Chapter 3: Voicing the Other: text and existence
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Voicing the Other: text and existence
Narration, through language and plot, offers a version of a (textual) world whose alterity stimulates the reader’s active interpretive engagement with the text and opens up space for singular interpretations. This certainly holds true for narratives that problematise the language-plot dichotomy and eschew pre-programmed semantic uniformity that is contingent on the intentional pre-eminence of the author (as befits plot-centred novels). The writer must thus produce language, which exposes narrative lacunae, unsettling non-spaces of textual alterity that are out there in the text, and up for grabs to the reader. This stems from the assumption that textual interpretation falls back on the production of difference inviting the reader’s textual engagement. As observed by Wolfgang Iser:
We shall call this difference a liminal space, because it demarcates both the subject matter and the register from one another, as it does not belong to either but is opened up by interpretation itself. Caused by interpretation, the liminal space is bound to contain a resistance to translation. However, that energizes the drive to overcome it. Thus interpretation also turns into an attempt to narrow the very space it has produced (2000: 6).
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