Discourse presentation and point of view in "Cheating at Canasta" by William Trevor

Short, M. (2019) Discourse presentation and point of view in "Cheating at Canasta" by William Trevor. In: Style, Rhetoric and Creativity in Language : In memory of Walter (Bill) Nash (1926-2015). Linguistic Approaches to Literature . John Benjamins, Amsterdam, pp. 101-111. ISBN 9789027261953

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This chapter examines the closing section of William Trevor's short story, "Cheating at Canasta" (2007). Focussing on shifts in narrative viewpoint in the passage, the chapter teases out the complex transitions in viewpoint features, showing how Mallory, the story's focaliser, engages in changing perceptions of, and reactions to, his immediate environment. Viewpoint transitions at the level of narrative style, it is argued, engender parallel shifts in the character's changing cognitive purview, including memory, response and flashback as well as his internal assumptions and hypotheses. The author shows how a subtle understanding of the passage (and indeed the story as a whole) can enable an appreciation of the quality of the writing, concluding that stylistic analyses help to show not just how we understand literary texts but also why and how we appreciate them.

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15 Jan 2020 15:05
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16 Jul 2024 04:51