Action Between Plot and Discourse

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

In this article, I argue that the representation of simple, bodily action has the function of endowing the narrative sequence with a visualizing power. It makes the narrated scenes or situations ready for visualization by the reader or listener. By virtue of this visualizing power or disposition, these narrated actions disrupt the theoretical divisions, on the one hand, between the narrated story and the narrating discourse, and on the other hand, between plot-narratology and discourse-narratology. As narrated actions, they seem to belong to the domain of plot-narratology, but insofar as they serve an important visualizing function, these narrated actions have a communicative function and, as such, they can be said to belong to the domain of discourse-narratology. In the first part of the article, I argue that a certain type of plot-narratology, due to its retrospective epistemology and abstract definition of action, is unable to conceive of this visualizing function. In the second part, I argue that discourse-narratology fares no better since the visualizing function is independent of voice and focalization. In the final part, I sketch a possible account of the visualizing function of simple actions in narratives.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)295-314
Number of pages20
Publication statusPublished - 2007

ID: 1001020