Basic Elements of Narrative / Edition 1

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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 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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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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 con­cerned 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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781405141543
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 2/4/2009
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

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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Table of Contents

The Elements

1 Getting Started: A Thumbnail Sketch of the Approach 1

2 Framing the Approach: Some Background and Context 23

3 Back to the Elements: Narrative Occasions 37

4 Temporality, Particularity, and Narrative: An Excursion into the Theory of Text Types 75

5 The Third Element: Or, How to Build a Storyworld 105

6 The Nexus of Narrative and Mind 137

App Literary Narrative: Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927) 161

App Narrative Told during Face-to-Face Interaction Communication: UFO or the Devil 166

App Excerpted Panels from Ghost World (1997), a Graphic Novel by Daniel Clowes 179

App Screenshots from Terry Zwigoff's Film Version of Ghost World (2001) 178

Glossary 180

Notes 195

References 215

Index 235

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