A Companion to Narrative Theory / Edition 1

Hardcover (Print)
Buy New
Buy New from BN.com
Used and New from Other Sellers
Used and New from Other Sellers
from $55.73
Usually ships in 1-2 business days
(Save 74%)
Other sellers (Hardcover)
  • All (14) from $55.73   
  • New (4) from $186.95   
  • Used (10) from $55.73   


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.
Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"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."
Read More Show Less

Product Details

Meet the Author

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.

Read More Show Less

Table of Contents

Introduction : tradition and innovation in contemporary narrative theory 1
1 Histories of narrative theory (I) : a genealogy of early developments 19
2 Histories of narrative theory (II) : from structuralism to the present 36
3 Ghosts and monsters : on the (im)possibility of narrating the history of narrative theory 60
4 Resurrection of the implied author : why bother? 75
5 Reconceptualizing unreliable narration : synthesizing cognitive and rhetorical approaches 89
6 Authorial rhetoric, narratorial (un)reliability, divergent readings : Tolstoy's Kreutzer sonata 108
7 Henry James and "focalization," or why James loves gyp 124
8 What narratology and stylistics can do for each other 136
9 The pragmatics of narrative fictionality 150
10 Beyond the poetics of plot : alternative forms of narrative progression and the multiple trajectories of Ulysses 167
11 They shoot tigers, don't they? : path and counterpoint in the long goodbye 181
12 Spatial poetics and Arundhati Roy's The God of small things 192
13 The "I" of the beholder : equivocal attachments and the limits of structuralist narratology 206
14 Neonarrative; or, how to render the unnarratable in realist fiction and contemporary film 220
15 Self-consciousness as a narrative feature and force : tellers vs. informants in generic design 232
16 Effects of sequence, embedding, and ekphrasis in Poe's "The oval portrait" 253
17 Mrs. Dalloway's progeny : The hours as second-degree narrative 269
18 Genre, repetition, temporal order : some aspects of biblical narratology 285
19 Why won't our terms stay put? : the narrative communication diagram scrutinized and historicized 299
20 Gender and history in narrative theory : the problem of retrospective distance in David Copperfield and Bleak house 312
21 Narrative judgments and the rhetorical theory of narrative : Ian McEwan's Atonement 322
22 The changing faces of Mount Rushmore : collective portraiture and participatory national heritage 337
23 The trouble with autobiography : cautionary notes for narrative theorists 356
24 On a postcolonial narratology 372
25 Modernist soundscapes and the intelligent ear : an approach to narrative through auditory perception 382
26 In two voices, or : whose life/death/story is it, anyway? 399
27 Narrative in and of the law 415
28 Second nature, cinematic narrative, the historical subject, and Russian Ark 427
29 Narrativizing the end : death and opera 441
30 Music and/as cine-narrative or : Ceci n'est pas un leitmotif 451
31 Classical instrumental music and narrative 466
32 "I'm Spartacus!" 484
33 Shards of a history of performance art : Pollock and Namuth through a glass, darkly 499
34 Narrative and digitality : learning to think with the medium 515
35 The future of all narrative futures 529
Read More Show Less

Customer Reviews

Be the first to write a review
( 0 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star


4 Star


3 Star


2 Star


1 Star


Your Rating:

Your Name: Create a Pen Name or

Barnes & Noble.com Review Rules

Our reader reviews allow you to share your comments on titles you liked, or didn't, with others. By submitting an online review, you are representing to Barnes & Noble.com that all information contained in your review is original and accurate in all respects, and that the submission of such content by you and the posting of such content by Barnes & Noble.com does not and will not violate the rights of any third party. Please follow the rules below to help ensure that your review can be posted.

Reviews by Our Customers Under the Age of 13

We highly value and respect everyone's opinion concerning the titles we offer. However, we cannot allow persons under the age of 13 to have accounts at BN.com or to post customer reviews. Please see our Terms of Use for more details.

What to exclude from your review:

Please do not write about reviews, commentary, or information posted on the product page. If you see any errors in the information on the product page, please send us an email.

Reviews should not contain any of the following:

  • - HTML tags, profanity, obscenities, vulgarities, or comments that defame anyone
  • - Time-sensitive information such as tour dates, signings, lectures, etc.
  • - Single-word reviews. Other people will read your review to discover why you liked or didn't like the title. Be descriptive.
  • - Comments focusing on the author or that may ruin the ending for others
  • - Phone numbers, addresses, URLs
  • - Pricing and availability information or alternative ordering information
  • - Advertisements or commercial solicitation


  • - By submitting a review, you grant to Barnes & Noble.com and its sublicensees the royalty-free, perpetual, irrevocable right and license to use the review in accordance with the Barnes & Noble.com Terms of Use.
  • - Barnes & Noble.com reserves the right not to post any review -- particularly those that do not follow the terms and conditions of these Rules. Barnes & Noble.com also reserves the right to remove any review at any time without notice.
  • - See Terms of Use for other conditions and disclaimers.
Search for Products You'd Like to Recommend

Recommend other products that relate to your review. Just search for them below and share!

Create a Pen Name

Your Pen Name is your unique identity on BN.com. It will appear on the reviews you write and other website activities. Your Pen Name cannot be edited, changed or deleted once submitted.

Your Pen Name can be any combination of alphanumeric characters (plus - and _), and must be at least two characters long.

Continue Anonymously

    If you find inappropriate content, please report it to Barnes & Noble
    Why is this product inappropriate?
    Comments (optional)