sábado, 28 de mayo de 2016

Framing and the Foregrounding of Fictionality

—from Academia:
I am an Italian PhD student and I have a doubt that you might kindly help me to dispel. Do framed narratives always foreground fictionality regardless of their nature ? A mise en abyme does point to fictionality. How about other types of frames?

All the best

Hi, Gabriella;
I would argue that multiple or obvious framing is a device which may powerfully foreground fictionality. It need not do so in any case — for instance, the narrative interest in the plot of a detective novel may drive the reading experience so that attention is diverted elsewhere, and immersion achieved, even if many framing devices are present —  but it is not by chance that detective novels tend to use rather straightforward and simple framing. Framing in itself, and especially obvious or multiple framing, emphasizes the multiple semiotic nature of representations, and the multimodal nature of the semiosphere we live in, and so it is, as I said, a powerful tool in foregrounding fictionality, or (more generally) the constructed nature of representations. So it will tend to be used in that sense in experimental or postmodern narrative which is aware of, or wants to emphasize, the semiotic nature of the social world, or the metafictional construction of the work itself. This may happen, as you say, in the case of mise en abyme, and it may happen also through other types of framing or structural insertion: a dream inside a narrative, multiple levels of narrating and narrative worlds, frame-breaking ("metalepsis")... or ekphrasis —description of pictorial worlds which open a new frame of reality, etc.
Best regards,
Jose Angel


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