Parody is the name given to a range of representational practices that involve citation of an earlier work, but an inexact citation—citation with polemical difference, always purposive, and often to comic effect. Arguments over parody as a category inevitably establish a position on how specific an activity it is and how far it reaches into culture, even into the nature of language itself. Parody’s range is at times understood to be quite general; at others, it is presented as a very specific artistic process. Thus, some argue that parody is at the heart of language itself, that all language is parodic, while others limit parody to the affectionate discrepant citation of another text or work of art. Pastiche, as a subcategory of parody, generally is considered to be less polemical about its sources, less satirical, more flat, and less focused. All parody (including pastiche) is interpretive of its source, and in interpreting that source it makes an argument about that source—its features and the value of those features. In making that argument, parody establishes or reacts to a norm, a norm at times in line with a cultural dominant and at other times opposed to it. While that relationship to a norm often raises the question whether parody is inherently dispersive and liberatory or whether it exists to affirm a status quo, historical practice reveals that there is no inherence here; parody can move in either direction. Parody is always in some relation to a norm, a relationship that points to the heart of its activities: to the consequences of citation, the place of personal expression, and polemics.
Daniel P. Gunn
In free indirect discourse (FID), the narrative discourse of a text incorporates the language and subjectivity of a character, including emotional coloring, deictics, judgments, and style, without an introductory attributing frame like “she thought that” and without shifts in the pronouns or the tense sequence to accord with the character’s perspective. By combining the immediacy of direct quotation and the flexibility of indirect discourse, FID allows for the seamless integration of a character’s thought or speech, with all of its distinctive markers, into the narratorial discourse. Because FID occurs in the context of narratorial discourse and allows for a fluid movement back and forth between narratorial and figural subjectivities, it characteristically entails a mixture or interplay of two voices—the narrator’s and the character’s—in the same utterance, as in parody or mimicry. The evocation of a character’s thought or speech through FID and its relation to narratorial commentary and report can be subtle and nuanced, and identifying and making sense of FID sentences requires significant interpretive activity on the part of the reader. FID has been a crucially important technique for the representation of consciousness in the English novel, particularly in the tradition which runs from Jane Austen through George Eliot to Henry James, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce, which concerns itself increasingly with the imagined thought-lives of characters. Depending on the context, FID passages can be presented sympathetically, inviting the reader to immerse herself or himself unreservedly in the character’s thought or speech, or ironically, with the language of the character creating a dissonant effect against the background of the narrator’s discourse and the novel’s design. FID is also sometimes referred to as style indirect libre, free indirect style, represented speech and thought, or narrated monologue.