Tekree Julian rated it liked it Sep 01, Each chapter deals with one main technique, illustrated from a wide range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction by writers including Stendhal, Dostoevsky, James, Mann, Kafka, Joyce, Proust, Wool This book investigates the entire spectrum of techniques for portraying the mental lives of fictional characters in both the stream-of-consciousness novel and other fiction. Built on the Johns Hopkins University Campus. Notcathy J rated it liked it Jun 19, This book investigates the entire spectrum of techniques for portraying the mental lives of fictional characters in both the stream-of-consciousness novel and other fiction. What is the value of creating a typology of modes of representing consciousness, as Cohn does in Transparent Minds?
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She grounds her analysis in texts and avoids theorizing without examples. I wish I had know about this book as an undergraduate. I wrote a paper trying to discuss how the use of the first person narrator in a book I read of a class, made the protagonist ambiguous; in the end of the novel, the reader was unsure if the narrator was the man described or not.
She is interested in how authors give readers the impression of the processes of thought, of consciousness of the The book is very readable. She is interested in how authors give readers the impression of the processes of thought, of consciousness of the characters and what devices they use to do this.
She divides the book into two halves. The first deals with the third person narrator, the second with the first person narrator. She proceeds somewhat diachronically, but she see a synchronic pattern in the history of the methods. Her argument joins with theories about the constructed and imaginary nature of narrative, even realist narrative.
No one in real life is capable of doing such a thing. In the third person context, the author depicts consciousness in three ways: psycho-narration, quoted monologue and narrated monologue. An important component of her argument is the difference between the authorial and the figural mind. The figural mind is the mind of the character in the narrative. She makes some examples to show it: "he knew he was late," "he knew he had been late," and "he knew he would be late" Quoted monologues occurs when a character is quoted, as verbatim, by the narrator.
The examples she uses to compare it with the other methods are: " He thought: I am late," " he thought: I was late," and " He thought: I will be late" The thoughts are marked by verbs that express speech or thinking, change in tense, quotation marks or some other way; the reader can discern that the thought belongs or comes from the figural mind, not the authorial.
This can be used in interesting ways to contrast between what the character thinks and what the narrator perceives often the reality of the situation. The narrator remains the authority. Her examples for comparison are: "he was late," "he had been late," and "he would be late" This method is somewhere between quoted monologue and psycho-narration. The method "renders the content of the figural mind more obliquely than" quoted monologue and "more directly than" psycho-narration The narrator has to take an attitude towards his characters; her thoughts are objectified and falsity and sincerity are formed.
The first person context, Cohn discusses retrospective techniques, from narration to monologue and finally the autonomous monologue. The first person context is odd; in many cases, the narrator is separated in time from what he narrates. The first person narrator is not really the same person; she is looking back at her past self. There are some case where the narrated monologue of third person context approaches the first person version: the narrative appears to tell itself
Transparent Minds: Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction