Saturday, January 22, 2005

Fourth Lecture

Alice Munro is certainly one of Canada's literary greats, and I think you'll agree that "Forgiveness in Families" is evidence for that.

The main point of the lecture was to show the story's subtlty and variety, and its realistic - as opposed to realist - representation of a human personality. Its mode is confessional - linking back to St. Augustine's great De Confessione in the 5th Century AD - with a nod to Sigmund Freud's own appropriation of Augustine in his technique of psychotherapy. I suggested that the story reveals more about the narrator Val than the brother Cam, its ostensible subject.

The three types of character portrait used by Munro were detailed Also, the strong religious theme of the story was traced and an introduction was given to techniques for recognising themes in fiction -- especially when they are designed with the literary subtlty of which Munro is capable. Here is a link, by the way, to the parable of the Prodigal Son -- in kind of a neat format.

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