Time, prolepsis, & narrative voice in the construction of linked short fiction : an examination of Jennifer Egan’s A Visit From the Goon Squad
Metadata[+] Show full item record
Prolepsis is a writing technique that reveals future events in the context of the present narrative. On its most basic level, it allows the reader a glimpse into the future without causing significant disruption to the current events of the story. In her novel, A Visit From the Goon Squad , Jennifer Egan utilizes prolepsis in more complex ways, employing it throughout her stories to link thirteen stand-alone chapters into one cohesive novel. By flashing forward to future events, Egan connects characters that exist at entirely different points in time, and is able to convey a story that spans across multiple generations. Egan also employs creative use of voice, switching between first, second, and third-person voices depending on the tone of the chapter. This creative thesis will explore the relationship between time and narrative voice, more specifically, the ways in which Jennifer Egan uses prolepsis and narrative voice to connect the chapters in her novel A Visit From the Goon Squad . In my own short fiction, I employ similar techniques to Egan, and they allow me to link four short pieces that exist at four separate points in time. My stories explore topics such as family trauma, memory, and loss, and are seen through varied perspectives in order to heighten emotion. While the stories appear disconnected, the purpose of this thesis is to demonstrate the methods of writing that allow separate, stand-alone narratives to blend into a cohesive, linked collection.
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 License.