Consciousness in Modernist Fiction: A Stylistic Study by V. Sotirova

By V. Sotirova

This stylistic learn of recognition within the Modernist novel explores shifts throughout diversified viewpoints and the recommendations by which they're dialogically interconnected. The dialogic resonances within the presentation of personality awareness are analysed utilizing linguistic proof and proof drawn from daily conversational practices.

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Even if James’ preoccupation with the consciousness of characters is thematically elevated to a central position, it is hard to find the linguistic basis for placing the dividing line in the development of the novel of consciousness with him. The parallel between these two authors’ techniques is aptly captured by Lodge: The most remarkable formal feature of Emma is that the story is told almost entirely from her point of view – there are just a couple of scenes at which she is not present but during most of the action she is mistaken about the true state of affairs, so that on first reading, the reader shares at least some of her misapprehensions, and the shock of discovery.

The character is thus the subjectivity that underlies not only sentences of free indirect style, or rather clauses, but is also the experiencing subject in clauses of narrative action. Normally, this experientiality in clauses denoting action would be signalled by the progressive aspect, but because the progressive also works towards retarding the action, it seems its presence is not obligatory. If in the nineteenth-century novel the trend is for the whole narrative to exhibit the grammatical coherence of the narratorial voice, including portions that are filtered through the character’s point of view where only minor syntactic disruptions are carried out in order to evoke the voice of the character, in Modernist narratives, the opposite trend can be observed, with pure narration being syntactically blended 34 Consciousness in Modernist Fiction with free indirect style or interior monologue and also syntactically marked as more incoherent or oral in style than the narrator’s variety.

Adamson’s (1999) exploration of the literary language allows us to map concrete linguistic features and their functions onto critical intuitions about Modernist writing, but ultimately her interpretation of the linguistic practices of Modernist writers is in line with a critically accepted reading of Modernist aesthetic principles as negatively reflective of the human condition in Modernity. 20 Consciousness in Modernist Fiction This is to say that dislocated form is seen as promoting a critique of disrupted communal existence.

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