By James Phelan, Peter J. Rabinowitz
The 35 unique essays in A better half to Narrative idea represent the easiest on hand advent to this important and contested box of humanistic enquiry. The essays characterize the entire significant serious methods to narrative – narratological, rhetorical, feminist, post-structuralist, historicist – and examine and debate the kin between them. furthermore, they stretch the limits of the sphere through contemplating narratives in numerous disciplines, equivalent to legislations and medication, and in quite a few media, together with movie, track, and portray.
The quantity is split into six elements: competing debts of the background of the sphere; examinations of recurrent difficulties; feedback for theoretical revisions and thoughts; explorations of the relatives between shape, historical past, politics, and ethics; analyses of ways narrative operates in several disciplines and in media past the written notice; and speculations concerning the way forward for narrative and of narrative conception. whilst, it deals provocative analyses of quite a lot of works, either canonical and well known, from the Bible via novels by way of Dickens, Woolf, and Arundhati Roy directly to Bernard Herrmann’s movie tune and the motion work of Jackson Pollock. between its members are the various major 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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Extra resources for A Companion to Narrative Theory
Generative-grammatical) models for analyzing language structure. On the other hand, powerful tools were being developed in the wake of Ludwig Wittgenstein, J. L. Austin, H. P. Grice, John Searle, and other post-Saussurean language theorists interested in how contexts of language use bear on the production and interpretation of socially situated utterances. These theorists began to question what they viewed as counterproductive modes of abstraction and idealization in both structuralist linguistics and the Chomskyan paradigm that displaced it.
Questioning such standard oppositions as incident vs. description and description vs. dialogue, James remarks: ‘‘A novel is a living thing, all one and continuous, like any other organism, and in proportion as it lives will it be found, I think, that in each of the parts there is something of each of the other parts’’ (Miller 1972: 36). It is in this same context that James poses his famous two-part rhetorical question, suggesting that characters and events cannot be understood in isolation from the plot by which they are linked together and from which they acquire their significance in the first place: ‘‘What is character but the determination of incident?
By taking on these questions with intelligence and rigor and refusing to Introduction 13 answer definitively the question of her title, she offers a compelling example of the intellectual whirlpools that can result from a serious ethical engagement with narrative. As we’ve said, narrative theory has an expansionist quality; and in Part IV, ‘‘Beyond Literary Narrative,’’ we gather up seven essays that exemplify its ability to contribute to fields well beyond the traditionally literary. Contribute to – or swallow up?