressees? Is there a clear-cut narrator-audience contract? Is the extent of the narrator’s (human) limitation or omniscience ever discussed or problematized?
  3. Is the narrator largely reliable or does s/he deceive him- or herself or others? Does his or her unreliability concern value judgments or facts?
  4. If the text were ‘transvocalized’, i.e., narrated by another narrator and in a different narrative situation, which effects would be gained, which lost? (See Stanzel 1984: ch. 3.1 for examples, including the beginning of The Catcher in the Rye.)

C. Questions regarding focalization

  1. Does the narrator use one or many story-internal focalizers? If the latter, to establish which point? In first-person narration, to what extent is the experiencing I used as an internal focalizer?
  2. How accurate are the perceptions and thoughts of the focalizers, and to what extent are they fallible filters (Chatman)? Does the narrator ever comment on the focalizer’s perception from a superordinate perspective?
  3. If there are several focalizers (multiperspectival narration), do their various perceptions contradict or corroborate those of other focalizers?
  4. Is the general attitude of the narrator one of sympathy/empathy towards his or her focalizer? Are the focalizer’s perceptions and thoughts reported consonantly or dissonantly (ironically)?
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Class Notes, 20 June 2011

Don Quixote

Class ratings

5 stars: 1

Anthony: the book was an adventure: whimsical and humorous, even if it was long. Crazy comedic character, real-life insanity taken to the extreme. Comedic heroic story.

4 stars: 9

Yocheved: common sense of humor, not just for intellectuals. BUT, I found the novel repetitive. Fighting windmills getting hurt, fighting sheep and getting, fighting Basque and getting; tremendous influence on the development of the novel. Liked the slapstick.

Helen: DQ is the type of character laughs at, but also feels sympathy for. He’s a lost cause, but he’s adamant about doing what he wants. He’s a misguided good person. Got bored because each chapter ends with him hurt . . . over and over.

3 stars: 7

Raspreet: overall story interesting, liked the quick stories; told in scenes, but also why I didn’t like it; repetitive adventure, same cycle in the narrative over and over. A big book, could’ve been shorter.

Jessica: like that DQ’s adventurous; DQ and Sancho go through obstacles; don’t like the narrator telling the story: I would rather like the story if Sancho or another of the characters told the story, would prefer the homodiegetic narrative.

2 stars: 2

Briana: DQ is comical and silly, and that kept me interested. BUT the size of the book was intimidating. Sancho’s a good sidekick. I favor modern literature over historical literature. I liked how each chapter gave the two-line summary.

Sabrina: funny, like the pooping scene; like the concept of the story, BUT it was too long, and it dragged on, and it could’ve ended about halfway earlier.


One of the reasons I decided to read this book was because I knew it was a classic. I had seen and heard variations and excerpts from it in different works and was curious about the actual classic itself. Honestly, when I first started reading it, I found it somewhat sluggish and repetitive. My thoughts were, ok, the gag was cute the first time, but it’s growing somewhat old. It wasn’t until I neared the conclusion that the message Shakespeare was conveying reached me. The message I interpreted was that people have value regardless of class distinction or societal roles. While this sounds simplistic and commonplace for us in the 21st century, when one considers the time and culture in which the novel was originally produced, one realizes Shakespeare was making a profound statement in an artistic, creative way. I identified with some of the characters and the situations in which they found themselves. Romeo and Juliet helps us see that our perception largely determines what we see. His reality was based on what was happening within him.

This “review” is not “academic” as it’s more of a suggestion than an analysis. The analysis is very general, and it could be applied to any work of literature.

Classic: something that people regard as a genuine work of art.

Academic titles:

–there’s always a colon (:)—for example, “Living Life: A Way To Get By”;  first part is the subject, then after the colon a little more specific about what you will be developing in the essay.

First part is broad overview about topic, the second part is specific to what you will be writing about

First part is the “hook”: catches attention, gets audience interested, and the second part relates the “hook” to literature.”

In the response you’re reading, check over the critical terms: this will be in the second part of the title, also the second part should also include the author and title of the text(s) analyzed—just the aesthetic texts

“I am the eye”: Focalization in Guillermo Samperio’s “She Lived in a Story”

She Lived in a Gaze: Focalization in Guillermo Samperio’s “She Lived in a Story”

The first part of the title, can have a small quote from the book, or relate to some thematic element from the novel.


–FIND a PIE paragraph

–Annotate the P/I/E sections

–Read over the I section and highlight “important” words or phrases

–give your own “E” to the quote

–two things you liked about this response

–“This essay _____s . . .”

List of scholarly verbs

This essay argues

(thesis verbs)



























Points out



–add any additional connections you see happening between aesthetic texts not mentioned in the response.

Possible “themes” and work groups. As a group, come up with a “definition” for what narratological terms you will be analyzing with


–round/static characters/characterization

–matrix narratives/narrative levels



Pg. 27: DQ’s insanity

Pg. 61: introduction of Sancho

Death of Don Quixote: Part II of novel

Chapter 74, pg. 975

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Class Notes 16 June 2011

Happy Bloomsday


Don Quixote

Chapter 18: lots of dialogue, majority of the chapter is spoken by character, with brief interruptions by the narrator. Take note of the entire paragraphs spoken in dialogue, and how most of the action narrated comes through their interactions. Whole chapter is basically dialogue: broken up small sections where the narrator narrates and notes that time passes. What’s the effect of this? Realistic? –if all dialogue, the story would be in “real time”

Lots of action happening as spoken by character on pg. 146 “Oh, unhappy me! . . .”

