Alice Munro’s Narrative Art by I. Duncan

By I. Duncan

One of the first severe works on Alice Munro's writing, this learn of her brief fiction is trained through the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics. via interpreting Munro's narrative artwork, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy figuring out of the complicated, densely layered, frequently unsettling tales.

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Reference has already been made to this book’s complicated publishing history, one that illustrates Munro’s enthrallment to her artistic principles. 2 Two stories featuring the character Janet (as narrator) were held over for Munro’s next volume, The Moons of Jupiter; they are “Chaddeleys and Flemings” and “The Moons of Jupiter” and are the strongest stories in the book. In these two pieces, Munro is exploring and celebrating the lives of her forebears, albeit fictively. ;3 “The Turkey Season,” whose adolescent narrator brings to mind Del Jordan in Lives of Girls and Women; and “Bardon Bus,” whose sexually unsettled (and unsettling) female narrator, far from adolescence, confesses to a “stubborn virgin’s belief .

The reader is then unsure of where to place her trust. Additionally, Munro arranges the textual segments in ways that frustrate reader expectations; more than the customary Munrovian temporal and spatial shifts, there are overtly placed retardatory devices, such as the tantalizing withdrawal from the open bedroom door in the Weebles’ house (p. 114), or the postponement of the discrepancy. And this disclosure is delayed by a passage of narration, the metaphorical and metonymic significations of which are cryptic and decidedly ambiguous.

121). What follows, however, in the remainder of this parenthesis is ironic, for, contrary to what the reader might hope for, what is provided is only a list of discounted theories, no “specific clues,” no solution at all (p. 122). The opportunity for an explanation is not taken: the disbelieving Robert does not know the real reason for the crime. In the final scenes of the narrative, possible explanations emerge. First, the Kuipers are presented in the kitchen where Peg prepares a meal, and into this ordinary domestic setting the neighbors’ deaths intrude.

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