soFound this on a Rutgers University website so interesting to see others learning the same topic, but this could help some people grasp the different forms of narration.
Casey in my group posted a video about what she thought when reading “Cobra”. This is what went through my head while reading the story.
This reminded me of “People of Paper”, the characters realize that the narrator is writing their life and in the end of the video the characters interact with the narrator and the narrator becomes a character. This is similar to “People of Paper” because the characters try to block the narrator out of their life but at the sometime they are doing whatever the narrator writes.
This clip has multiple points of view. It changes from Paulie back to Christopher, and then omniscient or third person. We get to see Paulie how Christopher sees him and vice verse and then we get to see both of them in third person.
Omaha’s mom expects Marquita to break out into this song when she finds out that she is Puerto Rican. From Ms. Bigelow’s point of view this is what she expects of Puerto Ricans. This relates to focalization because Ms. Bigelow never met a Puerto Rican but did see West Side Story, in her view she expects all of them to just break out into song and to sing “America”.
The technique of presenting something from the point of view of a story-internal character is called internal focalization. The character through whose eyes the action is presented is called an internal focalizer.(JahnN1.18) In a homodiegetic narrative, the story is told by a (homodiegetic) narrator who is also one of story’s acting characters. The prefix ‘homo-‘ pointsto the fact that the individual who acts as a narrator is also a character on the level of action.”(Jahn N1.10)
I put both of these quotes together to discuss the novel Atomik Aztex. The unique aspect about this novel in relation to Jahn’s article in narration is that the novel includes dual internal focalizers and homodiegetic narrators. I believe that “She Lived in a Story” also shared this interesting narrative form. Having two focalizers and homodiegetic narrators gives the reader two stories. Even though they are told by the same person but in a different time and mind set in Atomic Aztex the reader still gets two stories. The double homodiegetic narrator and focalizer, intertwining with each other also makes the meaning of each story different and hard to understand at times. As well as adding a sort of unreliable factor which I discussed before. This could be the key factor in making the narrators, both of them, unreliable.
“In a heterodiegetic narrative, the story is told by a (heterodiegetic) narrator who is not present as a character in the story. The prefix ‘hetero-‘ alludes to the ‘different nature’ of the narrator as compared to any and all of story’s characters.”(Jahn N1.10)
I blogged about heterodiegetic narrative in previous post but when reading “Cobra” it captured my attention again. The story itself is very confusing and hard to comprehend what exactly is going on and the meaning behind what is going on. One thing that confused me was whether the narrator was in the story or not. At times it seemed like the narrator was in the story but as a character the reader has yet to be introduced to. I looked once again at Jahn’s definition of heterodiegetic narrative, and I would guess that this is what “Cobra” is because the narrator is never introduced as a character but feels at times like they would or should be. Just a thought as I read this story, and became confused about what type of narrative this could be.
story time The fictional time taken up by an action episode, or, more globally, by the whole action. To determine story time, one usually relies on aspects of textual pace, intuition, and text-internal clues. Note that story-time may have a highly subjective element to it, especially in figural and reflector-mode narration. (Jahn 5.2.2.)
Staying on the topic of time I noticed something about Zenzo and his alter ego in Atomik Aztex by Seeshu Foster. Story time by Jahn’s definition is evident in the novel but for only one of our narrators. The modern Zenzo that works in the meat packing plant refers to time constantly whether it is about his shifts at work or when he gets off from work or before an action. His alter ego does not; this adds to the unreliability of this narrator but makes the modern Zenzo a little more reliable. Even though the reader instantly thinks Zenzo is unreliable because he admits to using drugs early in the novel the use of time and knowing what time it is makes him a reliable narrator. This is the opposite of the other Zenzo, who does not use time in the same way. This in a weird way makes the narrators have different reliability even though they are the same person.
“Time analysis is concerned with three questions: When? How long? and How often? Order refers to the handling of the chronology of the story; duration covers the proportioning of story time and discourse time; and frequency refers to possible ways of presenting single or repetitive action units.” (Jahn 5.2)
In the story “Cobra” by Severo Sarduy something I do not remember experiencing was time. Usually in stories the narrator will refer to the time and then some action would happen. In “Cobra” however this never happens. It is as if time is not relevant but things just happen. Some points in the story time will be slightly mentioned for example “She began to transform for the midnight show”, but then after that it will jump to some other scene. This adds to the confusion of the story because time allows the reader to see what is happening and in what order, without it actions just happen and the order is unknown to the reader.
“Neologism- New word, expression or usage”
I found the definition of neologism using an online dictionary. I thought about this word a lot while reading Atomik Aztex. The changing of words such as adding a k where a c should be like in the title could maybe be a form of neologism. Although the words have the same meaning as they would if the spelling was correct, they could have a different expression. For example Zenzo changes the spelling of some words when he is talking about how his culture and people were abused my Americans and the Spanish. By using new words or even spelling it different could express him trying to steal something from the American or English culture. Just a thought I had while reading