By Isla Duncan
One of the first serious works on Alice Munro's writing, this research of her brief fiction is trained via the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics.
Through an exam of Munro's narrative paintings, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy realizing of the advanced, densely layered, frequently unsettling tales.
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Additional resources for Alice Munro's Narrative Art
Immediately after this stylized flourish of rhetoric, a segment of analeptic narration begins, with a sentence that is, in contrast, purely referential, free of any ornament: “When I was pregnant with Clea we lived in a house on Argyle Street in Vancouver” (p. 36). This laconic statement initiates her account of the period in her life when she and Hugo knew Dotty. It is annotated by several observations that increase the story’s self-consciousness; for example, after a brief history of Dotty’s various misfortunes and ailments, rendered as the character’s spoken words, the narrator concludes, “I am condensing,” her flippant remark confirming the act of ventriloquy.
118). At this point the reader might recall the narrator’s wry observation, “For a Gilmore person, Peg is reserved” (p. 108). The reserve may be a façade, however, as the reader infers from Clayton’s disclosure that his mother and her first husband used to have such violent arguments that he feared for his life. ” This rebuttal would appear to be endorsed in the line, ‘“No,” said Clayton, “No, not you”’ (p. 126). Caitlin J. ”11 It is equally plausible, I would argue, to regard the triple negative as firm refutation of any suggestion of latent violence in the family’s present home.
202). The resulting impression is of homogeneity, order, and orthodoxy in the two women’s lives, lives from which the narrator senses she is “held at a distance” (p. 203). Yet this distancing, the belief that her aunts find it impossible to communicate with her and Maddy, is another misapprehension. On this visit, Helen’s Aunt Annie makes it her duty to communicate a full account of her mother’s last few weeks, an account that brings the death shockingly close to the narrator. She learns that although her sister had visited her mother regularly in hospital, she would not take her home, despite having promised her that her stay would be brief.