A Companion to Narrative Theory

A Companion to Narrative Theory

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The 35 original essays in A Companion to Narrative Theory constitute the best available introduction to this vital and contested field of humanistic enquiry. * Comprises 35 original essays written by leading figures in the field * Includes contributions from pioneers in the field such as Wayne C. Booth, Seymour Chatman, J. Hillis Miller and Gerald Prince * Represents all the major critical approaches to narrative and investigates and debates the relations between them * Considers narratives in different disciplines, such as law and medicine * Features analyses of a variety of media, including film, music, and painting * Designed to be of interest to specialists, yet accessible to readers with little prior knowledge of the field
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Product details

  • Hardback | 592 pages
  • 187 x 261 x 38mm | 1,326g
  • Wiley-Blackwell (an imprint of John Wiley & Sons Ltd)
  • Chicester, United Kingdom
  • English
  • 1405114762
  • 9781405114769
  • 2,064,375

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The 35 original essays in A Companion to Narrative Theory constitute the best available introduction to this vital and contested field of humanistic enquiry. The essays represent all the major critical approaches to narrative - narratological, rhetorical, feminist, post-structuralist, historicist - and investigate and debate the relations among them. In addition, they stretch the boundaries of the field by considering narratives in different disciplines, such as law and medicine, and in a variety of media, including film, music, and painting.


The volume is divided into six parts: competing accounts of the history of the field; examinations of recurrent problems; suggestions for theoretical revisions and innovations; explorations of the relations among form, history, politics, and ethics; analyses of the way narrative operates in different disciplines and in media beyond the written word; and speculations about the future of narrative and of narrative theory. At the same time, it offers provocative analyses of a wide range of works, both canonical and popular, from the Bible through novels by Dickens, Woolf, and Arundhati Roy on to Bernard Herrmann's film music and the action paintings of Jackson Pollock. Among its contributors are many of the leading figures in the field, including such early pioneers as Wayne C. Booth, Seymour Chatman, J. Hillis Miller, and Gerald Prince.
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Table of contents

