Partial Answers - Homepage Journal of Literature and The History of Ideas The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

 Volume 16/1: includes forum "Victorian Women Traveling"
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 January 2017

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 June 2016

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 June 2011

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 Quick Article Search

   Newest Articles

 Sounding Postmodernity
 Jarmila Mildorf

 Narrativity and Sound in German Radio Play Adaptations of Paul Auster’s The New York Trilogy
 Till Kinzel

 Non-Sovereign Voices in Friederike Mayröcker’s Aural Texts
 Inge Arteel

 Singing Thomas Pynchon’s Gravity’s Rainbow
 Anahita Rouyan

 Being Silent, Doing Nothing
 Agatha Frischmuth

 Musical Macrostructures in The Gold Bug Variations and Orfeo by Richard Powers; or, Toward a Media-Conscious Audionarratology
 A. Elisabeth Reichel

 New Modes of Listening
 Emily Petermann

 Narrating Sounds
 Jarmila Mildorf and Till Kinzel

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Updated Up To 18/01/2017
Volume 15, issue 1 (January 2017) : 167-188
Sounding Postmodernity
Narrative Voices in the Radio Adaptation of Alasdair Gray’s Lanark
Jarmila Mildorf
Rubric A: Audionarratology
Rubric B: Twentieth-Century Literature



Alasdair Gray’s novel Lanark: A Life in Four Books (1981) eludes generic categorization by crossing the boundaries between dystopian fiction, fantasy novel, life writing, and fiction marked by magic realism. In postmodern fashion, it plays with spatiotemporal frameworks and narrative order, shifts narrative voices, and perspectives and uses a multiplicity of presentational modes including dialogue and scholarly text commentary with encyclopedic annotations. In its “Epilogue,” the novel features metalepsis when it introduces the author, who talks to his protagonist about his work. The question arises how the novel’s radio play adaptation, first broadcast by the BBC on 1 November 2014, translates this playfulness into its own semiotic system. This paper particularly focuses on the narratological category of “voice” and explores what happens when narrators’ and characters’ voices are actualized in radio drama, how the radio play uses voice-over narration, voice qualities and the doubling of parts to create a recognizable as well as surprising aural storyworld. It also analyzes how sound techniques and music are employed to create narrative structures. Because of their medial instantaneousness and evanescence, radio plays arguably have to rely on disambiguation to make themselves accessible to a listening audience. However, as this paper shows, they also have a range of radiophonic techniques at their disposal to create narrativity on their own terms.

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