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Graphological deviation, style variation and point of view in ‘Marabou stork nightmares’ by Irvine Welsh.

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>12/1999
<mark>Journal</mark>Journal of Literary Studies
Issue number3-4
Number of pages19
Pages (from-to)305-323
<mark>Original language</mark>English


This article examines the use of graphological deviation as an indicator of viewpoint in the opening of Marabou Stork Nightmares (1995) by Irvine Welsh. A detailed interpretative summary of the novel is provided to help "place" the passage analysed and make clearthe unusual narrative structure (three interweaved "levels" of narration, all produced by the same narrator). In this context, graphological deviation in the novel's opening is seen to be (i) a marker of style shifts which helps the reader "navigate" from one narrative level to another and, (ii) at the same time, constitutes a symbolic representation on the page of movements up and down from one level of narration to another. The patterns seen in detail in the opening to the novel are reflective of its main body. The paper also includes a brief, more general indicative discussion of the relationship between the stylistic markers of viewpoint and narratological concepts like focaliser and reflector.