Basic Elements of Narrative

Basic Elements of Narrative

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Basic Elements of Narrative outlines a way of thinking about what narrative is and how to identify its basic elements across various media, introducing key concepts developed by previous theorists and contributing original ideas to the growing body of scholarship on stories. Includes an overview of recent developments in narrative scholarship Provides an accessible introduction to key concepts in the field Views narrative as a cognitive structure, type of text, and resource for interpersonal communication Uses examples from literature, face to face interaction, graphic novels, and film to explore the core features of narrative Includes a glossary of key terms, full bibliography, and comprehensive index Appropriate for multiple audiences, including students, non-specialists, and experts in the field
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Product details

  • Paperback | 272 pages
  • 155 x 228 x 15mm | 410g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405141549
  • 9781405141543
  • 38,099

Back cover copy

Basic Elements of Narrative outlines a way of thinking about what narrative is and how to identify its basic elements across the many communicative media in which stories are told and interpreted, exchanged and transformed. Providing a synopsis of key concepts developed by previous theorists, the book contributes original ideas to the growing body of scholarship on stories. Viewing narrative in three ways - as a cognitive structure, a type of text, and a resource for communicative interaction - this book characterizes stories as a basic human strategy for coming to terms with time, process, and change. Citing examples from literature, face-to-face interaction, graphic novels, and film, David Herman reveals what different stories have in common, and explores what remains constant when the same story is told in different media. Including a glossary of key terms, a full bibliography, and a comprehensive index, Basic Elements of Narrative is designed to be accessible to students as well as educated non-specialists. The concise, up-to-date treatment of foundational concepts also makes this book an ideal reference for scholars in the field.
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Table of contents

List of Illustrations. The Elements. Preface . The Scope and Aims of This Book. Storytelling Media and Modes of Narration. Acknowledgments . 1. Getting Started: A Thumbnail Sketch of the Approach Developed in This Book. Toward a Working Definition of Narrative. Profiles of Narrative. Narrative: Basic Elements. 2. Background and Context: Framing the Approach. Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Narrative and Narrative Theory. Major Trends in Recent Scholarship on Narrative. 3. Back to the Elements: Narrative Occasions . Situating Stories. Sociolinguistic Approaches. Positioning Theory. The Narrative Communication Model. Conclusion. 4. Temporality, Particularity, and Narrative: An Excursion into the Theory of Text Types. From Contexts of Narration to Narrative as a Type of Text. Text Types and Categorization Processes. Narrative as a Text-Type Category: Descriptions vs. Stories vs. Explanations. Summing up: Text Types, Communicative Competence, and the Role of Stories in Science. 5. The Third Element: Or, How to Build a Storyworld . Narratives as Blueprints for Worldmaking. Narrative Ways of Worldmaking. Narrative Worlds: A Survey of Approaches. Configuring Narrative Worlds: The WHAT, WHERE, and WHEN Dimensions of Storyworlds. Worlds Disrupted: Narrativity and Noncanonical Events. 6. The Nexus of Narrative and Mind . The Consciousness Factor. Consciousness Across Narrative Genres. Experiencing Minds: What It's Like, Qualia, Raw Feels. Storied Minds: Narrative Foundations of Consciousness?. Appendix . Reproduction of Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927). Transcript of a Story Told during Face-to-Face Interaction: UFO or the Devil. Pages from Daniel's Clowes's Graphic Novel Ghost World (1997). Screenshots from Terry Zwigoff's Film Version of Ghost World (2001). Glossary . References. Index
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Review quote

"This book has some very valuable pieces of narrative wisdom that would be useful to scholars in narrative theory, literary analysis and sociolinguistics...It is, however, a complete and solid companion for those con-cerned with the important task of further developing the field of narrative inquiry." ( Discourse Studies, December 2010) "In Basic Elements of Narrative the eminent narratologist David Herman offers new ideas about what narrative is ...The interdisciplinary nature of this chicken-and-egg question-whether narratives represent what it's like to live in our world or we learn from narratives what it's like to live in our world-serves as an excellent indication of the breadth of the audience for which Herman's book will be thought-provoking." ( Papers on Language and Literature , 2010)
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About David Herman

David Herman teaches in the Department of English at Ohio State University, where he co-founded Project Narrative, a new interdisciplinary initiative designed to promote state-of-the-art research and teaching in the area of narrative studies. He is editor of the Frontiers of Narrative book series and also the new journal Storyworlds, both published by the University of Nebraska Press. Having published many research articles on aspects of narrative, he is the author, editor, or coeditor of eight books in the field, including Universal Grammar and Narrative Form (1995), Narratologies: New Perspectives on Narrative Theory (1999), Story Logic: Problems and Possibilities of Narrative (2002), Narrative Theory and the Cognitive Sciences (2003), The Routledge Encyclopedia of Narrative Theory (coedited with Manfred Jahn and Marie-Laure Ryan, 2005), and The Cambridge Companion to Narrative (2007).
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Rating details

31 ratings
3.7 out of 5 stars
5 23% (7)
4 29% (9)
3 45% (14)
2 3% (1)
1 0% (0)
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