Response #1

Andrea Gramajo

Prof. Steven Alvarez

English 363: Experimental Hispanic Literatures

12 September 2011

Homodiegetic Narrative as Seen In “She lived in a Story,” by Guillermo Samperio

In “She Lives in a Story”, written by Guillermo Samperio, Samperio’s use of character and narration is quite capturing, but at the same time, very confusing. Samperio engages the reader by creating characters and stories within his protagonist and by putting himself into the narration. “In a homodiegetic narrative, the story is told by a (homodiegetic) narrator who is also one of story’s acting characters. The prefix ‘homo-‘ points to the fact that the individual who acts as a narrator is also a character on the level of action” (Jahn, N1.10). For example, Samperio introduces Guillermo Segovia, a writer, who becomes inspired by the idea of an architect having similar workmanship to create a building as does a writer who creates a story. In this way, Samperio becomes enthused to write an account about a character named Ofelia and then Ofelia creates an account about the man who is writing a narrative about her. Samperio writes, through Ofelia:

 

It could be, Guillermo Segovia, the writer, who at the same time lives as another Guillermo Segovia. Guillermo Segovia in Guillermo Samperio, each inside the other, a single body. I insist on thinking that he writes on his typewriter precisely what I write, word upon word, only one discourse and two worlds. (Samperio, 60)

 

As Samperio gives Ofelia power as a narrator in his story, I feel that he intends to remind his readers that all the characters somehow unify and relate to the one narrator, who is Samperio himself. I perceived this because Samperio does not start his short story with the beginning of Ofelia’s introduction; instead, Samperio starts it with the introduction of himself, evident through the making of a character whose name is also Guillermo, who is, as well, a writer. Is this a coincidence? I believe it is not, and this is evident when in the story Samperio says, “Guillermo Segovia in Guillermo Samperio, each inside the other, a single body” (60). Now, even though Samperio does not use the pronoun “I”, he is, I feel, a part of the story he has written because he uses his name and profession to depict the protagonist and then says that He and Samperio are “a single body” (60) Also, “She Lives in a Story” has homodiegetic-like text because Samperio does not define whether or not Ofelia is a character of Segovia’s narrative, or if Segovia is a character in Ofelia’s story, because even though Samperio starts off detailing Guillermo Segovia’s story, in the end of the narrative Ofelia and Guillermo are both together in the same room:

“The woman stands and tries to force her lips into a smile. When Guillermo realizes that he is not facing any danger, his fear subsides, leaving his body slightly numb. Without thinking about it, he decides to move closer, with this movement of his legs, he finally achieves lucidity. He stops next to me, in silence accepting our fatal destiny, he takes my hand and I am willing” (Samperio, 62)

Leaving the audience to wonder if Samperio is a character in someone else’s story; just like Ofelia and Segovia are characters in his.

 

Works Cited

Jahn, Manfred. “Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative.” 28 May 2005. Web. 18             October 2011. <http://www.uni\koeln.de/~ame02/pppn.htm>.

 

Marquez, Gabriel Garcia. “A Very Old Man with Enormous Wings.” Trans.                                        Gregory\Rabassa and J.S. Bernstein. Collected Stories. Harper Perennial. 219. Print.

 

 

 

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3 Responses to Response #1

  1. Donna says:

    Very good post! We are linking to this great content on our website. Keep up the great writing.

  2. Onno Vocks says:

    I like looking through a post that will make men and women think. Also, thank you for allowing for me to comment!

  3. salvarez says:

    Nice job integrating the Jahn and Samperio here Andrea, I’m glad to see you experimenting with using some of the critical vocab. It’s important to do so because, first, you learn the words by putting them to practice, and second because once you have mastered them, they give your critical voice a certain academic depth–and they make your interpretations that much deeper. Keep working with the terms on your blog, and notice how different authors use different narrative techniques to complicate the art of storytelling. With what you found here, you’ll have some interesting points of comparison when we reach the later novels.

    I think you have the PIE paragraph format down pretty well. I would just warn you about dropping in quotes without giving some kind of indication. You do this in the P section when you insert Jahn without transitioning into the quote. An easy way to fix this is to add, “According to Jahn,” before you cite anything.

    Below, I copied and pasted your E section, and I added some comments in CAPS:

    “It could be, Guillermo Segovia, the writer, who at the same time lives as another Guillermo Segovia. Guillermo Segovia in Guillermo Samperio, each inside the other, a single body. I insist on thinking that he writes on his typewriter precisely what I write, word upon word, only one discourse and two worlds. (Samperio, 60) NOT COMMA BETWEEN AUTHOR AND PAGE NUMBER MLA

    As Samperio gives Ofelia power WHAT DO YOU MEAN GIVES POWER? POWER TO NARRATE HER OWN STORY? A NARRATOR OR THE NARRATOR as a narrator in his story, I feel that he intends to remind his readers that all the characters somehow unify and relate to the one narrator, who is Samperio himself. GOOD, THEY ALL COME FROM WITHIN THE IMAGINATION OF THE CREATOR, OR THE HETERODIEGETIC NARRATOR? OR ARE YOU MOVING TO A DIFFERENT LEVEL, OUTSIDE THE TEXT INTO THE AUTHOR? I perceived this because Samperio does not start his short story with the beginning of Ofelia’s introduction; instead, Samperio starts it with the introduction of himself, evident through the making of a character whose name is also Guillermo, who is, as well, a writer. I THINK I SEE WHAT YOU MEAN, THAT THEY SHARE THE FIRST NAME, AND THAT SIGNIFIES A CONNECTION BETWEEN THE CHARACTER AND CREATION, THAT’S VIABLE. Is this a coincidence? I believe it is not, and this is evident when in the story Samperio says, “Guillermo Segovia in Guillermo Samperio, each inside the other, a single body” (60). Now, even though Samperio does not use the pronoun “I”, he is, I feel, a part of the story he has written because he uses his name and profession to depict the protagonist and then says that He and Samperio are “a single body” (60) NICE POINT ABOUT THE PRONOUN. Also, “She Lives in a Story” has homodiegetic-like text because Samperio does not define whether or not Ofelia is a character of Segovia’s narrative, or if Segovia is a character in Ofelia’s story, because even though Samperio starts off detailing Guillermo Segovia’s story. LOOKS TO ME THAT YOU COULD ADD SOME OF JAHN’S IDEAS ABOUT NARRATIVE LEVELS TO COMPLICATE SOME OF THE DIFFICULT LAYERS OF NARRATIVE HERE. YOU’RE RIGHT TO PICK UP ON THESE THOUGH, AS THE FOLDING AND THEN UNFOLDING OF THE NARRATIVE UPON ITSELF MAKES FOR SOME SUDDEN TRANSITIONS BETWEEN POINT OF VIEW (FOCALIZATION) AND THE SHIFT OF PRONOUNS AND TEXTS WITHIN TEXTS.
    _______________________________

    You’re on the right track with the MLA citations, but you still have a few things left to do. First off, the Jahn should make reference that it’s a website, and also you should include the date you accessed it last.

    The Samperio still is missing some important info, for example, the title of the publication and the type of publication (check in the periodical section as it’s not a novel).

    4.5 out of 5 possible points.

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