By Patrick Colm Hogan
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Additional info for Affective Narratology. The Emotional Structure of Stories
There is at least one other compressed, emotionally crucial moment as well—Stiva’s “silly smile” (3). Here, too, there must have been many occurrences surrounding the smile. But Stiva seems almost fixated on this one act, which he deeply regrets. In short, the temporal landscape here is uneven, and the unevenness is emotional. Some of the occurrences that constitute this sequence—itself forming a sort of whole or episode—are highly salient and consequential; others are downplayed. It is worth considering just what gives these particular moments their importance or, more precisely, what leads to this particular encoding of this sequence.
Indeed, Abhijñānaśākuntalam is in many ways a response to Vālmīki’s Rāmāyan․a, a text of central importance in the formation of Hindu gender ideology. In this context, the gender ideology of Abhijñānaśākuntalam may be recognized as at least complex and ambivalent, including elements that are quite strongly antipatriarchal. Having not previously isolated minor genres, in chapter 4 I include a broader range of reference than earlier chapters. The purpose of this is to suggest some of the historical and geographical scope of the genres.
She asks him, “What is this? ” (3). He responds with his smile. Her reaction follows. It is difficult to say how long this sequence took. There is a “torrent” of words that may have lasted ten seconds or ten minutes. Either way, the entire matter is reduced to the key emotional moments isolated above. ” Incidents, as I am using the term, are the focal points of emotional response, the minimal units of emotional temporality. Moreover, they seem to operate through something akin to lateral inhibition.