Reaction paper: Narrative and Narrating Monika by Fludernik
It is true that every life a story, yet one story can be told to thousands of people and make them cry and laugh together with a protagonist, and another can fit into a couple of minutes and never intrigue anyone. How does that happen? The reading provided by M. Fludernik explains some basic concepts of narrative and narrating as universal ideas in which a story is a smaller category. This reading also provides interesting insights into the structure of narrative and difference between narrator and narrative. Narrator is the one who narrates, i.e. performs speech act that includes narrative and a story (Fludernik, 2). This distinction is very useful for classifying the trends in contemporary culture, namely, reinterpretation of classic stories (like fairy tales) in different problematic keys. Cinderella in a feminist key or in psychoanalysis key is one and the same story, but it represents very different narratives from the point of view of aspects highlighted or problems discussed (3).
Hence when analyzing a book, a film or a drama it is necessary to distinguish between the story itself (what is told) and how it is told. In some cases this division may lead to reconstructing a plot presented backwards, or in flashbacks, or in words of a third person, etc. This differentiation also allows creating all kinds of narration via multiplicity of literary devices, because readers will be able to restore the course of events in their minds, following the pattern of a story that has beginning, middle with complications and climax and ending that solves the problem (5). This patter is the basic one, all events in life follow it, and it is natural to apply it in fictional worlds as well. This is why when a narrator tells about the end of the story, then about the beginning, and later about the main events in between, readers are able to reconstruct the 'normal' course of events and see the causal relations. This where the answer to an opening question is hidden: a story tells about events, and the more events and more diverse and thrilling they are, the best it is for readers. So if one has lived a long and fulfilling life with plenty of travel or achievements, the better story it will make, and vice versa: no significant events lead to a bleak and brief story.
However, this is where the talent and persona of a narrator steps in: at the beginning of the 20th century the traditional concept of a story as a chain of events occurring to a protagonist in real world along some time span became challenged. Instead, feministic approach to novel writing shifted focus to mental work and states occurring in human mind every single moment of life. It turned out that this internal work is not less complex and engaging than actions and adventures. Virginia Wolf created novels of this kind, and one of them, …