Notes on Contributors. Acknowledgments. Introduction: James Phelan (Ohio State University) and Peter J. Rabinowitz (Hamilton College). PROLOGUE:. 1. Histories of Narrative Theory (I):A Genealogy of Early Developments: David Herman (Ohio State University). 2. Histories of Narrative Theory (II): From Structuralism to the Present: Monika Fludernik (University of Freiburg). 3. Ghosts and Monsters: On the (Im)Possibility of Narrating the History of Narrative Theory: Brian McHale (Ohio State University). PART I: NEW LIGHT ON STUBBORN PROBLEMS:. 4. Resurrection of the Implied Author: Why Bother? Wayne C. Booth (University of Chicago). 5. Reconceptualizing Unreliable Narration: Synthesizing Cognitive and Rhetorical Approaches: Ansgar F. Nunning (Justus-Liebig-University of Giessen). 6. Authorial Rhetoric, Narratorial (Un)Reliability, Divergent Readings: Tolstoy's Kreutzer Sonata: Tamar Yacobi (Tel-Aviv University). 7. Henry James and "Focalization," or Why James Loves Gyp: J. Hillis Miller (University of California at Irvine). 8. What Narratology and Stylistics Can Do for Each Other: Dan Shen (Peking [Beijing] University). 9. The Pragmatics of Narrative Fiction: Richard Walsh (University of York). PART II: REVISIONS AND INNOVATIONS:. 10. Beyond the Poetics of Plot: Alternative Forms of Narrative Progression and the Multiple Trajectories of Ulysses: Brian Richardson (University of Maryland). 11. They Shoot Tigers, Don't They?: Path and Counterpoint in The Long Goodbye: Peter J. Rabinowitz (Hamilton College). 12. Spatial Poetics and Arundhati Roy's The God of Small Things: Susan Stanford Friedman (University of Wisconsin-Madison). 13. The "I" of the Beholder: Equivocal Attachments and the Limits of Structuralist Narratology: Susan S. Lanser (Brandeis University). 14. Neonarrative; or, How to Render the Unnarratable in Realist Fiction and Contemporary Film: Robyn R. Warhol (University of Vermont). 15. Self-Consciousness as a Narrative Feature and Force: Tellers vs. Informants in Generic Design: Meir Sternberg (Tel-Aviv University). 16. Effects of Sequence, Embedding, and Ekphrasis in Poe's "The Oval Portrait": Emma Kafalenos (Washington University in St. Louis). 17. Mrs. Dalloway's Progeny: The Hours as Second-Degree Narrative: Seymour Chatman (University of California, Berkeley). PART III: NARRATIVE FORM AND ITS RELATIONSHIP TO HISTORY, POLITICS, AND ETHICS:. 18. Genre, Repetition, Temporal Order:Some Aspects of Biblical Narratology: David H. Richter (City University of New York). 19. Why Won't Our Terms Stay Put?: The Narrative Communication Diagram Scrutinized and Historicized: Harry E. Shaw (Cornell University). 20. Gender and History in Narrative Theory: The Problem of Retrospective Distance in David Copperfield and Bleak House: Alison Case (Williams College). 21. Narrative Judgments and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative: Ian McEwan's Atonement: James Phelan (Ohio State University). 22. The Changing Faces of Mount Rushmore: Collective Portraiture and Participatory National Heritage: Alison Booth (University of Virginia). 23. The Trouble with Autobiography: Cautionary Notes for Narrative Theorists: Sidonie Smith (University of Michigan) and Julia Watson (Ohio State University). 24. On a Postcolonial Narratology: Gerald Prince (University of Pennsylvania). 25. Modernist Soundscapes and the Intelligent Ear: An Approach to Narrative Through Auditory Perception: Melba Cuddy-Keane (University of Toronto). 26. In Two Voices, or: Whose Life/Death/Story Is It, Anyway? Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan (Hebrew University of Jerusalem). PART IV: BEYOND LITERARY NARRATIVE:. 27. Narrative in and of the Law: Peter Brooks (University of Virginia). 28. Second Nature, Cinematic Narrative, the Historical Subject, and Russian Ark: Alan Nadel (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute). 29. Narrativizing the End: Death and Opera: Linda Hutcheon (University of Toronto) and Michael Hutcheon (University of Toronto). 30. Music and/as Cine-Narrative or: Ceci n'est pas un leitmotif:Royal S. Brown (City University of New York). 31. Classical Instrumental Music and Narrative: Fred E. Maus (University of Virginia). 32. "I'm Spartacus!": Catherine Gunther Kodat (Hamilton College). 33. Shards of a History of Performance Art: Pollock and Namuth Through a Glass, Darkly: Peggy Phelan (Stanford University). EPILOGUE. 34. Narrative and Digitality: Learning to Think With the Medium: Marie-Laure Ryan (author). 35. The Future of All Narrative Futures: H. Porter Abbott (University of California, Santa Barbara). Glossary. Index
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Review quote

"Written by major narrative theorists, these essays are original to this volume and are impressively accessible. The editors include ample notes, suggestions for further reading, and a brief glossary. Highly recommended." Choice
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About James Phelan

James Phelan is Humanities Distinguished Professor of English at Ohio State University. He is the editor of the journal Narrative and the author of several books in narrative theory, the most recent of which are Living to Tell About It: A Rhetoric and Ethics of Character Narration (2005) and Experiencing Fiction: Judgments, Progressions, and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative (2007). Peter J. Rabinowitz is Professor and Chair of Comparative Literature at Hamilton College. His previous publications include Before Reading (1987) and Authorizing Readers (coauthored with Michael Smith, 1998). He is also a music critic and serves as a contributing editor of Fanfare. Phelan and Rabinowitz are coeditors of the Ohio State University Press series on the Theory and Interpretation of Narrative, which now has more than twenty-five titles to its credit.
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