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Narrative strategy of manifestation in J. Barnes’s “The Man in the Red Coat”

Liberal Arts in Russia. 2020. Vol. 9. No. 6. Pp. 406-416.
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Efimov A. V.
Bashkir State University
32 Zaki Validi Street, 450076 Ufa, Republic of Bashkortostan, Russia


The implementation of the narrative strategy of manifestation in the work of Julian Barnes “The Man in the Red Coat” is studied in the article. This book by Barnes, dedicated to the life of the French surgeon Samuel Pozzi and the entire Belle Epoque, is a fictional and documentary biography, since it combines subjective and objective realities. The narrator, whose personality is always at the heart of the narrative strategy, writes about the real story, but passes all events through the prism of his perception and also recalls some episodes from his own life. Accordingly, in the work, the process of self-presentation of the narrator occurs in parallel with the disclosure of the character of the protagonist. Modernity is superimposed on history, and the biography of the narrator is superimposed on the character’s biography, which indicates a temporal and categorical contrast between the poles of both binary oppositions: the past is assessed from the point of view of modernity; the main character is described not as a historical person, but as the person depicted in the picture. To understand the multidimensionality of the hero’s inner world, which is formed due to the collision of the narrator’s feelings and the historical facts cited by him, and the contradictory nature of the narrator himself, which manifests itself in an implicit form, close reader attention is needed. Consequently, the full functioning of the narrative strategy can be achieved by assimilating by the reader not only the events being told, but also the event of the story itself.


  • • Julian Barnes
  • • narratology
  • • narrative strategy
  • • reader reception
  • • self-presentation
  • • biography
  • • postmodernism


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