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The inward turn of modernist literary narrative

October 13, 2011

“Modernist literary narrative, to use Erich Kahler’s phrase, has taken an ‘inward turn’ by dethroning the omniscient narrator who knew both about the world ‘as it was’ and about what his protagonists were making of it.  By getting rid of him, the modern novel has sharpened contemporary sensibility to the conflict inherent in two people trying to know the ‘outer’ world from different perspectives.  It is a point worth noting, for it illustrates the extent to which different historical cultures deal with the relation between the two ‘landscapes.'”

Ref: 51 Jerome Bruner (1990) Acts of Meaning. Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press

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