Class Notes, 14 June 2011


 I went home without my money.

Reasons to narrate from an event that happens late in the sequence:

  1. to include a flashback: to move within POV
  2. to change the tone from the beginning of the story: poses questions to the readers: builds curiosity: or also to answer questions:

   to begin with the effect, and return to narrate the cause

  1. if you begin with the ending, it makes the reader want to know what happened
  2. start with the end, then fill in the pieces that led to the end


knowing the result: searching for motives or clues: adds to the plot when you know the ending:

working backwards: forces readers to pay attention

She spanked me.

Fabula: sequence of events within the narrative

 1. mom gave me money

  1. went to bookfair

 2. teacher told me to come back later for the good stuff

 3. I came back later after school

4. I looked at all the nice books, but I didn’t put my money away

 5. I looked at the books and I notice Chris looking at me

 6. I tried to avoid him

 7. He confronted me and took my money

 8. I went home without my money

 9. Mom asked for my book or money

10. I lied and said I lost it.

Who speaks?

Narrator as author, the narrator is a character: “I”; Cervantes as character

Narrator as character: not described physically, but plays a role in the story: throws in opinions: so it seems like a character; the POV from which we “see” the story or experience the narrative

Narrator not a character

Narrator narrating the narrative of reading Don Quixote’s narrative;

Pg. 73: personal pronouns, 1st person: “original narrator”: our heterodiegetic narrator began the story in Chapter 1

Cide Hamete Benengeli, pg 75

ENGL 170: Schools of criticism

Formalism/stylistics: how the text is structured, or the form of the narrative: narratology; “The reader”: formal analysis, looking at the effects the text produces with its audiences

Re: experimentation / genre

Formal constraints: overcoming formal constraints

Psychoanalysis: Freud; Jung




Queer theory:






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.


  1. Wolf gets inside house and eats Grandma


  1. Then wolf disguises himself as Grandma wearing Grandma’s clothes


  1. Little Red arrives with the cookies


  1. Little Red notices that Grandma looks different


  1. 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


  1. Woodcutter shows up, and he saves Little Red by killing the wolf


  1. Woodcutter slices wolf in half and Grandma pops out


Interpretation, why

Why red: red is attractive, catches attention; “ladies, be careful with your virginity”

Red: blood, danger, death

Red: love, passion, ferocity

“forbidden fruit”

Red: Communism?

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Class Notes, 13 June 2011

Responses Notes

Exchange 1

–looking over for key terms in the cited passages

–check to see that the “key terms” from the cited passage are used in the “E” section that explains the quoted passage

–Checking for

 a. Title

 b. Numbered pages

 c. “Works Cited” centered, not boldfaced or underlined

 d. MLA heading (name, instructor, course, date)

 e. staples . . . yes, really

–write TWO positive comments to the response


Exchange 2

–underline or circle all the verbs

–provide an alternate title

–write FOUR questions, not yes/no questions

Verb: express action, also tense, case, position

 To be

    am was

    is     are were

    be been being



Narrative levels

Free-indirect discourse

Character and characterization


–entertaining to read about his crazy exploits

–changes of POV

–DQ gets lost in his books, lost into fictional worlds

–fictional and “real” worlds collide

–DQ normal about everything else, except for when it comes to knights

–dated, but still seems contemporary

–two character dynamic

–Sacho questions some of DQ’s motives

–Sancho: sidekick, goes along with DQ


pg. 25

Prologue: how to present and represent himself . . . how to fake erudition

overt: obviously a narrator . . . “I’m not sure”

covert: narrator doesn’t explain relation to story, hides behind other authors

reliable or unreliable: “But this doesn’t matter much, as far as our story’s concerned, provided that the narrator doesn’t stray one inch from the truth”; “fiction” alerting the reader that the ‘it’ is receiving the text from another source

unreliable: doesn’t give the name of the location or DQ’s real name, but some guess as to his identity

–within the world of the story, what’s given is reliable . . .

“possession”: owned, prisoner, drives his actions, or he’s not in control, or owned by the fictions, the stories that he reads; imagination: all his creative thoughts replaced by former texts;

pg. 26: takes some of the blame off of DQ, puts the blame on the books

pg. 26-27: why DQ went insane: not enough sleep and too much reading . . . “withered his brain, and he went mad.” “Everything he read in his books took possession of his imagination” (27).

