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Focalization refers to the manner of representation of a narrative.



Based on the relationship between the focalizer and the focalized, focalization is the product of what the focalizer sees and that which is being seen in addition to their distance from or closeness to the narrator. The relationship between these three creates the nature of the focalization. Whereas the spatial position of the camera determines the focalization of a film, the spatial relation between the narrator, the focalizer and the focalized determines the focalization of a story; the focalization, like the camera, shifts from the perspective of the narrator to another character and to another--resulting in a plurality of perspectives and orientations toward the events in the narrative. To be more specific, types of focalization include external focalization and internal focalization.


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Critical Debates

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Related Terms

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Cohan, Steven and Linda M. Shires. Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction. New York: Routledge, 1988.

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