Tag Archives: omniscience

Limits and Representation of Fictional Knowledge

“How a round base can be adjusted on a round top, how a sphere can rest on a sphere is a problem which may be of interest to those who think like Euclid or Archimedes. It never occurred to Sohini to ask herself anything like this as she balanced her pitcher on her head and went to and from her one-roomed home to the steps of the caste-well where she counted on the chance of some gentleman taking pity on her and giving her the water she needed” (23).

The apparent allusion to Greek mathematicians reveals an untapped well of Bakha’s knowledge.  With that being said, it’s obviously not an interjection by Anand.  This reported discourse stays true to the characters fictional intelligence, proposing a comparison that only one character would make, Bakha, who seeks not only superior lifestyle, but superior knowledge.

 

Anand, Mulk Raj. Untouchable. London: Penguin, 1935.

Where’s Darl?

“Why, Addie,” pa says, “him and Darl went to make one more load,” (41)…
Jewel’s hat droops limp about his neck, channelling water onto the soaked towsack tied about his shoulders as, ankle-deep in the running ditch, he pries with a slipping two-by-four, with a piece of rotting log for fulcrum, at the axle. Jewel, I say, she is dead, Jewel. Addie Bundren is dead (46).

Faulkner, William. As I Lay Dying. New York: Modern Library, 2000. p.41-46 Print.

Darl gains omniscient properties after Anse notes that Darl isn’t at the house, but out with Jewel. It is peculiar that Darl recounted events he was not present for in a normal narrative style, yet his telling Jewel that Addie was dead was told in italics, as if he wasn’t actually present for that.