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A.M. Gorky Institute
of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences

IWL RAS Publishing

A.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature
of the Russian Academy of Sciences


Povarskaya 25a, 121069 Moscow, Russia



Types of publications

Information about the author:

Polina A. Voron, PhD in Philology, Senior Researcher, А.M. Gorky Institute of World Literature of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Povarskaya 25 a, 121069 Moscow, Russia.


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The article discusses the interaction of rhythm and narrative strategy. Free indirect speech is a complex phenomenon, sometimes devoid of bright markers of the transition to the character’s inner mental space. Metric changes, change of breath expressed in the rhythm, are considered as one of the ways of “switching” from the author’s speech to the character’s internal speech. Existing on the borderline between direct and indirect speech, free indirect speech penetrates deeply into the consciousness of characters, approximating to their inner monologue, however nominally staying on the platform of the author’s narration. A transition to another’s speech usually is accompanied by interrogative or exclamatory constructions, as well as by changing the tense of the verb. The article points out other cases when the transition to free indirect speech has been completed, but common syntactical markers can hardly be found. Nevertheless, the change of rhythmic strategy can be an auxiliary or even the only marker of free indirect speech. A new speaker or a switch from the author’s narration to the character’s speech entails changes both in style and in rhythm. The change of rhythmic strategy can occur in several ways: from a fast to slower rate, from appreciable metrization to a more “usual” pace in prose.

  • Keywords: rhythmization, metrization, free indirect speech, “non-classical” prose, narrative strategy.


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