Voice and Expressivity in Free Indirect Thought Representations: Imitation and Representation

Mind and Language 28 (5):579-605 (2013)
  Copy   BIBTEX

Abstract

This article addresses issues in the philosophy of fiction from the perspective of a relevance theoretic approach to communication: first, how should we understand the notion of ‘voice’ as it is used in the analysis of free indirect style narratives; and, second, in what sense can the person responsible for free indirect representations of fictional characters' thoughts be regarded as a communicator? The background to these questions is the debate about the roles of pretence and attribution in free indirect style. I argue that the role of expressives in sustaining the illusion that fictional characters speak their inner thoughts suggests that ‘voice’ should be understood in two distinct ways. On the one hand, there are cases in which the use of expressive devices leads to the formation of thoughts which are understood to resemble other (attributed) thoughts. On the other hand, there are other cases in which expressives are used as a means of simulating a fictional character's behaviour or style. At the same time, I argue that in order to accommodate free indirect thought representation in a relevance theoretic model of communication, the responsibility for ensuring that the effort of processing the text will be rewarded by optimal relevance must be decoupled from the point of view that is being represented. While the (constructed) author is responsible for orchestrating our interpretation of free indirect thought representations so that the effort of processing will result in optimal relevance, the reader does not necessarily assume this function is being performed by someone who intends to communicate their own thoughts: the relevance of the act of narration may instead lie in the sense of mutuality achieved between reader and character.

Links

PhilArchive



    Upload a copy of this work     Papers currently archived: 94,549

External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server

Through your library

Similar books and articles

Free Indirect Discourse in Non-Fiction.Andreas Stokke - 2021 - Frontiers in Communication 5 (606616).
Lightly Swimming.Don Diespecker - 2004 - International Journal of Transpersonal Studies 23 (1):99-105.
Quotation and Unquotation in Free Indirect Discourse.Emar Maier - 2015 - Mind and Language 30 (3):345-373.
Indirect Compatibilism.Andrew James Latham - 2019 - Dissertation, University of Sydney
Gegenstandslose Gedanken.Johannes Brandl - 1985 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 25 (1):501-531.
Gegenstandslose Gedanken.Johannes Brandl - 1985 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 25-26 (1):501-531.

Analytics

Added to PP
2013-10-31

Downloads
155 (#124,762)

6 months
2 (#1,487,590)

Historical graph of downloads
How can I increase my downloads?

Citations of this work

No citations found.

Add more citations