Alice Munro's Narrative Art by Isla Duncan

By Isla Duncan

One of the first serious works on Alice Munro's writing, this learn of her brief fiction is knowledgeable through the disciplines of narratology and literary linguistics.

Through an exam of Munro's narrative paintings, Isla Duncan demonstrates a wealthy realizing of the advanced, densely layered, usually unsettling tales.

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Extra resources for Alice Munro's Narrative Art

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119). In their elliptical vagueness and randomness, the utterances read like local gossip, captured by the subject of the focalization, Robert, who “listened to all these explanations but did not believe them” (p. 119). In another piece of parenthetical comment, the narrator explains that “Robert was right about the reasons,” for all the speculations about the murder-­suicide are refuted: “In Gilmore everything becomes known, sooner or later” (p. 121). What follows, however, in the remainder of this parenthesis is ironic, for, contrary to what the reader might hope for, what is provided is only a list of discounted theories, no “specific clues,” no solution at all (p.

P. 118). At this point the reader might recall the narrator’s wry observation, “For a Gilmore person, Peg is reserved” (p. 108). The reserve may be a façade, however, as the reader infers from Clayton’s disclosure that his mother and her first husband used to have such violent arguments that he feared for his life. ” This rebuttal would appear to be endorsed in the line, ‘“No,” said Clayton, “No, not you”’ (p. 126). Caitlin J. ”11 It is equally plausible, I would argue, to regard the triple negative as firm refutation of any suggestion of latent violence in the family’s present home.

Robert is certainly disturbed by memories of conflict with his former partner Lee, which beset him in his evening walk across Gilmore’s snowy fields. It is in this section of narrative that a connection between the Weebles’ deaths and the protagonists’ past, intimate lives is clarified. Robert looks back on a time when he had argued with Lee and “all of a sudden, the argument had split open—­Robert couldn’t remember how, but it split open” (p. 127). The metaphor of splitting retrieves the image of earthquakes and fits he employed when trying to explain to Clayton why some couples have fierce fights.

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