Chapter 18. Polyphony in interior monologues

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Following the definition of &#8216;interior monologue&#8217; (IM) given by Edouard Dujardin (1931), we analysed a corpus of novels (by Schnitzler, Joyce, Dostoevsky, Pirandello) in which this literary technique is used. We discovered that, although one of the conventional meanings of monologue is &#8216;discourse with one voice&#8217;, IMs reveal intrinsic dialogism among different voices. These voices come both from different &#8216;parts&#8217; of the speaker and from others (imagined, internalized people). In this sense, IMs are polyphonic. We focus on the linguistic and communicative forms of IMs, on <i>how</i> people speak to themselves. The method used consists, mainly, of a qualitative, structural linguistic analysis. Passages taken from our corpus explain how polyphony works in IMs.


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