Multivocal Narrative and the Teacher as Narrator: The Case of Agnon's "Two Scholars Who Were In Our Town" (שני חלמידי חכמים שהיו בעיךו)
- Shofar: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Jewish Studies
- Purdue University Press
- Volume 29, Number 4, Summer 2011
- pp. 23-45
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- Additional Information
In this article, I seek to demonstrate how a hermeneutic of multivocal narration suggests several areas for educational inquiry. The dissonant styles and explicitly stated narrative development in Agnon's story, " Two Scholars Who Were in Our Town," suggest the presence of more than one type of narrative voice guiding the reader through the story. The core story is presented primarily as a traditional tale, handed-down orally from previous generations, whereas the story's broader framework can be considered a modern narrator's efforts to distance the reader from the tale (and from its storyteller). Agnon, thus, positions his modern narrator between the traditional storyteller and the reader. The core enigmatic tale is apparently too transgressive for the narrator as it seemingly dismantles his idealized reconstructed memory. The presence of two dissonant narrative voices suggests how narrative mediation functions in teaching and how modern fiction can provide a landscape for engaging students in ethical reflection that transcends a plot's illustration of normative principles.