When DQ sees clouds of dust: he thinks they are armies clashing

When Sancho see the could, he doesn’t see armies, but rather livestock, yet he still allows DQ to go fight the armies he sees.

Sancho: complains about getting beat up so much, he seems regretful for all these sorry adventures

pg. 142: “With this he rode into the army [. . . ]: when narrator takes over, time seems to move faster: because there’s more action, because during the dialogue there’s not much action happening.

–there’s a lot of dialogues and also monologues in the book; reads like a play, bigger action sequences because he’s not confined to the stage; giving voice to the character’s thoughts

Flat characters: one-dimensional, don’t develop, can be a stereotype; they don’t evolve much; typecast

Jahn: flat character/static character A one-dimensional figure characterized by a very restricted range of speech and action patterns. A flat character does not develop in the course of the action and can often be reduced to a type or even a caricature (e.g., “a typical Cockney housewife”, “a bureaucrat” etc.). Flat characters are often used for comic effect.– Mrs. Micawber in Dickens’s David Copperfield is characterized by keeping on saying “I never will desert Mr. Micawber”.

Round characters: three-dimensional; they have conflicting characteristics; not a stereotype; create identification with audience; they have the possibility to evolve or change; they can surprise one; HAVE PSYCHOLOGICAL DEPTH

thinking deep thoughts

Jahn round character/dynamic character A three-dimensional figure characterized by many, often conflicting, properties. A round character tends to develop in the course of the action and is not reducible to a type. Forster (1976 [1927]); Rimmon-Kenan (1983: 40-42); Pfister (1988: 177-179). Rimmon-Kenan (1983: 41) identifies Stephen in Joyce’s A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Strether in James’s The Ambassadors as round characters.

Conflicts: each deals with EXTERNAL and INTERNAL. “Round” characters have more internal conflicts than “flat” ones.

1600s Don Quixote:

1850: psychology “born”

1899: Freud/dreams

Don Quixote: could be flat: we see him a certain way, and think he doesn’t change; when he talks about knight romances;

DQ could be round: when he corrects other characters, or when he speaks like he’s not insane

Sancho: could be round: doesn’t speak up; doesn’t change in the story, but how much can he change?

 Sancho could be flat

“stock” characters: same character used over and over; becomes a cliché; typecast as a sidekick

Chapter XX:

          Sancho telling story—he’s a bad storyteller

Pg. 160: discourse time is longer than story time

Sancho has to go to the bathroom, narrated quickly that Sancho was “holding it” and then he finally passes “it” quickly.

Scatological humor: processes of the body and societal propriety for dealing with the processes. A “code of convention” instituted by either states, religions, or social groupings in general. A daily detail of existence, and humor in disruption of the code.

Mentioning something simple, “low brow” in a book considered “high art.” Why are poop jokes funny?

159: Don Quixote critiquing Sancho’s story, but it could also be the novel’s critique of itself as narrative through the voice of the main protagonist

155: “When Sancho heard his master’s words he began to weep tears of infinite tenderness [. . .]” Possible free-indirect discourse? If “infinite tenderness” sounds like the character of Don Quixote, then maybe.

AN EXAMPLE of free-indirect discourse (I added to it during class break—Bill speaks a variety of non-standard English, we’ll say English of the working-class southeast United States. He doesn’t pronounce “running” as such, but as “a-runnin” instead for example). The narrator writes in standard English and would pronounce the word as “running”:

          Bill went to the store to buy some biscuits, because he loved biscuits, by gad. He was in the mood for something of sticks-to-the-ribs quality. Bacon, maybe some eggs. Yes, two eggs, that would be something fine.

He knew he would encounter the old timers at the store. They always sat out front drinking coffee and spitting tobacco. When they spoke, they had a way of putting things that confused him. The old timers were intensely competitive in their storytelling, but, after all, a good story’s a good story, and sure enough, that’s what makes horse racing.

          This afternoon they didn’t even looked at him as he passed by.

          He entered the grocery, walked down the aisle, straight to the Apple Jacks. Yes, Apple Jacks, nice Apple Jacks. He picked up the box, shook it, and remembered he had a coupon at home.

          “Dang,” he said to himself.

          He decided it best to save his coupon for later, because in a couple of days he would need more Apple Jacks. He picked up the box and walked toward the register.

          He thought better, then, when he touched his wallet. The expiration date on the coupon! Well, he might could go home, get that dang coupon, and head on back. Long way back home. And he’d have to pass by the Old Timers yet again, and he might not be as lucky as last time.

He decided to go home, get his coupon, and save some money. One can’t live in a pickle barrel without getting pickled, right?


