A Companion to Narrative Theory by James Phelan, Peter J. Rabinowitz

By James Phelan, Peter J. Rabinowitz

The 35 unique essays in A significant other to Narrative conception represent the easiest to be had advent to this very important and contested box of humanistic enquiry. The essays symbolize all of the significant serious techniques to narrative – narratological, rhetorical, feminist, post-structuralist, historicist – and examine and debate the family members between them. additionally, they stretch the bounds of the sector via contemplating narratives in several disciplines, similar to legislation and drugs, and in a number of media, together with movie, track, and portray.

The quantity is split into six elements: competing bills of the background of the sphere; examinations of recurrent difficulties; feedback for theoretical revisions and techniques; explorations of the kinfolk between shape, background, politics, and ethics; analyses of ways narrative operates in numerous disciplines and in media past the written be aware; and speculations concerning the way forward for narrative and of narrative idea. whilst, it deals provocative analyses of a variety of works, either canonical and well known, from the Bible via novels by means of Dickens, Woolf, and Arundhati Roy directly to Bernard Herrmann’s movie song and the motion work of Jackson Pollock. between its individuals are a few of the major figures within the box, together with such early pioneers as Wayne C. sales space, Seymour Chatman, J. Hillis Miller, and Gerald Prince.

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Accordingly, Barthes unintentionally reveals the limits of structuralist narratology when he remarks that ‘‘a narrative is a long sentence, just as every constative sentence is in a way the rough outline of a short narrative,’’ suggesting that one finds in narrative, ‘‘expanded and transformed proportionately, the principal verbal categories: tenses, aspects, moods, persons’’ (Barthes 1977: 84). Other early narratologists shared with Barthes the assumption that all the categories pertaining to sentence-level grammar could be unproblematically scaled up to the discourse level, without compromising the descriptive or explanatory power of the grammatical machinery involved.

Is Hammerman’s narrative inevitably an appropriation of Nieraad’s experience? Is it a just indictment of the medical system? Is Rimmon-Kenan’s own analysis yet another appropriation? By taking on these questions with intelligence and rigor and refusing to Introduction 13 answer definitively the question of her title, she offers a compelling example of the intellectual whirlpools that can result from a serious ethical engagement with narrative. As we’ve said, narrative theory has an expansionist quality; and in Part IV, ‘‘Beyond Literary Narrative,’’ we gather up seven essays that exemplify its ability to contribute to fields well beyond the traditionally literary.

They focused on two aspects of compositional patterning in particular: patterns of action and acting personae. Thus, in his 1910 study of the English novel, Dibelius anticipated Propp’s morphological study of Russian folktales by defining the notion of ‘‘role’’ as a ‘‘character in a certain function of the whole’’ (quoted by Dolezˇel 1990: 133–4). Like Dibelius, Propp subordinated character to plot, focusing not on particularized actors but on recurrent, plot-based ‘‘functions’’ instantiated by various individuals across specific tales (see below).

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