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There are woods like Dublin , where instead of LittleRed Riding Hood one can meet Molly Bloom…
Woods are a metaphor for the narrative text . This is a metaphor invented by Jorge Luis Borges , where wood is a garden of forking paths and you , reader , can trace your own path.
Have you ever wonderedwho the personreading a book really is? One can say , of course ,it’sa reader . Bah , it's not so simple . But what kind of reader?
In this collectionofbrilliantand erudite , sparkling with wit essays Eco is our guide to fictional wood . Introduces to us the whole system of distinctions between reader andan authoras well . Empirical reader for example is that onewhotreats the text as a link to own emotionsand personal associations . Meanwhile fictional wood is not our private garden , it's a public sphere and there are some rules here . And so we come to a model reader . It’s that one ready to play with author .
This is obviously not the end of the distinctions , themodel onemay be the first levelreader - who just wants to know how the story ends (doesAhab get a whale ?). Or second level one , which asks and wants to understand . To be the first one it’s enough to read the novel , in the second case , the text requires a multiplereading , and sometimes long-term studies.
Similar distinctions apply to authors . Empirical ,model ,narrator. Although let us not be misled . Istherealways a first-person narrationthe voice of the author ? G. P. Woodhousewrote oncememoirs of the dog written in the first person . And what is that supposed to mean ?
In those lecturesEco , on example of the works of Sterne , Joyce, Nerval, Poe , Kafka, Flaubertand many others , analyzes narrative techniquesand literary tricks . Introduces us to thetime plans , real time and narrative one , the concept of flashbacks and flashforwards , says quotingGerard Genettethat ,a flasback seems to make up for something the author has forgottenwhereas the flashforwardis a manifestation ofnarrative impatience ; talks about contemporary theories of narrative , usingtermslike story , plot and discourse . Writes about the delay of action , digressions and suspension of disbelief to finallymuse aboutsomething what could be named the total novel , in which fictional characters freely migrate from one text to another .
Vienna , 1950 ... Rick goes on with his account : when he triumphantly entered Paris with Captain Renault , as a member of De Gaulle’s liberating army , he heard about certain Dragon Lady ( allegedly the assassin of Robert Jordan during the Spanish Civil War ), whom the Secret Service hadput on the trial of the falcon. She should be here any minute. The door opens and a woman appears .” Ilsa!“ Rick cries .“Brigid !” Sam Spade cries.“Anna Schmidt !” Lime cries.“ Miss Scarlett !” Sam cries ,“ you’re back ! Don’tmake my boss suffer any more “ .
Out of the darkness of the bar comes a man with a sarcastic smileon his face. It’s Philip Marlowe . “Let’s go , Miss Marple “ , he says to the woman . “ Father Brown is waiting for us on Baker Street “.
Let me stay in that wood for a while ...