Home; Transparent Minds. AddThis Transparent Minds Narrative Dorrit Cohn is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. “I am willing to predict that Transparent Minds will serve the present generation of graduate students the way Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism served a preceding one. Comparisons are invidious, but unavoidable. Dorrit Cohn’s Transparent Minds invites comparison with a recent book – too recent for Cohn to have taken it.
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Transparent Minds: Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction by Dorrit Cohn
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Transparent Minds: Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction
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. 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.
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, Woolf, and Sarraute. Paperbackpages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
To ask other readers questions about Transparent Mindsplease sign up. See 1 question about Transparent Minds…. Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Jun 23, Neil rated it it was amazing. If you’re someone interested in narrative who has felt confused or a bit baffled by the way that readers and critics throw around terms such as “stream of consciousness” or “interior monologue,” wondering, perhaps, exactly what these terms mean, then this book is one you need to read.
Cohn has organized the book in a clear and logical way, and, though the terminology may sometimes be challenging, its benefits are understandable. Part of the book is a sort of taxonomy of different kinds of narrat If you’re someone interested in narrative who has felt confused or a bit baffled by the way that readers and critics throw around terms such as “stream of consciousness” or “interior monologue,” wondering, perhaps, exactly what these terms mean, then this book is one you need to read.
Part of the book is a sort of taxonomy of different kinds of narratives and monologues, but Cohn is also very clear about the meaning and effects of the different fictional points of view that she examines.
It is clearly an academic book, and certainly one that I think is useful for research. I only wish I’d read it earlier. Jan 27, Jason rated it really liked it Shelves: The book is very readable. 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 c 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. She points out that in realistic fiction, the protagonist conveys psychological processes and thoughts that no one would ever have communicated to them in real life; “… the paradox that narrative fiction attains its greatest ‘air of reality’ in the representation of a lone figure thinking thoughts she will never communicate to anyone” 7. Her argument joins with theories about the constructed and imaginary nature of narrative, even realist narrative.
The third person narrator can delve into another person’s mind in a way that is impossible for anyone in the real world, even perhaps the person narrating her own life.
In realist fiction, and in other narrative forms, the human mind is “transparent” to the narrator, who can describe the character’s thoughts. No one in real life is capable of doing such a thing.
In other words, this transparency of the mind, of a character’s thoughts is in itself a fiction.
But is a compelling fiction that has some basis in reality; human beings think to themselves it seems, and we translate this experience to the fictional representation of the reality of a character’s mind. In the third person context, the author depicts consciousness in three ways: An important component fransparent her argument is the difference between the authorial and the figural mind.
The authorial mind is the writer’s authority to act as a thinking agent in the narrative. The figural mind is the mind of transpareny character in the narrative. The psycho-narration method delves into the mind of the character, but with the narrator’s ability to discern the thoughts she has, but he uses his own language to do so.
She makes some examples to show it: Note that each of these examples subordinated the character’s thoughts to the narrator’s main authority; the second part of these examples is a subordinating clause. Quoted monologues occurs when a character is quoted, as verbatim, by the narrator. The examples she uses to compare chon with the other methods are: I am late,” ” he thought: I was late,” and ” He thought: I will be late” The thoughts are seen a occurring in the character’s mind, unsaid.
The thoughts are marked by verbs that express speech or thinking, change in tense, quotation dorriy or some other way; the reader can discern that the thought belongs or comes from the figural mind, not the authorial.
This dorrut 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. Cohn defines narrated monologue as dprrit technique for rendering a character’s thought in his own idiom while maintaining the third-person reference and the basic sense of narration” Her examples for tramsparent are: 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 authorial and the figural are twisted together in this method; dortit narrator’s identification but not his identity with the figural mind is placed forward by this method The narrator has to take transparenf 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.
Project MUSE – Transparent Minds Revisited
This can be exploited: There are some case where the narrated monologue of third person context approaches the first person version: Apr 17, Steven rated it it was amazing Shelves: This is the book on how consciousness is presented in fiction.
It’s divided into two halves: Consciousness in third-person narratives and consciousness in first-person narratives. Just an incredibly thorough examination of how consciousness has been handled. Even her endnotes contain mjnds tidbits! Hulya Tarlan rated it it was amazing Dec 12, Golnaz rated it it was ok Feb 14, Domenic rated it liked it Dec 10, Julian rated it dordit it Sep 01, Paul Kerschen rated it liked it Sep 10, Fatih rated it liked it Aug 06, Blankette rated it it was amazing Jul 01, Anna rated it it was amazing Jan 19, Jennifer rated it liked it Feb 06, Notcathy J rated it liked it Jun 19, Marie-lynn Herpoel rated it liked it Apr 03, Elana rated it really liked it Dec 05, Amy K rated it really liked it Oct 31, Joshua rated it really liked it Jan 02, Aileen rated it really liked it Dec 15, Zulu rated it liked it Jan 23, Robyn rated it it was ok Aug 10, Andrea rated it really liked it Apr 21, Duyen rated it liked it Jul 13, Vanessa Upton rated it liked it Jan 12, There are imnds discussion topics on this book yet.
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