“The idea that this whole fabric of famous fabrications was real so established itself in his mind that no history in the world was truer for him” (27).

–the original fabrications (fiction) is so deeply within him that be takes it for truth

–living in the dream world: he gets lost in the fiction that fiction becomes reality, or his mission is to extend fiction into reality

–fabric: tangible, something he can hold

–fabric: hold something together: textile, “text”

–“nothing truer to him”: whose truth? character truth, historical truth?

–living the imitation of fiction  . . .

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Posting “Pages”

Notes on how to do this in case you missed how to publish the response “page.”

On your dashboard, look down on the sidebar to the left of your screen reading “pages”. Click “Pages.” Then click “Add New” link. The next window looks just like an email. Past your response here and title it. Press “Publish” on the right side of the screen, it’s blue. And that’s it. It will be posted as a link at the top of your blog.

You’ll publishing your class notes and in-class writing (or additional free writing about class subjects) as “posts” and not pages.

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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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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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Class Notes 8 June 2011

Notes on Qwriting

REMEMBER: post your in-class writing as a blog “post”, and be sure to include the page numbers of what you cite.

FOR your RESPONSES, post as a “page” and include the works cited at the bottom of the page—correct MLA. If you’re not sure, check the Purdue OWL.


“She Lived in a Story”

–a story within a story: hard to follow because of POV changes

–kept my attention

–many things to examine

–confusing to keep up with the flow

–different tactics and literary elements

–like a mindfuck; challenges readers

–interesting concept

–title caught my attention

–writer gives voice to character

–a different way of reading

–interesting to see self-aware characters who knew they were living in a creation

–variety of characters: different personalities

–narration: reminded me of film, characters “breaking the fourth wall”: when actors/characters speak to the audience directly, break the illusion

–reminded me of the game “The Sims” because the author controls

–don’t think about the character being controlled, we just think of the character itself, unless a self-narration

–had to read some lines more than once

–follow Segovia’s train of thought, his zoning out: how he came up with the idea while driving

–like how Segovia’s architecture metaphors

–didn’t like, or was confused about was whether where the characters were real: too philosophical

–took a different direction than I thought

–could have been executed better: used the same names a couple of times for different characters; readers shouldn’t have to struggle with following the concepts (or the author will lose them—doesn’t he know that?)

–simpler stories are less challenging, could have been intricate, but not as garbled, could have been straightforward but still inctricate

–the mood and tone (eeriness pushed readers away); would have been more interesting if more action; or if more positive

–title of the story could have been different, the “she” doesn’t happen until the end: makes readers focus on the “she” even if “she” isn’t the main character

–if it was longer than a short story, readers would not have the patience

–if a short story, we can break it down; if not reading in class, I would have stopped reading it


 Group work: searching for critical terms and definitions

Steps to PIE:

  1. Define critical term
  2. Find passage in aesthetic text that illustrates the critical term
  3. Explain the connection you make—to help your audience who may not know the critical term. Make sure you reference what you cited from the aesthetic text



Point: focalization: definition: who sees or the relation of seeing and being seen (4-6 sentences); you have to give the term, and the definition


Here’s what you quote from the story/novel

“Eye-network, eye-space, large eye coming toward her, growing eye” (Samperio 59).

Explanation: This quote illustrates the idea of focalization because it emphasizes the function of the eye to see . . . . the repetition of the word eye clues the audience into the importance of sight and narration within the story. MUST BE THE LONGEST PART OF THE PARAGRAPH

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Class Notes, 7 June 2011

 “She Lived in a Story” (continued)


1st person / 3rd person

–I/she, an additional narrative POV, focalization on a different level

–levels of narration: heterodiegetic narrator: means taking narrator out of story, not character in the story

–a matter of being Ophelia or being with Ophelia

–when from story to I?

“I write that he writes a story that I live in” (60).

–She’s the author, she’s writing the story about him writing a story, and she’s the character

–“In one way or other actors live in their text”: she lives in what she writes; she needs G Segovia as a medium because she needs something in between reality and fiction

–she’s writing about her life as a writer, and the life is created by her by G Segovia

–this is Samperio’s way of distinguishing characters from real people: Samperio is a real person, and she can’t write about him because she’s a character; a distinction between fictional discourse and reality

–Samperio is fictional, and is in our world, but maybe our world is imaginary; and that’s why she writes in the present tense

–Ophelia is a character and she’s aware she’s a character and she can move the POV, while Segovia, but he’s not aware he’s a character, she’s aware she’s being watched, but Segovia’s not aware he’s being watched.

–She’s assertive, so this might make her seem like she’s not a character: she has “agency”

Shifts of POV

–last paragraph has lots of PsOV, they change from one sentence to another

–The more shifts of POV in a narrative, results in confusion in who speaks, and who speaks as official narrator

–we confused with POV, but at the beginning and the end, POV is less confusing, and the POV of the author is the ultimate reality


Jahn: “Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative”

According to Jahn . . . “dad a” (N2.4).

What is a narrative:

–a story

–a sequence of events: they could be out of synchrony

–it has characters, and usually a protagonist

–it’s the who, what, when, where . . .

–needs a narrator

“a narrative is a form of communication which presents a sequence of events caused and experienced by characters.”

She went home, and she ate an apple. A narrative? Yes.


Covert: hidden

Overt: not trying to be hidden

Focalization: from photography


–presenting something from a POV

–specific into a perspective, for example narrator, or character

  1. focalization; is the process
  2. focalizor—the entity or presence which sees
  3. focalized—that which is seen
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Blog post from June 7th

This is my post

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Class Notes, 6 June 2011


experiment definitions

–try something and see what happens

–a theory to prove

–a test

–trying something new

–playing with language


–different variables

–process used to prove a hypothesis

Samperio, “She Lived in a Story”

Para 1: setting established: lecture at college

Introduced to G and a glimpse of his intellectual personality: he seems like he’s not a nice guy

G asked by student if his characters are based on real people; Israel Castellanos (poet)

Para 2: G was educated in France; he published three books; newspaper articles, etc,; G’s history; his family . . . also his middle-class life; Elena introduced

Para 3: in the car w/ G as he rehearses Lit and Architecture and the constructions of fictions and real fictions

Para 4: G thinks of a story he wants to write: he wanted to write a story about inhabiting words”: “a woman living in a story created by him”.

Para 5: pg. 56: “In one way or another actors live the text; they do not embody anyone at all. In the theater they live in literature for a brief moment. In motion pictures, some of their moments endure with a tendency toward the infinite. Dramatists have written plays in an attempt to approach the ancient dream of the fiction writer: that human beings live in their texts. Thus, artistic creation transcends the imaginary level in order to achieve reality. In regard to my own concept, the movement is reversed; that is, reality moves toward the imaginary.”

Para 6: “Ofelia” based on Frida Kahlo

Actors can make a text come alive; actors become who they are through the text; they lose a sense of themselves and become somebody else;

Actor: taking the text and bringing the text to life; actors are flesh and blood; actor brings the text to life; actor is aware of the text and also the development of the characters

Character: takes real life and puts it into the imaginary life of the text; comes from real life; can come out of necessity; could be a function of plot; born from the literature; character IS the text; in the end the character is created, no matter what they have no say;

–or you find who you are through the character, finding traits to identify

In drama, the humans are alive, they bring detail to the text;

“literary”: there’s a flow, others can visualize what you write; makes sense; ideas below the surface; catchy; mysterious, leads to different ideas;

Pg. 55: writers builds his house with words, his fantasy, architect makes the fantasy into materials

Point (introducing the passage and the point of your paragraph)

Information (the passage you quote)

Explanation (interpretation)

“A house and a story should be solid, functional, necessary, lasting” (55). In “She Lived in a Story,” the narrator claims that literature is like architecture in the sense that a story

has to be clear and make sense so a reader can understand it. According to the narrator, in order for a story to be functional, readers have to use it to get something out of it, be able to take something away from the story (functional)

–even if written long ago, has a timeless quality (lasting)

–everything in the story should have purpose, and with no extra baggage—efficient (necessary)

–teach a lesson, theme, moral, logically progress; no holes  physically solid (solid)

–be able to stand up to criticism over generations

–have a strong message that will cause change

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Don Quixote: one abridged version

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