Changing the Point of View

This will be a workshop on that most extraordinary of the foundation stones of realist fiction: individual consciousness, or interiority. How does a writer denote this? When we read something in a novel, through whose eyes are we seeing that world, the writer’s, the narrator’s, or a character’s? What marks the distinction between these three? Should a scene stick to a single point of view or can you have a roving point of view, moving from character to character within one scene or even within one paragraph? We’ll look at excerpts from War and Peace, Madame Bovary, a Jane Austen novel, Middlemarch and Robert Walser’s short story ‘Kleist in Thun’.

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