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10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/31/S10.060

THE EPIGRAPH’S INFORMATIVE FUNCTION IN ‘THE HOUSE IN NORHAM GARDENS’ BY PENELOPE LIVELY

L. Zamorshchikova, E. Dyakonova, S. Filippova
Tuesday 10 April 2018 by lib_admin

References: 5th International Multidisciplinary Scientific Conference on Social Sciences and Arts SGEM 2018, www.sgemvienna.org, SGEM2018 Vienna ART Conference Proceedings, ISBN 978-619-7408-32-4 / ISSN 2367-5659, 19 - 21 March, 2018, Vol. 5, Issue 3.1; 477-484 pp, DOI: 10.5593/sgemsocial2018H/31/S10.060

ABSTRACT

The article is devoted to research on epigraph and its function in a fictional text. The epigraph-text interactions may be of great importance for decoding the meanings of both. The epigraph is reported to perform a dialogic, a structuring and an informative function in the text, the latter function introducing two types of information: subjective and content-related. While the subjective information is mainly about the author of the text, the content-related information is considered to fall into factual (developing the theme), conceptual (eliciting the idea) and subtext (connected with modality and the author’s attitudes). In this article the epigraph’s informative function is being analyzed in the extracts from ‘The House in Norham Gardens’ by Penelope Lively (1974). A retrospective narration, interlacing time layers, the action shifting from one reality to another, the plot developing bilaterally – all these may be regarded as the structural and semantic peculiarities of the novel which, in particular, is about how a teenager’s view of life might change after an enigmatic finding. Epigraphs precede every chapter and organize uniquely the compositional and semantic structure of the novel, thus contributing to a complex and multidimensional narration. Time as the universal category of the novel’s semantic space came into focus, and the semantic analysis of the epigraphs made it possible to reveal and analyze the semantics of the words connected with time. When dialogic relationships between the epigraphs and chapters were studied, the theme of cyclical and repeated nature of time was assumed to be a significant plot-forming element in the novel. Thus, the epigraph might reveal not only the factual and conceptual information laid in the text, but it also contributes to decoding the cultural codes set in the subtext information which presumably are about time consistency, everlasting life cycle, continuity of generations and traditions.

Keywords: epigraph, informative function, conceptual information, subtext, semantic


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