Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter March 15, 2019

Positioning Strategies and Representation in Fictional Autobiography: The Sense of an Ending

Roghayeh Farsi
From the journal Anglia

Abstract

Spatial positioning strategies and social actors representation have been introduced and discussed in visual and political texts. This paper offers an analysis of these strategies in a literary text, Julian Barnes’s The Sense of an Ending. The main objectives of this study are (a) to disclose the way(s) the narrator-autobiographer positions himself and others in his life story as social actors, (b) to investigate whether these strategies can explain the involved social actors’ motivations in their interactions, and (c) to pinpoint the pros and cons of this perspective for literary analysis. The paper uses social actors representation and spatial positioning theories provided by Langacker, Hart, van Leeuwen, and Chilton along with Jahn’s notions of focalization. The analysis of Barnes’s fictional autobiography pinpoints the precision spatial positioning strategies confer on literary focalization. Simultaneously, both social actors representation and spatial positioning strategies fail to attend to the gaps the narrative has due to its symbolic overtones or ambiguous repetitions.

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Published Online: 2019-03-15
Published in Print: 2019-03-14

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