Verb Tenses in a Short Story by Arturo Graf

Journal of Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Split, No. 1, 2008

Original scientific paper

Nikica Mihaljević   ORCID icon ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 
Marijana Tomelić Ćurlin ; University of Split, Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences 

pages 195-207

01_14_Mihaljevic_Tomelic_Curlin PDF


In this paper the short story Il Tesoro by the Italian author Arturo Graf is analysed in terms of the category of tense. The starting point of the research is Harald Weinrich’s method, which differentiates types of tense of those which relate to the comentative world from those that relate to the narrative world. On the basis of the relation between different tenses, the conclusions about the type of literary text are reached. Furthermore, its stylistic characteristics are described. Prompted by the author’s choice of verbal tense the reader can discover the stylistic particularities of the text, which is located mostly in the past. In the analysis of fantastic literature special attention is dedicated to exploring the role of reminiscence and oblivion in the literary text, where oblivion often entangles with the past, while hope entangles with the future. Consequently, the reader is not surprised that the relation between the past and the future, their oppositeness, and interdependence are of essential importance in the analysis of the short story. Weinrich’s method, applied to Graf’s short story, will show that the use of tense reveals character’s surrendering to the self-will of the past.


future; verb tense; short story; narrative world; past; comentative world; present; reminiscence; Italian literature; oblivion