More on Narratology and “Pierre Menard”

For those of you still confused about the Borges story, here’s a good “key” from Wikipedia:,_Author_of_the_Quixote 

If you think Wikipedia’s not a credible source, then look to the sources at the bottom of the page to find out where those who contributed cited.


Then there was a focalization question about something called “empty center focalization” (N3.2.5).

A reflector-mode representation of narrative events or existents in the absence of any internal focalizer or reflector figure, hence from the point of view of an ’empty (deictic) center’. Mainly used for the presentation of events when no character is present. Banfield (1987 — discussion of the “Time Passes” section of Woolf’s To the Lighthouse); Fludernik (1996: ch.5.2 — ‘figuralization’ in Mansfield’s “At the Bay”)

My way of understanding this would be from a narrative out in the middle of an ocean, with a boat all by itself, but “seen” from some narrating presence that isn’t a character. Kind of like a landscape shot without any characters present. But also narrating events without characters there.

This differs from the hypothetical focalization because that is conditional depending on how a character would see it, or how a single focalizer would see things if that character/narrator were there.


Good luck with the PIE paragraphs. And a radio history of Don Quixote

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Gentleman. Scholar.
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