Forms of literary discourse presentation: narration, description, dialogue.

A work of creative prose is never homogeneous as to the form and essence of the information it carries. Both very much depend on the viewpoint of the addresser, as the author and his personages may offer different angles of perception of the same object. Naturally, it is the author who organizes this effect of polyphony, but we, the readers, while reading the text, identify various views with various personages, not attributing them directly to the writer. The latter's views and emotions are most explicitly expressed in the author's speech (or the author's narrative).

The writer himself thus hides behind the figure of the narrator, presents all the events of the story from the latter's viewpoint and only sporadically emerges in the narrative with his own considerations, which may reinforce or contradict those expressed by the narrator. This form of the author's speech is called entrusted narrative. The structure of the entrusted narrative is much more complicated than that of the author's narrative proper, because instead of one commanding, organizing image of the author, we have the hierarchy of the narrator's image seemingly arranging the pros and cons of the related problem and, looming above the narrator's image, there stands the image of the author, the true and actual creator of it all, responsible for all the views and evaluations of the text and serving the major and predominant force of textual cohesion and unity.

Entrusted narrative may also be anonymous. The narrator does not openly claim responsibility for the views and evaluations but the manner of presentation, the angle of description very strongly suggest that the story is told not by the author himself but by some of his factotums, which we see, e.g., in the prose of Fl. O'Connor, C. McCullers, E. Hemingway, E. Caldwell.

A very important place here is occupied by dialogue, where personages express their minds in the form of uttered speech. In their exchange of remarks the participants of the dialogue, while discussing other people and their actions, expose themselves too. So dialogue is one of the most significant forms of the personage's self-characterization, which allows the author to seemingly eliminate himself from the process.

Another form, which obtained a position of utmost significance in contemporary prose, is interior speech of the personage, which allows the author (and the readers) to peep into the inner world of the character, to observe his ideas and views in the. making. Interior speech is best known in the form of interior monologue, a rather lengthy piece of the text (half a page and over) dealing with one major topic of the character's thinking, offering causes for his past, present or future actions. Short insets of interior speech present immediate mental and emotional reactions of the personage to the remark or action of other characters.

Two other forms - description and argumentation - are static. The former supplies the details of the appearance of people and things "populating" the book, of the place and time of action, the latter offers causes and effects of the personage's behaviour, his (or the author's) considerations about moral, ethical, ideological and other issues. It is rather seldom that any of these compositional forms is used in a "pure", uninterrupted way. As a rule they intermingle even within the boundaries of a paragraph.

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