Reference Entry

focalization

Edited by Dinah Birch

in The Oxford Companion to English Literature

Seventh edition

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780192806871
Published online January 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191735066
focalization

More Like This

Show all results sharing this subject:

  • Literary Studies (British and Irish)

GO

Show Summary Details

Preview

The technical term in modern *narratology for the adoption of a limited ‘point of view’ from which the events of a given story are witnessed, usually by a character within the fictional world. Unlike the ‘omniscient’ perspective of traditional stories, which in principle allows the narrator privileged insight into all characters' secret motives and the ability to recount simultaneous events in different places, a focalized narrative constrains its perspective within the limited awareness available to a particular witness, to whom the thoughts of other characters remain opaque. As seeing differs from telling, such a focalizing observer is not necessarily the narrator of the story, but may be a character in an account given by a third‐person narrator: this method of using a ‘centre of consciousness’ within the fictional world is associated especially with ...

Reference Entry.  146 words. 

Subjects: Literary Studies (British and Irish)

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content. subscribe or purchase to access all content.