A Companion to Narrative Theory / Edition 1

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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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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."
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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.

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Table of Contents

Notes on Contributors x

Acknowledgments xvii

Introduction: Tradition and Innovation in Contemporary Narrative Theory 1
James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz


1 Histories of Narrative Theory (I): A Genealogy of Early Developments 19
David Herman

2 Histories of Narrative Theory (II): From Structuralism to the Present 36
Monika Fludernik

3 Ghosts and Monsters: On the (Im)Possibility of Narrating the History of Narrative Theory 60
Brian McHale

PART I New Light on Stubborn Problems 73

4 Resurrection of the Implied Author: Why Bother? 75
Wayne C. Booth

5 Reconceptualizing Unreliable Narration: Synthesizing Cognitive and Rhetorical Approaches 89
Ansgar F. Nünning

6 Authorial Rhetoric, Narratorial (Un)Reliability, Divergent Readings: Tolstoy’s Kreutzer Sonata 108
Tamar Yacobi

7 Henry James and ‘‘Focalization,’’ or Why James Loves Gyp 124
J. Hillis Miller

8 What Narratology and Stylistics Can Do for Each Other 136
Dan Shen

9 The Pragmatics of Narrative Fictionality 150
Richard Walsh

PART II Revisions and Innovations 165

10 Beyond the Poetics of Plot: Alternative Forms of Narrative Progression and the Multiple Trajectories of Ulysses 167
Brian Richardson

11 They Shoot Tigers, Don’t They?: Path and Counterpoint in The Long Goodbye 181
Peter J. Rabinowitz

12 Spatial Poetics and Arundhati Roy’s The God of Small Things 192
Susan Stanford Friedman

13 The ‘‘I’’ of the Beholder: Equivocal Attachments and the Limits of Structuralist Narratology 206
Susan S. Lanser

14 Neonarrative; or, How to Render the Unnarratable in Realist Fiction and Contemporary Film 220
Robyn R. Warhol

15 Self-consciousness as a Narrative Feature and Force: Tellers vs. Informants in Generic Design 232
Meir Sternberg

16 Effects of Sequence, Embedding, and Ekphrasis in Poe’s ‘‘The Oval Portrait’’ 253
Emma Kafalenos

17 Mrs. Dalloway’s Progeny: The Hours as Second-degree Narrative 269
Seymour Chatman

PART III Narrative Form and its Relationship to History, Politics, and Ethics 283

18 Genre, Repetition, Temporal Order: Some Aspects of Biblical Narratology 285
David H. Richter

19 Why Won’t Our Terms Stay Put? The Narrative Communication Diagram Scrutinized and Historicized 299
Harry E. Shaw

20 Gender and History in Narrative Theory: The Problem of Retrospective Distance in David Copperfield and Bleak House 312
Alison Case

21 Narrative Judgments and the Rhetorical Theory of Narrative: Ian McEwan’s Atonement 322
James Phelan

22 The Changing Faces of Mount Rushmore: Collective Portraiture and Participatory National Heritage 337
Alison Booth

23 The Trouble with Autobiography: Cautionary Notes for Narrative Theorists 356
Sidonie Smith and Julia Watson

24 On a Postcolonial Narratology 372
Gerald Prince

25 Modernist Soundscapes and the Intelligent Ear: An Approach to Narrative Through Auditory Perception 382
Melba Cuddy-Keane

26 In Two Voices, or: Whose Life/Death/Story Is It, Anyway? 399
Shlomith Rimmon-Kenan

PART IV Beyond Literary Narrative 413

27 Narrative in and of the Law 415
Peter Brooks

28 Second Nature, Cinematic Narrative, the Historical Subject, and Russian Ark 427
Alan Nadel

29 Narrativizing the End: Death and Opera 441
Linda Hutcheon and Michael Hutcheon

30 Music and/as Cine-Narrative or: Ceci n’est pas un leitmotif 451
Royal S. Brown

31 Classical Instrumental Music and Narrative 466
Fred Everett Maus

32 ‘‘I’m Spartacus!’’ 484
Catherine Gunther Kodat

33 Shards of a History of Performance Art: Pollock and Namuth Through a Glass, Darkly 499
Peggy Phelan


34 Narrative and Digitality: Learning to Think With the Medium 515
Marie-Laure Ryan

35 The Future of All Narrative Futures 529
H. Porter Abbott

Glossary 542

Index 552

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