Jernej Habjan

Published On


Page Range

pp. 702–721


  • English

Print Length

20 pages

15. Free Indirect Jane Eyre

Brontë’s Peculiar Use of Free Indirect Speech, and German and Slovenian Attempts to Resolve It

A mix of direct speech’s tone and indirect speech’s tenses and pronouns, free indirect speech has inspired seminal theories of the novel and can also help us read individual novels as they appear in different languages. In the case of Jane Eyre, such a synoptic reading draws our attention to the co-existence of free indirect speech as we know it today and free indirect speech in quotation marks. Tracing the gradual disappearance of such quotation marks in German and Slovenian translations of Jane Eyre, their irreducibility to free indirect speech in today’s sense becomes apparent.


Jernej Habjan


Jernej Habjan is a fellow at the Research Centre of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Recently, he was a Fung Global Fellow at the Princeton Institute for International and Regional Studies, Princeton University. He held a postdoctoral appointment in the research group ‘Globalization and Literature’, University of Munich, and is a former member of the ICLA Research Committee on Literary Theory. Jernej is the author of Ordinary Literature Philosophy: Lacanian Literary Performatives between Austin and Rancière (2020). His essays in literary theory have appeared in Interventions, the Journal of Global History, Neohelicon, and South Atlantic Quarterly.