Hra s ich-formou v díle Bohumila Hrabala
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The paper is based on the assumption that the first-person narrative (Ich-form) in modern fiction is not an imitation of oral story-telling, but a special literary mode of narration. As such, it has produced a broad range of variants. The paper follows these variants in the prose fiction of Bohumil Hrabal, who practised Ich-form narrative throughout his creative life. The composition of the paper does not follow a chronological, but rather a logical order of variants, ranging from the “oral stream” of Dancing Lessons for the Advanced in Age through “narrator substitution” in the autobiographical trilogy to the “text after death” of Closely Watched Trains (and a version of Too Loud a Solitude). The paper offers a theoretical explanation of the rise of these variants in claiming that in modern literature the Ich-form underwent a process of conventionalization. In this process it took over some basic features of its competitor, the “objective” Er-form. A similar process can be observed in the evolution of the Er-form, but this time the narration moves from the “objective” base to the “subjective” variants. In modern prose fiction, both Er-form and Ich-form offer a rich variety of narrative modes, unavailable in the prose of the preceding periods. Bohumil Hrabal’s “playing” with the Ich-form contributed substantially to this major innovation.
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