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A Narratological Approach to Literary Journalism: How an Interplay between Voice and Point of View May Create Empathy with the Other
Södertörn University, School of Social Sciences, Journalism.
2016 (English)In: Literary Journalism Studies, ISSN 1944-897X, E-ISSN 1944-8988, Vol. 8, no 1, 106-139 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this essay is to present a model for analyzing the in- terplay between voice and point of view in literary journalism/reportage. The model can be used to nuance previous researchers’ discussions about “subjective” and “objective” journalism. It also problematizes the reporter’s special role as an eyewitness by highlighting how narrative techniques can create empathy with the Other and move the reader’s gaze away from the reporter, away from the one who is witnessing. Using tools from classical narratology, I focus on the form of the texts. The tools help me investigate the narrator’s as well as the characters’ subjectivity and interpret the narra- tive’s construction as an expression of a journalistic mission. I systematize variables such as the narrator’s visibility, the relation between an experienc- ing reporter and a narrating reporter, the interplay between the experienc- ing reporter and other characters in the text, and in what way a level with a director (an implied author) can facilitate a comparison between vari- ous kinds of literary journalism. I also examine whether it might be time to abandon the theory that a first-person reportage is more subjective in general than a third-person reportage. I explore whether it is instead the narrator’s visibility that determines the position of the text on a scale be- tween “subjective” and “objective” forms. (Note: I have provided a glossary of terms at the end of the essay.)

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Evanstone, United States, 2016. Vol. 8, no 1, 106-139 p.
Keyword [en]
literary journalism, reportage, eyewitness, emapthy with the other, a narratological model, focalization, consonance, dissonance, the narrator's visibility
National Category
General Literature Studies
URN: urn:nbn:se:sh:diva-30307OAI: diva2:936335
Available from: 2016-06-13 Created: 2016-06-13 Last updated: 2016-09-15Bibliographically approved

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Aare, Cecilia
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