Page 150 - Jewish Book Annual Volume 48

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JEWISH BOOK ANNUAL
looser. Even what we would take to be significant time, those
moments that we would expect to be highlighted, are sometimes
randomly distributed. We have undifferentiated interpolations
o f vital material, e.g. Caesar suddenly marries Teh illa ,27 after
a period described in this section as rather “less than a month .”
This interpolation tells us in fact a good deal about Caesar’s
attitude to the event, as to something that he does by the way,
and that perhaps that he would rather forget.
A ltogether it is difficult to distinguish between the narrative
view, that unitary vision imposed by the shaping author and
the several attitudes o f the people described. We have argued,
on the basis o f the structure and the narrative, that the om ­
niscient narrator establishes the sequence and the tone. A hard
core o f objective, material facts that are externally observable
to third parties, is presented to the accompaniment o f comment
and evaluation in a certain tone. T o take an example from
Shabtai’s second novel,28 traffic is described objectively at first,
but afterwards, with the emotions o f weariness and disgust that
accompany the observation. These feelings are attributed. And
they are attributed by the narrator to the character, in this case,
implicitly. Confusion does not really arise, as it is quite clear
from the narrative context whose the evaluation is and within
what framework the observation takes place.
In the pattern o f
ZD
certain factors emerge that constitute
the content o f the work. Although the novel consists o f the sin­
gle paragraph, punctuation is fully employed and speech is in­
serted within quotation marks. This speech is mimetic, faithfully
reproducing speech patterns o f the class and type represented,
including grammar, syntax, idiom, vocabulary and sentence
structure. However, we should note that not only the words
and external actions are transmitted, but the mental processes
behind them, as well as other background information.
IR O N IC TO U C H
An additional although less transparent factor in the trans­
mission o f data is the use o f a kind o f dramatic irony, where
the reader has more information than does the fictional char­
27. Ibid., p. 234.
28.
Sof davar.