Mieke Bal on Character, Dialectic, and Open-Minded Analysis

Mieke Bal summarizing the exposition of the nature of character as viewed by narratology:

Repetition, accumulation, relations to other characters, and transformations are four different principles that work together to construct the image of a character. Their effect can only be described, however, when the outline of the character has been roughly filled in. This is a constant element in narratological analysis: a dialectic back-and-forth between speculation and verification through open-minded analysis.

from Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative, 4th edition, page 114.

The passage and its keyword “dialectic” popped out at me when I recalled José Angel García Landa’s remarks about the relation between noesis and poesis.