Fictional Dialogue and the Construction of Interaction in Rosa Liksom’s Short Stories


  • Aino Koivisto University of Helsinki
  • Elise Nykänen University of Helsinki



Narratology, Pragmatics, Stylistics


This article analyzes the dynamics of fictional dialogue in three short stories by the Finnish author Rosa Liksom. These stories are constructed almost entirely of dialogue, with minimal involvement on the part of the narrator. We adopt two different approaches to dialogue. First, we analyze dialogue from a micro level, as interaction between the characters within the storyworlds, then from a more holistic perspective, paying attention to how dialogue contributes to the rhetorical structure and ethical interpretation of the stories. We show that resorting mainly to dialogue as a narrative mode works as a way of depicting tensions between Liksom’s characters, and between them and the surrounding fictional world. This, in turn, engages the reader in an interpretative process to understand the story’s logic both within the fictional worlds and on the level of communication between the implied author and the authorial audience.