4.7. Status


Any narrative involves a measure of fictionalization, to the extent that it selects, arranges.  Even supposedly factual narratives, like history or autobiography, are notoriously governed by rhetorical structures.  The same goes for the fictional narratives which take history or autobiography as their motivation: observer or autodiegetic narratives.[1]  The question of status, therefore, is a complex one.  We can speak of the intended status of a narrative, as that which it is assigned (implicitly or explicitly) by the narrator.  However, the critic will often see in this intended status only one part of a more complex mechanism, the actual status, which may involve fictionalization to a degree unacknowledged by the narrator.



[1]          Cf. Stanzel's observation that "a first-person narrator not only remembers his earlier life, but can also recreate phase of it in his imagination" (82).  Cf. also Pouillon (1970, 45ff.)