chapter
1 Pages

ofhis ofknowledge

ofinformation about ofthe Himself"

Theorists focusing upon modern literature have been concerned with questions of how the reader "sees" what the narrator describes. A literary convention that acknowledges the voice of the narrator as separate from the story being narrated is referred to as framing. Genette attempted to fine-tune the concept ofpoint ofview or narratorial voice by distinguishing "focalization," or the consciousness that absorbs a narrative (the reader), from "voice," the discourse that tells the narrative (the narrator)? As Bal points out in her counterargument to Genette, to identify narrative point of view one must make a distinction between the vision through which the elements are presented and the identity of the voice that is narrating that vision. To put it succinctly, one must distinguish between "the one vvho sees and the one who speaks" (Bal, 1985:101). Bal awards different status to the one who sees and the one who narrates (Bal, 1985:110-114). When the reader's squint reveals something other than what the biblical narrator expresses, the reader can conclude only that the narrator is not omniscient. The story that he tells can thus be read as a version or modified retelling of an autonomous story, rather than the story. Literary readings of this two-tiered model point directly to a narratorial perspective that is limited, not omniscient. As Bal has demonstrated, the technique of focalization can re-view female biblical characters, while at the same time making the reader conscious of the narrator's role in shaping a version of the autonomous story (Bal, 1988 a & b). As I shall argue below, the narratorial focalization of Bathsheba has been central to traditional interpretations of the encounter between David and her.