Parallel Narrative Structure in Paul Harding’s Tinkers

Mustafa Zeki Çıraklı

Abstract


The present paper explores the implications of parallel narrative structure in Paul Harding’s Tinkers (2009). Besides primarily recounting the two sets of parallel narratives, Tinkers also comprises of seemingly unrelated fragments such as excerpts from clock repair manuals and diaries. The main stories, however, told through three different generations and are presented in the fashion of parallel narratives. They are embedded within a frame narrative that complicates the mimetic and diegetic elements in the novel, which reunite the central characters towards the end of the narrative. This study contends that presentation of the relationship between the two “son-father narratives” within the fictional society and their (in)direct impact on the now-dying central character manifested by the tunneling into consciousness yield to an overall narrative of interconnected fragments that culminate in a unified effect. The study also reveals that the act of interspersing in Tinkers produces a scriptable narrative engaging the reader in the central character’s recollection and past experiences unfolded along the entire narrative. Accordingly, this paper argues that the fragmented nature of the embedded texts in the narrative does not distort its narrative structure; instead, it improves the readerly involvement by expanding the temporal, perspectival and the spatial features of the storyworld, which add to the narrative qualities of the text.


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