Embodiment and Lightness in Narration

  • Daniel Punday


Narratologists and cultural critics will agree that narration inherently creates and depends on authority, but discuss that authority in very different ways. According to classical narratology, narrators are constantly seeking to affirm their trustworthiness, their authority to tell the story at hand. One of the principle games that authors play with readers—indeed, perhaps the principle of “play” inherent in all narrative as understood by narratology and the crucial variable within the narrative text—is the tension between the information given to a reader and the degree to which readers should accept or distrust that information. On the basis of this narratological question hangs the whole structure of narrators, narratees, implied authors, and implied readers that account for much of practical narratological interpretation and debate. It is a formal question introduced at the very outset of modern narratology by Wayne Booth’s The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) and one that continues to dominate discourse on narrative form. In this sense, individual narratives can be seen as rhetorically manipulating readerly trust for some individual textual end.


Narrative Text Body Politic Narrative Strategy Eternal Return Narrative Space 
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5 Embodiment and Lightness in Narration

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© Daniel Punday 2003

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  • Daniel Punday

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