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

By James Phelan, Peter J. Rabinowitz

The 35 unique essays in A better half to Narrative concept represent the simplest on hand advent to this important and contested box of humanistic enquiry. The essays symbolize the entire significant severe ways to narrative – narratological, rhetorical, feminist, post-structuralist, historicist – and examine and debate the family between them. moreover, they stretch the bounds of the sphere through contemplating narratives in several disciplines, comparable to legislation and medication, 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 sector; examinations of recurrent difficulties; feedback for theoretical revisions and recommendations; explorations of the family members between shape, historical past, politics, and ethics; analyses of how narrative operates in several disciplines and in media past the written notice; and speculations in regards to the way forward for narrative and of narrative concept. even as, it bargains provocative analyses of a variety of works, either canonical and well known, from the Bible via novels via Dickens, Woolf, and Arundhati Roy directly to Bernard Herrmann’s movie song and the motion work of Jackson Pollock. between its participants are a number of the best 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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We begin with two essays discussing the power of unacknowledged narrative mechanisms in contemporary culture. First, in ‘‘Narrative in and of the Law,’’ Peter Brooks reflects on the ‘‘role of storytelling’’ in the legal realm. Stories are absolutely central to legal practice, but, according to Brooks, the law rarely admits their centrality openly. ’’ Brooks ends his essay by calling for a ‘‘legal narratology,’’ especially one that deals with the reception and construction of stories by the listeners: judges and juries.

Working in tandem with his New Critical contemporaries, who characterized verbal artifacts as organic wholes such that removing or altering one part would destroy the entire work (Brooks [1947] 1992), Lubbock espoused the doctrine of organic unity in fiction; he thus privileged James’s own wellwrought fictions over the more sprawling creations produced by writers such as Tolstoy. However, Lubbock made the issue of ‘‘point of view’’ the cornerstone of his account – to an extent not necessarily warranted by James’s own approach (Miller 1972: 1, Booth 1961: 24–5).

Contribute to – or swallow up? Even among narrative theorists, there are doubts about the impact of this expansionist (one might even say imperialist) potential, as revealed by the questions raised in several of these essays. The section moves, generally, from verbal to nonverbal fields. We begin with two essays discussing the power of unacknowledged narrative mechanisms in contemporary culture. First, in ‘‘Narrative in and of the Law,’’ Peter Brooks reflects on the ‘‘role of storytelling’’ in the legal realm.

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