Nitya Morales Vázquez, in her paper "Unreliable Narration through Representations of the Grotesque in Lagerkvist's The Dwarf," begins with the hypothesis that most direct expression of ideology in discourse is found in the semantics of discourse. In literature, one can analyze this ideology by examining whether the narration is reliable or whether it is unreliable. Based on these presuppositions, Morales Vázquez analyses discourse in Pär Fabian Lagerkvist's novel, The Dwarf. Morales Vázquez argues that through the use of the conceptual frames of characterization, voice, and focalization the dwarf's character offers an unreliable narration. Through representations present in the novel, Morales Vázquez studies the grotesque in relation to the dwarf's character and their correlation to ideology. Thus, the grotesque is defined as an unresolved clash of incompatibles manifested incongruously as a distortion of the natural into absurdity, ugliness, or caricature which in turn provokes the observer into an "emotional disorientation" that may be used to question the signification of its ambiguous quality. It is because the grotesque is a powerful esthetic category involving the disruption and distortion of hierarchical or canonical assumptions with an emphasis on the modes of excess and transgression in speech, style, and in the literary representation of the body that religion has been inserted. The dwarf's marginality and perversity is a signifier on the accelerating distance between man and God; as the "other," a flawed being, a scapegoat, the enemy, the unknown, and the damned.
Morales Vázquez, Nitya.
"Unreliable Narration through Representations of the Grotesque in Lagerkvist's The Dwarf."
CLCWeb: Comparative Literature and Culture
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