Class Notes, 9 June 2011


In-class writing: prompt: write about:

The time I got in a fight


The time I almost died

What happened? Write about it . . . and don’t forget to give a working title


“Pierre Menard”

–confusing: what’s he trying to do?

–have to read it again to understand

–is it a review of Quixote

–Menard wanted to write Quixote, but memorize it word for word

–narrator: homodiegetic narrator: friend of Menard, also someone who knows his literary ambitions


Direct discourse is usually in quotation marks. There are two different types of direct discourse (1) tagged direct discourse: “framed by a clause of attributive discourse” and (2) untagged direct/free direct discourse “free of attributive discourse” (Jahn N.4). In Guillermo Samperio’s short story “She Lived in a Story,” direct discourse is problematized. Whereas there are tags for the character, she moves into a direction of self-narration. When the character Ofelia speaks to herself she is directly quoting what herself, and not just expressing what she says. The difference between quoting and expressing is the fact that quoting involves writing word for word what a character states and expressing is a representation of the words the character used. The text reads:

She lowered her arm slowly and, following the idea in what she had just said, she continued: “I’m inside the gaze. I’m living inside a stare. I’m part of a way of seeing. Something forces me to walk; the fog has descended and its murky fingers reach out toward the windows. I’m a silhouette from the past sticking to the walls. My name is Ofelia and I’m opening the wooden gate of my house. (Samperio 59) 

Because of the quotations it is clear that this is direct discourse, not only that, but the fact that Segovia adds “she continued…” right before he starts to quote Ofelia shows that this is tagged direct discourse rather than untagged or free direct discourse. In this monologue, Ofelia is being assertive and seems to begin to understand that she is a character inside of a story and not just an independent being. The gaze that she is living inside is the gaze of Segovia or even perhaps the reader, but this idea is unlikely, as she does not know that we exist and therefore is not aware of our eyes upon her story. Segovia is also the “thing” that “forces [her] to walk,” he “forces” her in the sense that he writes what she does and Ofelia must do what Segovia writes. Because this monologue continues till Ofelia begins to write her own story, some readers may forget who exactly is narrating and it may seem as though this is not direct discourse. This confusion arises mainly because Ofelia has taken over as narrator and the story is no longer “she said” but rather “I say,” but one can see that at the end of the italicized section of the story there are quotes, therefore Segovia is still quoting what Ofelia is saying instead of Ofelia being the narrator and stating what she feels –at this point in the story anyway, later on this changes, as Ofelia becomes the narrator and her voice is not being directly quoted-. From the beginning of the quote above till the end of Segovia’s story, he is using direct discourse by quoting what Ofelia says outloud.

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Gentleman. Scholar.
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