2.14. The Two Logics of Narrative. 

 

When Tomashevski describes the differences between the motive structures of fabula and siuzhet  he stresses the presentational function of the latter:

The place in the work in which the reader learns of an event, whether the information is given by the author, or by a character, or by a series of indirect hints‹all this is irrelevant to the story.  But the aesthetic function of the plot is precisely this bringing of an arrangement of motifs to the attention of the reader.  ("Thematics" 68)

The siuzhet,  the story, becomes a structure of information, a cognitive perspective imposed on the narrated action ("fabula").  The fabula is informationally homogeneous, while the information of the plot is perceptually colored.  Fabula can be conceived "in se" apart from an observer, but siuzhet   requires a specific point of view, temporal ordering and distribution of information.  Once again, the figure of the reader is significantly related to the form of the work: a crucial step in formalist analysis.  The siuzhet  has a structure of its own, whose coherence is not guided by temporal and causal considerations, but by artistic needs: the presentation of the story in a successful way to cause a particular experience in the reader: suspense, curiosity, sympathy, etc.  As we shall see later, the particular coherence of this informational structure is ensured through motivation.