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What is the significance of narrative techniques in postmodernism?Provide an...

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bindumoosa | Student, Undergraduate | eNotes Newbie

Posted January 19, 2012 at 12:50 PM via web

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What is the significance of narrative techniques in postmodernism?

Provide an explanation for different narrative strategies adopted in postmodernism.

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wordprof | College Teacher | (Level 3) Senior Educator

Posted January 20, 2012 at 2:07 AM (Answer #1)

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By definition, postmodernism was trying to depart from centuries-old traditions of story-telling, the most enduring being the omniscient narrator.  Instead, the authors sought to enrich the reading experience by adopting multiple-perspective narrative techniques, the multiple narrator technique. The most effective use was by William Faulkner, whose novels switch narrators in mid-exposition, to show an incident from two or more perspectives.  An even more sophisticated post-modern technique is the unreliable narrator, a practice in which the reader cannot trust the narrator to be even telling the truth. Finally, and perhaps the most post-modern of all narrative techniques, is the Alain Robbe-Grillet practice of describing the details of a scene many times with similar phrasings, often called the mechanical narrative technique, because of its minute, often measured, descriptions.  The significance of all these departures is that the reading experience becomes more complex, and therefore more rewarding, and allows the author to express much more complex character speech-acts, relationships, reactions, etc.  After all, life events themselves have multiple and unreliable perspectives.  

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