Narratology beyond the Human

Narratology beyond the Human : Storytelling and Animal Life

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To what extent, and in what manner, do storytelling practices accomodate nonhuman subjects and their modalities of experience, and how can contemporary narrative study shed light on interspecies interactions and entanglements? In Narratology beyond the Human, David Herman addresses these questions through a cross-disciplinary approach to post-Darwinian narratives concerned with animals and human-animal relationships. Herman considers the enabling and
constraining effects of different narrative media, examining a range of fictional and nonfictional texts disseminated in print, comics and graphic novels, and film. In focusing on techniques such as the use of animal narrators, alternation between human and nonhuman perspectives, the embedding of stories within
stories, and others, the book explores how specific strategies for portraying nonhuman agents both emerge from and contributes to broader attitudes toward animal life. Herman argues that existing frameworks for narrative inquiry must be modified to take into account how stories are interwoven with cultural ontologies, or understandings of what sorts of beings populate the world and how they relate to humans.

Showing how questions of narrative bear on ideas of species difference and assumptions about animal minds, Narratology beyond the Human underscores our inextricable interconnectedness with other forms of creatural life and suggests that stories can be used to resituate imaginaries of human action in a more-than-human world.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 416 pages
  • 165 x 243 x 30mm | 732g
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 019085040X
  • 9780190850401
  • 2,391,307

Table of contents

List of Illustrations

Section I. Storytelling and Selfhood beyond the Human
Chapter 1: Self-Narratives and Nonhuman Selves
Chapter 2: Boundary Conditions: Identification and Transformation across Species Lines
Chapter 3: Entangled Selves, Transhuman Families

Section II. Narrative Engagements with More-than-Human Worlds
Chapter 4: Multispecies Storyworlds in Graphic Narratives
Chapter 5: Life Narratives beyond the Human
Chapter 6: Animal Minds across Discourse Domains
Chapter 7: Explanation and Understanding in Animal Narratives

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Review quote

In this excellent and original book, David Herman interweaves the study of narrative structures (narratology) with the cross-disciplinary field of animal studies in order to produce a powerful, complex new paradigm for understanding animal narrative. This paradigm empowers narratology and human-animal narrative, across a variety of genres, to join in expanding our view of narratively structured creatural worlds. * Marianne DeKoven, Rutgers University * Carefully building the argument through an astonishing array of fictional and nonfictional examples and high theory across a range of disciplines, Narratology beyond the Human is a must-read for seasoned scholars and newcomers to the field...Timely, insightful, meticulously researched, and inspiring * Susan Mchugh, University of New England, Modern Fiction Studies * It represents an important contribution to the theoretical foundations of animal studies and narratology ... Summing up: Highly recommended. * CHOICE *
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About David Herman

David Herman has taught at institutions that include North Carolina State University, Purdue University, Ohio State University, and, most recently, Durham University in the UK.
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