Tales of the City: A Study of Narrative and Urban Life

Tales of the City: A Study of Narrative and Urban Life

by Ruth Finnegan

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Overview

Tales of the City: A Study of Narrative and Urban Life by Ruth Finnegan

How do we picture urban life and formulate our experience of it? Tales of the City brings together the academics' abstract tales with the vivid stories about a particular city, Milton Keynes, and the often moving self narrations of its residents. It explores the role of story-telling processes for the creative constructing of experience, with particular attention to personal narrations. The story that is now emerging, told by many individual actor narrators, is of the city as a natural setting for human life, in stark contrast to the pessimistic anti-urban tales of many academic narrators. Drawing on narrative studies, cultural and linguistic anthropology and social theory, Professor Finnegan skillfully examines the narrative conventions and cultural implications of our multiple tales of the city, and relates them to profound mythic themes about urban life, community, and to the creative role of the active, reflecting individual.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780521623346
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Publication date: 10/08/1998
Pages: 226
Product dimensions: 5.98(w) x 8.98(h) x 0.55(d)

Table of Contents

Part I. Opening: 1. Story: 'the orders by which we live our lives'; Part II Stories of Cities and of a City: 2. Abstract tales: the narrative in urban theory; 3. Storying the concrete city: cows, gardens and other urban tales; Part III. Storied Lives and Urban Experience: 4. Stories and lives: the lates of individual urban dwellers; 5. 'That's my story': narrative conventions in personal tales; 6. Personal narratives and urban images; Part IV. Ending: 7. Whose stories of the city?

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