Justin Tse
Prof. Alvarez
English 363
September 12, 2011
They Lived in Each Other’s Story

I found Samperio’s short story an interesting take upon the world of literary thought. His initial impression and comparison of architecture and literature brings a whole new perspective on literature. Through his interpretation, he insinuates that the literary worlds are interconnected with the author and the characters as both Ofelia and Samperio feel their presence within one another. We get a sense of this once we read of Samperio creating Ofelia; his presence as the omnipotent figure who watches and documents her life and movements are made painfully aware at Ofelia’s expense. We as the reader are not made immediately aware of this connection but we begin aware of the knowledge as the story progresses. Each character has some sort of direct influence and control over one another, much like how an author has control of his characters. However Samperio does an interesting integration as he allows his character to flourish and grow with immense power as he too becomes controlled by his own creation’s perspective and thoughts. (Samperio 61) This is most noticeable towards the end of the short story when he realizes all that has occurred and that he no longer has the ability to control his own actions; his influences have been taken over and we as the readers are switched abruptly; we no longer know who is in control and who is being controlled. However as each other’s influence over another grows; the strength and influence that they both exhibit no longer apply to their distorted reality.
“A pale light appears in the background of his perception, helping him to recognize the elements of his situation. He distinguishes shapes, shadows of some reality; he looks at his extended arm and raises his eyes. In front of him, seated on a pretty little bench, a woman is looking at him. Segovia slowly lowers his arm and lets the Colt drop, which produces a muffled sound as it hits the rug. The woman stands and tries to force her thin lips into a smile. When Guillermo realizes that he is not facing any danger, his fear subsides, leaving his body slightly numb. Without thinking about it, he decides to move closer; with this movement of his legs, he finally achieves lucidity. He stops next to me; in silence, accepting our fate destiny, he takes my hand and I am willing.” (Samperio 62)
This is most apparent through the closing of the short story; Samperio, Guillermo, and Ofelia’s existence become meshed together on a mental field. Reality no longer contorts to the wills of the writers within and outside of the text, but rather reality moves freely and flow between the fated characters that we encounter. The audience gets a huge sense of this as both Guillermo and Ofelia lose any power to affect each other’s decisions. They become free agents; freed of the eye that watches them, they are no longer subjected to the whims of the writer but by the development that they themselves choose to encounter. This is most apparent through Guillermo’s decision to meet with Ofelia upon the park bench outside his house. He no longer requires any external influence but chooses his own course of actions. This also applies to Ofelia as she chooses to encounter with her creator’s creation. The reality of which is no longer on a physical plane but a sort of inter-literature relationship. Guillermo’s creation has expanded past his own universe and train of thought and has encompassed Ofelia whose bodily manifestation is apparently sitting upon a pretty little park bench. This distortion of reality can only exist between the relationships developed by the writer and their characters. They are both characters and authors of each other’s text. They are each other’s fated omnipotent figure; who reigns supreme in each other’s lives and ultimately they are living each other’s fantastical story.
Justin Tse
Prof. Alvarez
English 363
September 12, 2011
Works Cited
• Samperio, Guillermo. “She Lived in a Story.” New Writing from Mexico: A TriQuarterly Collection of Newly Translated Prose and Poetry. TriQuartely Books. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. Translated by Russel M. Cluff and L. Howard Quakenbush

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One Response to “They Lived in Each Other’s Stories”

  1.   salvarez said:

    Justin, yes, I’m not sure what the problem is on this theme, but it’s not showing either sidebars. I suggest experimenting with another theme, as this will make things easier for both me as well as your classmates who will be looking at your pages in the future. I wasn’t able to leave comments on the your response page either, so my suspicion is that the page settings may not be set up for this theme.

    I’ve posted comments and grade to your response one below since I wasn’t able to do it there.

    I quoted from a few places to respond to, one from your P section, and longer from the E section. I added my comments throughout in CAPS:

    “He insinuates NICE VERB that the literary worlds are interconnected with the author and the characters LITERARY OR NARRATIVE? OR DOES HE GIVE THE IMPRESSION THAT “HIGH ART” OR HIS LITERARY IMAGINATION DEFINES WHAT IS LITERARY? WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LITERARY NARRATIVE THAN NARRATIVE? as both Ofelia and Samperio feel their presence within one another” THERE’S ALSO THE NARRATION OF WRITING A TEXT, THEN BEING NARRATED, AND OR BETWEEN NARRATORS AND NARATEES. I WONDER IF WE MIGHT ALSO BE ABLE TO CONSIDER A SORT OF “MIRROR FOCALIZATION” AT THE END OF THE STORY. CRITICAL TERMS FROM JAHN YOU COULD SPRINKLE INTO THE “P” SECTION?

