Alice Munro’s Narrative Art by I. Duncan

By I. Duncan

One of the first severe works on Alice Munro's writing, this research of her brief fiction is educated via the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics. via reading Munro's narrative artwork, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy knowing of the complicated, densely layered, usually unsettling tales.

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It is Peg who discovers the bodies: Walter Weeble shot his wife Nora, then killed himself. Peg’s shocking discovery is not directly reported by the thirdperson narrator; the details are gleaned mostly from Robert’s imaginative reconstruction of Peg’s experience. The reasons for the murder-suicide remain unknown, as do other intriguing mysteries in “Fits”: why Peg is so reticent about finding the bodies; why she invents details relating to the crime scene; why her partner does not know her better.

35). In her querulous commentary on the script, she challenges some of the pretensions claimed: “He has been sporadically affiliated with various academic communities. ” Her anger reaches a climax in a remarkable series of clauses: “you should have shaved your head, shaved your beard, put on a monk’s cowl; you should have shut up, Hugo” (p. 35). The repetition of the modal verb phrase, the parallelism of the structures, and the use of anaphora, make her observations read like a mantra. Immediately after this stylized flourish of rhetoric, a segment of analeptic narration begins, with a sentence that is, in contrast, purely referential, free of any ornament: “When I was pregnant with Clea we lived in a house on Argyle Street in Vancouver” (p.

Howells perceives the smashed bowl in terms of the “irretrievable damage to a woman’s life,” maintaining that “the story is one of a failed exorcism . . ”13 The younger sister’s fear and anguish are clearly evident in the story’s dramatic ending, but also manifest, throughout the account of her return visits, is the narrator’s cold withdrawal, from her sister, her aunts, her mother, her hometown, and her past. ”14 It is where she begins to tackle personal material, and where she establishes what will become hallmarks of her retrospective first-person narrative.

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