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Intersubjectivity in “Where I’m Calling From”—— Possible Worlds Approach

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DOI: 10.25236/iseah.2018.037


Jinmei Cao

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Jinmei Cao


Carver study is comprehensive and diversified. But criticisms on his later work “Where I’m Calling From” are not abundant. Most critics center their studies on the alcoholism topic of the story. As for the meaning-making and development of plot, no one pays much attention to. Intersubjectivity theory concerns the relationship between self, others, society, nature, world and man and is usually used to conceptualize the psychological relation between people. Possible worlds theory allows us to examine the episode’s interplay and the construction of fictional worlds. Based on the semiotic recognition, these two theories are brought together. Employing the principles of intersubjectivity theory and the analytical mode of possible worlds theory, taking “Where I’m calling From” as an analytical datum, this paper attempts to explore 1) the possible worlds in which the characters inhabit and behave; 2) the intersujective relations between characters and their ways relating to the world; 3) the development of the plot in the conflicts between alternate possible worlds; 4) the meaning conveyed in the development and their role on the theme revelation. By analyzing the possible worlds in the story and the intersubjectivity information contained, how Carver creates a meaningful fictional world in the apparent emptiness is detected and the profound meaning is interpreted in a brand new way.


Carver, Intersubjectivity, Possible Worlds