Narrative Levels explained…edited
June 22, 2011, 6:00 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

One could get a general understanding of “narrative levels” by simply analyzing the title alone. Stories are narratives; situations and or series of events told by a character or a protagonist. Sometimes the reader is aware of the protagonist and who they are. According to Manfred Jahn, there are no limitations for the narration of a story. The levels of narratives can also be looked at literally; just as there is a building that serves one purpose with multiple stories within it, there are multiple narratives within one story.

Samperio is the writer of “She Lived in A Story”, readers can literally find his work in libraries and book stores and they may run internet searches on him and find information about his life and maybe even his family and most definitely background information on his complicated works. He creates Guillermo Segovia, a writer by the same first name as his. Segovia is not the author of his own life as the story starts out, we read as if it is being told by a protagonist, possibly Samperio. Readers are given a back story but this is not at Segovia’s will, this is the author’s style of writing and Segovia is merely a character at this point. Segovia, the 34 year old professor is the subject of a first degree narrative; this is the story that encompasses and uninvolved in the later narratives. The author grants Segovia creative qualities and he therefore is able to create a story of his own about a woman who he chooses to model after the qualities of an actress. Her name is Ofelia. The story of Ofelia, the one Segovia begins narrating, is a bit complicated to grasp. Segovia is the character of Samperio- the frame. Segovia’s narrative is considered to be within the frame hence called the matrix, a second degree narrative fixed within the first. Since Segovia and Ofelia are both a product of Samperio’s imagination they are both embedded in the frame except Ofelia’s first person accounts are then considered the hypo narrative. These levels of imaginations are the essence of Jahn’s account of different levels of storytelling.

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