One effect: makes it seem like the narrator “enters” Bill’s consciousness then leaves

One effect: the narrator takes on Bill’s voice, so the narrator and Bill become “one” or they collide in vision, arguably in focalization the POV collapses into a single one—but only very briefly.


subjective constructions and expressions

Free-indirect discourse: narrator is supposed to be unbiased, not jumping in to the story; here there seems to be DQ’s voice entering the narrator position

Writing Essays/Articles

HS essays

–research essays social studies or English

5 paragraph essay model

 intro: states thesis

 three body paragraphs

 conclusion: re-states thesis

  1. start with a subject: thesis: what you want to prove
  2. Or start with questions to develop and arrive at answers at the end
  3. define the terms you plan on using in the thesis or understand those questions in number 2
  4. map the essay out: “map”: outline of the body sections
  5. find evidence (sources) to support thesis or question

introduction: introduces topic/theme/thesis

body paragraphs: break down topic into different aspects and explain to reader: could have further arguments, depending sources, has outside sources.

Conclusion: wrap it all up: re-state the argument and the connections or how you proved your point within the body

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Class Notes, 15 June 2011


    Once upon a time, in a faraway place, bad things happened. First there was a big war that lasted for five years [1914-1919], then twenty years later another war that lasted for five years [1939-1945]. Then people invented robots that invented subways, [1965] and that made things a little bit better. Until on another fateful day, there was a tragedy in Manhattan [2001].



62 years . . .




    The invention of subways

    “Jessica, how are you?”

“Good. Um, how are you?”

    “Chillin,” I said.

    “That’s good. Good that you’re chillin.”

    “I think so too, I really do.”

    “Well, we should all be chillin.”

    “Yeah, that would make this nation even better.”

    “What do you mean better? Don’t we live in the best of all possible worlds?”

    “Get that Candide out of here you fool.”

20 seconds.

discourse: conversation; discussion; dialogue; argument; the way the narrator tells story; collective works of a conversation/topic / “genre”

story: a narrative; who;what;when;where—events happening in sequence; series of events; from character sense of time/events







Red Riding Hood

 1. Little Red’s mom tells her Grandma’s sick, and you need to take her these cookies.

2.  Little Red on her way to Grandma’s house

3. She meets the wolf in the forest on the way to Grandma’s.

 4. Little Red tells the wolf that she’s going to her Grandma’s house.

  1. Wolf goes to Grandma’s to beat Little Red there. 
  2. Wolf gets inside house and eats Grandma
  3. Then wolf disguises himself as Grandma wearing Grandma’s clothes
  4. Little Red arrives with the cookies
  5. Little Red notices that Grandma looks different

10.  Repetition: what big eyes you have / the better to see you with (my dear); . . . what big teeth you have / THE BETTER TO EAT YOU WITH

  1. Wolf tries to eat her and Little Red gets running
  2. Woodcutter shows up, and he saves Little Red by killing the wolf
  3. Woodcutter slices wolf in half and Grandma pops out


History / truth

            / fiction

Chapter IX

        Possible narrators

  1. “hidden narrator” who tells the story from the beginning/ overt narrator: narrator’s not in the main action of the story, but still a character in the book OR
  2. character that Cervantes creates for himself     


“meta” moment in narration: the story of the composition of the story: the discovery of the Arabic manuscript

a text within the text . . .

matrix narrative: the story the created by the author

 within matrix there are embedded narratives (hyponarratives): different stories but within the matrix story, or the general framework

The narrator is not a character in the literal sense, but he has character: he praises the story of Don Quixote

Pg. 76: “any objections to the truth of this history”

                The narrator has opinions, suggesting that this third-person narrator is not objective; opinions are subjective, but he implies that his subjective take is the objective take

        “I know”: overt

Pg. 73: “delightful history”

        “excellent knight” (but also not really a knight)

pg. 74: “Don Quixote is worthy of [. . . ] praise”

solidifying the fact that the narrator is doing “valuable” research

Chapter XV: “mating horses”

        Parallels between characters:

        Rocinante: described in a way like his horse, “abandonment” (116).

 Pg. 117: groaning Sancho; brought down by his master;

        “Foil character”: his inferiority is used to highlight DQ’s superiority as knight (119)

focalization: main focalizor is the narrator: who speaks? External focalization, but bounces to internal when characters jump in  . . .

        pg. 117

Time: at beginning it’s slow, but at 116-117 time speeds up because of dialogue.

        Chapter begins during day, ends in evening, five hours pass?

Chapter XVII, pg. 129

        DQ and SP using the magic potion; potion works for DQ but not SP; DQ tells Sancho that the reason it works for him is because he’s a knight, and it won’t work for Sancho because he’s not a knight.

Sancho’s upset that DQ keeps dragging him into such misadventures . . .

Character/discourse: DQ is an unreliable narrator, and Sancho is more reliable

        Chapter begins with narrator speaking, told in past tense

        When characters speak, it’s in present tense

        Narrator: reliable or not?

        3rd person narrator, covert: narrator sees and reports events:

who sees the same things as the narrator?

characters see same thing, but have different POVs

        DQ: might be more reliable because his insanity is consistent

        Sancho: might be less reliable because he’s consistently an idiot: Sancho’s questions events

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