Narrative Time: Don Quixote’s Time-Transcending Adventure

As Jahn has stated, narrative time is not linear:

The basic question here is whether the presentation of the story follows the natural sequence of events. If it does, we have a chronological order. If not, we are facing a form of ‘anachrony’:
anachrony A deviation from strict chronology in a story. The two main types of anachrony are flashbacks and flashforwards. If the anachronically presented event is factual, it is an objective anachrony; a character’s visions of future or memory of past events are subjective anachronies. Repetitive anachronies recall already narrated events; completive anachronies present events which are omitted in the primary story line. External anachronies present events which take place before the beginning or after the end of the primary story line; anachronies that fall within the range of the primary story line are internal anachronies. See Genette (1980 [1972]: 35-85); Rimmon-Kenan (1983: 46-51); Toolan (1988: 49-50); Ci (1988) [a critical account].

We can see this through Book II Chapter XIII in Don Quixote. His adventure through the cave has supposedly lapsed through a little more than an hour in real time but Don Quixote’s adventures through the cave through his narrative perspective has lapsed many days and nights over. This particular excerpt below allows us to see the difference of linear time through each character’s perspective after Don Quixote tells of his adventure through the cave to Sancho and the scholar.

“I cannot understand, Senor Don Quixote,” remarked the cousin
here, “how it is that your worship, in such a short space of time as
you have been below there, could have seen so many things, and said
and answered so much.”
“How long is it since I went down?” asked Don Quixote.
“Little better than an hour,” replied Sancho.
“That cannot be,” returned Don Quixote, “because night overtook me
while I was there, and day came, and it was night again and day
again three times; so that, by my reckoning, I have been three days in
those remote regions beyond our ken.”
“My master must be right,” replied Sancho; “for as everything that
has happened to him is by enchantment, maybe what seems to us an
hour would seem three days and nights there.”(Cervantes Book II Chapter XXIII)

However this does not exclude the time within the dialogue between Sancho and Don Quixote. The entire conversation is taking place in real time; what they say each other is in accordance with the time that we as the readers are experiencing. An example of this would be the dialogue between Sancho and Don Quixote. The things they are saying to each other are to be experienced in the current and real time; their actions and adventures however are flash-forwarded and can be experienced in a fraction of the time than that they specified. This is evident through the entire paragraph that we as the audience take to read can safely introduce, explain, and conclude Don Quixote’s adventure through the cave. Although his “adventures” through the cave was three days and three nights, in which Sancho states that it truly has merely elapsed a mere hour. However in reality outside of the story time has elapsed a mere one or two minutes for the audience to read the entire paragraph that explain and concludes the adventure. This is a common factor throughout all of Don Quixote. We can see this through Sancho’s adventures as a governor and Don Quixote’s adventures in the duke and duchess’s castle.

Works Cited
At, EcoQuijote. “Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes. Search EText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.” The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.
Jahn, Manfred. 2005. Narratology: A Guide to the Theory of Narrative. English Department, University of Cologne

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One Response to “Narrative Time: Don Quixote’s Time-Transcending Adventure”

  1.   salvarez said:

    Justin, nice job with this response, I’m seeing you make some connections between the Jahn and the fiction form in Cervantes. Make sure you work on those “scholarly titles”: I think what you have here

    Narrative Time: Don Quixote’s Time-Transcending Adventure

    Could be slightly reworked. First I would move what you have before the colon, to after it, and add the author’s name and the book’s title:

    : Transcending Narrative Time in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha

    Then you need to add something before the colon to catch the audience’s attention, maybe “marking fictional time” and adding it all together:

    Marking Fictional Time: Transcending Narrative Time in Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra’s The Ingenious Hidalgo Don Quixote de la Mancha

    It’s long and cumbersome, but it tells your reader what you’re going to be writing about, with what book(s) and what lens.

    Also: though you cite

    “At, EcoQuijote. “Don Quixote by Miguel De Cervantes. Search EText, Read Online, Study, Discuss.” The Literature Network: Online Classic Literature, Poems, and Quotes. Essays & Summaries. Web. 29 Sept. 2011.”

    I don’t think I would credit this as a credible source, especially not for Don Quixote. I say this because of all the advertisements, and because, though a free version, not the most credible free version you could find. The E-library at Queens College has a scholarly copy (where you’re reading won’t periodically have “brought to you by Chevy–and America” pop up at you): http://apps.appl.cuny.edu:83/F/LNALTCX3Y8VUGGC8QABPV3Q313CJBLSBQ1IKAC29JPCFYD3EKP-57574?func=full-set-set&set_number=000421&set_entry=000008&format=999

    Always check the library first before not buying the book . . . and keep in mind free sources can have credibility issues as well as any other source. Who translated the text by the way?

    You also have to fix the Jahn MLA. Check the Purdue OWL.

    Finally: I see here what looks like a P-I-P-I-E structure. I think it would be a better idea to finish off the Jahn with a close reading of the I for that, then begin a new paragraph with what you have for the Quixote.

    4.4 out of 5

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