Lapas attēli

phrase form (called and perceiving). Of course it would be possible to carry the analysis even farther and to show how the adjectives, adverbs, and other parts of speech are in truth highly condensed predications, in which we can trace ultimate narrative elements. But for practical purposes the examination need go no farther than the complete independent statements, which, therefore, we might term the basis of all narrative discourse. These basal units combine into greater and more complex units, and ultimately take form in narrative episodes, each complete in itself. Beyond that, a number of such episodes may combine in a more extended group, again complete; and these groups in still larger, until we reach a complete narrative form like the novel or the biography.

A good example of the simplest complete form into which the ultimate narrative elements combine is presented in the ordinary paragraph item of the daily paper, as in the following:

An executive session of the Joint Investigating Committee, authorized to investigate and report on the finances of the city, was held in the Murray Hill Hotel yesterday.


The Mountain Ash male choir, a famous organization of Welsh miners, sailed on the steamer Adriatic to-day for a tour of the United States. They have been invited to sing at the White House.

Football practice began at the University yesterday. About forty candidates responded to Captain Young's call. The team is greatly weakened by the graduation of last year's class.

It is not essential to the item that, as in the cases just cited, it should be limited to a single sentence or to a brief paragraph, but it is essential that it be complete, and, more than that, that it give the impression of oneness, not allowing the attention to dwell on the corporate, individual character of the constituent parts. The account of Wheeler's death, for example, quoted on page 2, although it is composed of four sentences, is a paragraph item, because we do not dwell on the minor particulars that were pointed out as constituting the details of the narrative. Rather we think of the engineer's tragic death, - a central thought, - and the various details merge into the one idea. If, on the other hand, the writer had introduced the occurrence with an account of how Wheeler had for days been filled with the sense of impending disaster and how his departure from home on the fatal morning had presented a dramatic scene; if the account had contained a paragraph descriptive of the prostration of Wheeler's wife when friends brought home the news of her husband's death; — then the story would have lost the corporate unity that now characterizes it. Instead of our thinking of the simple clause elements, we should think of the larger group units: the engineer's apprehension; his farewell; his death; the breaking of the news. Narrative of this latter character, in which we are conscious of the somewhat obtrusive unity of the individual particulars of the occurrence, is known as "episodic discourse.” The border line between episodic narrative and the isolated narrative item is not clearly defined. One reader will rapidly group the details into a single tableau and lose sight of the parts in the completeness of the whole. Another, more analytical in temper, will dwell upon these very parts and see each in its entirety.

Narrative of the episodic order has already been illustrated by the analysis of Maupassant's Necklace on

page 3. Further analysis would, of course, show that the story, like the passage from the Book of Acts, is composed of ultimate narrative units phrased as simple clauses; but these are not the natural constituent parts into which the story falls. We think of it rather under the seven groups indicated by the sections into which the story has been divided. The minute divisions are lost in the larger group units.

The nature of episodic narrative may well be illustrated by the Parable of the Prodigal Son as contained in the Gospel of Saint Luke, especially if we arrange the paragraphs and general grouping in accordance with modern usage, as follows:


1. The Apportionment of the Property A certain man had two sons: and the younger of them said to his father, “Father, give me the portion of thy substance that falleth to me.”

And he divided unto them his living.

11. The Mis-spent Life

And not many days after the younger son gathered all together, and took his journey into a far country; and there he wasted his substance with riotous living.

And when he had spent all, there arose a mighty famine in that country; and he began to be in want. And he went and joined himself to one of the citizens of that country; and he sent him into his fields to feed swine. And he would fain have been filled with the husks that the swine did eat: and no man gave unto him.

But when he came to himself he said, “How many servants of my father's have bread enough and to spare, and I perish here with hunger! I will arise and go to my father, and will say unto him, 'Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: I am no more worthy to be called thy son: make me as one of thy hired servants."

And he arose, and came to his father.

III. The Return

But while he was yet afar off, his father saw him, and was moved with compassion, and ran, and fell on his neck, and kissed him.

And the son said unto him, “Father, I have sinned against heaven, and in thy sight: I am no more worthy to be called thy son.”

But the father said to his servants, “Bring forth quickly the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet: and bring the fatted calf, and kill it, and let us eat, and make merry: for this my son was dead, and is alive again; he was lost, and is found.”

And they began to be merry.

IV. The Enmity of the Elder Brother Now his elder son was in the field: and as he came and drew nigh to the house, he heard music and dancing. And he called to him one of the servants, and inquired what these things might be.

And he said unto him, “Thy brother is come; and thy father hath killed the fatted calf, because he hath received him safe and sound.”

But he was angry, and would not go in: and his father came out, and intreated him.

But he answered and said to his father, “Lo, these many years do I serve thee, and I never transgressed a commandment of thine: and yet thou never gavest me a kid, that I might make merry with my friends: but when this thy son came, which hath devoured thy living with harlots, thou killedst for him the fatted calf.”

And he said unto him, "Son, thou art ever with me, and all


that is mine is thine. But it was meet to make merry and be glad: for this thy brother was dead, and is alive again; and was lost, and is found.”


In the story as thus arranged we find four principal narrative units, constituting the occurrence. Each of these, in turn, consists of well differentiated sub-groups, indicated by the paragraph division: for example, in the second main section we have (a) the departure of the young man; (b) the loss of his fortune; (c) his repentance and resolve; and (d) his setting out for home. Each of these sub-groups also is capable of final analysis into the narrative elements of the simplest form, the sentence and clause units as already shown in the other instances. But when we compare these four main divisions or their respective subdivisions with the various items enumerated on page 22, we find a rather noteworthy difference: chapter i of the parable, for example, is incomplete without chapters II and III and iv, and each of these in turn is valuable only when, taken in conjunction with the others, it forms part of the parable as a whole. So, again, with the sub-divisions (a), (b), (c), etc., each one, while in a sense complete, is but a step in the development of a larger whole, the chapter to which it belongs. It is here that we find the essential character of episodic narration: an episode is a complete entity, indeed, but in its completeness it forms an essential part

of some greater unit, which may or may not be ulti| mate and final.

In extended narrative literature, the principal episodic unit is generally the basis of the chapter division, or sometimes of so-called “books” such as are found in Dickens's Tale of Two Cities, where the story is narrated under the three heads: I. Recalled to Life;

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