Home; Transparent Minds. AddThis Transparent Minds Narrative Dorrit Cohn is Professor of Germanic Languages and Literatures at Harvard University. “I am willing to predict that Transparent Minds will serve the present generation of graduate students the way Frye’s Anatomy of Criticism served a preceding one. Comparisons are invidious, but unavoidable. Dorrit Cohn’s Transparent Minds invites comparison with a recent book – too recent for Cohn to have taken it.

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Even her endnotes contain fascinating tidbits!

The combination of an coh narrative situation and chronological order yields conventional retrospective narrative, or what Cohn calls autobiographical narrativeas in David Copperfield.

Amy K rated it really liked it Oct 31, Thanks for telling us about the problem. Note that each of these examples subordinated the character’s thoughts to the narrator’s main authority; the second part of these examples is a subordinating clause. What is the value of creating a typology of modes of representing consciousness, as Cohn does in Teansparent Minds? Contact Contact Us Help.

Transparent Minds: Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction

But I do not recall having reread the entire book cover-to-cover with close attention since about Page 8 – Tuesday, the accent falls differently from of old; the moment of importance came not here but there; so that, if a writer were a free man and not a slave, if he could write what he chose, not what he must, if he could base his work upon his own feeling and not upon convention, there would be no plot, no comedy, no tragedy, no love interest or catastrophe in the accepted style, and perhaps not a single button sewn on as the Bond Street tailors would have it.


The thoughts are seen a occurring in the character’s mind, unsaid. Part of the book is a sort of taxonomy of different kinds of narrat If you’re someone interested in narrative who has felt confused or a bit baffled by the way that readers and critics throw around terms such as “stream of consciousness” or “interior monologue,” wondering, perhaps, exactly what these terms mean, then this book is one you need to read.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our tranpsarent. I only wish I’d read it earlier. I wrote a paper trying to discuss how the use of the first person narrator in a book I read of a class, made the protagonist ambiguous; in the end of the novel, the reader was unsure if the narrator was the man described or not.

Quoted monologues occurs when a character is quoted, as verbatim, by the narrator. In the third person context, the author depicts consciousness in three ways: This is not to say that I do not regularly consult certain parts of it, or assign specific chapters in courses, or discuss the book with graduate students; I do all of these things.

Project MUSE – Transparent Minds Revisited

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Notcathy J rated it liked it Jun 19, To ask other readers questions about Transparent Mindsplease sign up. Narrative Modes for Presenting Consciousness in Fiction. Joshua rated it really liked it Jan 02, Zulu rated it liked it Jan 23, How did he become so knowledgeable about the range of issues, texts and literary traditions that Cohn addresses?

Just an incredibly thorough examination of how consciousness has been handled. As for first-person contexts, that is, in the case of homodiegetic narrators, here Cohn identifies four types, depending upon whether the situation of narration is problematic or unproblematic, and whether the ordering of the remembered events is chronological or a-chronological.


No one in real life is capable of doing such a thing. Princeton University Press- Literary Criticism – pages. Robyn rated it it was ok Aug 10, She proceeds somewhat diachronically, but she see a synchronic pattern in the history of the methods.

Who was this youngster, still in his twenties, who seemed to speak with such authority about what an adequate theory of consciousness in fiction ought to look like, and how it would fit into the larger [End Page ] project of poetics?

Each chapter deals with one main technique, illustrated from a wide range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction by writers including Stendhal, Dostoevsky, James, Mann, Kafka, Joyce, Proust, Woolf, and Sarraute.

Princeton University Press Amazon. Preview — Transparent Minds by Dorrit Cohn. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves.

The first person context, Cohn discusses retrospective techniques, from narration to monologue and finally the autonomous monologue.

The examples she uses to compare it with the other methods are: Each chapter deals with one main technique, illustrated from a wide range of nineteenth- and twentieth-century fiction by writers including Stendhal, Dostoevsky, James, Mann, Kafka, Joyce, Proust, Woolf, and Sarraute.

This method is somewhere between quoted monologue and psycho-narration. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.