    “This is most apparent through the closing of the short story; Samperio, Guillermo, and Ofelia’s existence become meshed together on a mental field WHAT DO YOU MEAN BY MENTAL FIELD? NARRATIVE FIELD? FIELD IS A SPATIAL METAPHOR: SO I THINK YOU MEAN NARRATIVE SPACE (A CATEGORY IN JAHN YOU MIGHT REVIEW FOR SOME TERMS OR IDEAS TO EXPRESS THIS IDEA OF ‘MENTAL FIELD’). Reality no longer contorts to the wills of the writers within and outside of the text, WITHIN AND OUTSIDE–THE DECONSTUCTIONISTS OF THE 60S-80S CLAIMED THERE ‘IS NO OUTSIDE THE TEXT’ OR THAT EVERYTHING IS TEXTUAL but rather reality moves freely and flow between the fated characters that we encounter THIS IS BASICALLY THE SAME WAY THEY DESCRIBE NOT BEING OUTSIDE THE TEXT, EXCEPT THEN WE ARE ALL CHARACTERS, OR THESE ‘FATED’ CHARACTERS AS YOU PUT–SOCIALLY CONSTRUCTED AND HISTORICALLY FRAGMENTED (DETERMINISM). The audience gets a huge sense of this as both Guillermo and Ofelia lose any power BY POWER I THINK YOU MEAN AGENCY? to affect each other’s decisions. They become free agents THEY CONTROL THEIR OWN WILLS, NO LONGER DETERMINED?; freed of the eye that watches them, they are no longer subjected to the whims of the writer but by the development that they themselves choose to encounter. GOOD This is most apparent through Guillermo’s decision to meet with Ofelia upon the park bench outside his house. He no longer requires any external influence but chooses his own course of actions. GOOD POINT, GIVE PAGE NUMBER; MAYBE A PLACE WHERE YOU COULD DO ANOTHER PIE PARAGRAPH CLOSE READ This also applies to Ofelia as she chooses to encounter with her creator’s creation. GOOD, BUT ALSO MAKE SURE TO USE SOME OF THE ACTUAL WORDS FROM WHAT YOU QUOTE IN THE ‘E’ SECTION HERE, JUST TO MAKE CONNECTIONS BACK TO THE ‘E’–USE SOME OF THE LANGUAGE OF THE QUOTE MIXED WITH YOUR OWN. The reality of which is no longer on a physical plane but a sort of inter-literature relationship. OR INTER-NARRATIVE? OR NARRATIVE LEVELS? Guillermo’s creation has expanded past his own universe and train of thought and has encompassed Ofelia whose bodily manifestation is apparently sitting upon a pretty little park bench. This distortion of reality can only exist between the relationships developed by the writer and their characters. They are both characters and authors of each other’s text. GOOD. SO BOTH AGENTS AND ALSO HISTORICALY DETERMINED. THAT COULD BE PROBLEMATIC FOR PHILOSOPHERS, BUT IF THAT’S WHAT YOU THINK THE TEXTS SIGNIFIES, YOU HAVE TO GIVE YOUR SUPPORT. They are each other’s fated omnipotent figure; who reigns supreme in each other’s lives and ultimately they are living each other’s fantastical story.”
    SO THEY ARE EACH OTHER’S NARRATORS, HOMODIEGETIC NARRATORS NARRATING BOTH THEIR OWN AND OTHER CHARACTERS WHO ARE ALSO HOMODIGETIC NARRATORS ON DIFFERENT DEGREES OF NARRATIVE LEVELS. SEE: A LITTLE JAHN SAYS THE SAME THING, BUT WITH THE CRITICAL DISCOURSE.

    Some great writing Justin. My main suggestion is to keep working with some of the Jahn terms and to start using them when describing what you see happening in the novels. You’ll notice that by doing so the authority of your critical voice will deepen–it’s an important way to develop as a scholar, that is, using an elaborate critical vocabulary that establishes your authority in the field to make interpretations to texts, interpretations that deserve to be heard among all the others.

    As for your MLA:
    Samperio, Guillermo. “She Lived in a Story.” New Writing from Mexico: A TriQuarterly Collection of Newly Translated Prose and Poetry. TriQuartely Books. Web. 12 Sept. 2011. Translated by Russel M. Cluff and L. Howard Quakenbush

    This is slightly off. The format for translators needs to be updated. Also are you referencing the web as the source because it was on the qwriting site? You would actually have to go to the publication information and give the text as print–because it has never actually been digitally published–I reproduced it, but didn’t publish it online. It’s also a journal and not a book.
    4.5 out of 5 possible points.

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