Foreground, Background and Point of View

January 6, 2018 | Author: Anonymous | Category: Social Science, Psychology, Social Psychology
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Foreground, Background and Point of View

Visualizing a text from a variety of perspectives and in a variety of dimensions foreground, what appears closes and most prominent to someone background, what appears remotest and most inconspicuous point of view, vantage point from which a particular even is seen, and by extension, heard, felt and otherwise perceived

Paul Garvin used term foregrounding as translation of Czech aktualisace, actualising, used in the 1930s Prague school of stylistics this is whenver a linguistic item, device or strategy draws attention to itself against the assumed background norms of the language result if a fresh perception both of the event represetned and of the nature of language itself this is where defamiliarisation occurs. examples, in jokes whre the ambiguity or incongruity of an item draws attention to itself 'My dog smells awful, How does yours smell? (With its nose) also along with poetry, a heightening of sound-pattern can also omit commas, line breaks, etc... Also deviation is used o describe instances where the routine norms and expectations of the language are bent of broken, deliberately or accidentally e.e. cummings: anyone lived in a pretty how town problem is that it assumes we all have the same norms and expectations

I love you not I love you not I love you not I love you not I love you not I love you not I love you not I love you notwithstanding

Background 'historical background' 'background reading' somehow, people think, literature is detachable from social and historical conditions in which it is produced study the text, but what about the context, and intertextuality? however, foreground = literature = primary text background = society/history = context this is a position, and just one among many all works are witten, received and read in a history (ontic) but by practical necessity we must focus on something, choose make something the foreground, something background but be aware these are fluid

points of view variety of postions within and outside the text ex: acutal author's attitudes and values, e.g. Defoe's Robinson Crusoe narrator's piont of view, Robinson Crusoe's character's pont of view, Friday's implied reader's point of view, seen in 'dear reader' form of address, or 'of course' actual reader's responses, eg what you and I actually see or look for what most engages us is shifts or switches in point of view, hte ways in which attitudes and values of charcter, author, narrator, change, collide, diferge and converge ina story. a fixed point of view, like fixed foreground or background, is boring

Focalization Focalization- "introduced by Gerard Genette to distinguish the activity of the narrator recounting the events of the fictional world from the activity of the character from whose perspective events are perceived, or FOCALIZED. The distinction between the narrator and the FOCALIZER is commonly described in literary theory as a distinction between the agent 'who speaks' and the agent 'who sees.' (Stam et al).

Focalization is different from point of view in that it is focuses on the diegetic level of the text, to the level of characters and actions... Different types defined by Genette: Internal focalization - "occurs when a narrative is presented entirely from a given character's perspective, with the limitations and restrictions this implies" (ibid.).Genette - "the angle of vision, from which the life or the action is looked at".

Also - Facets of focalization - Perceptual facet, psychological facet, ideological facet. Internal focalization can be fixed - limited to a single character, variable, when focalization shifts with a scene or film from one character to another, or multiple - one even is viewed from several different perspectives. Another type is EXTERNAL FOCALIZATION - "narratives in which our knowledge of the characters is restricted simply to their external actions and words, without the 'subjectivity' of the characters, their thoughts and feelings, being invoked. Problematic. Also, NON-FOCALIZED or ZERO FOCALIZATION - no character is privileged. Also CHARACTER-FOCALIZER. (Stam et al).

John Ford, Stagecoach (1939)

She was standing by the door. The light went on. While she was standing by the door, the light went on.

She was standing by the door when the light went on. The light went on. She was standing by the door!

Thomas Grey (1716-1771) Elegy written in a Country Churchyard THE Curfew tolls the knell of parting day, The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea, The plowman homeward plods his weary way, And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimmering landscape on the sight, And all the air a solemn stillness holds, Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight, And drowsy tinklings lull the distant folds; Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r The moping owl does to the moon complain 10 Of such as, wand'ring near her secret bow'r, Molest her ancient solitary reign.


The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r, And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave, Awaits alike th' inevitable hour: 35 The paths of glory lead but to the grave. ... Full many a gem of purest ray serene The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear: Full many a flower is born to blush unseen, 55 And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

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Mona Lisa:

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