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The Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory


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Narrative theory is essential to everything from history to lyric poetry, from novels to the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Narrative theory explores how stories work and how we make them work. This Companion is both an introduction and a contribution to the field. It presents narrative theory as an approach to understanding all kinds of cultural production: from literary texts to historiography, from film and videogames to philosophical discourse. It takes the long historical view, outlines essential concepts, and reflects on the way narrative forms connect with and rework social forms. The volume analyzes central premises, identifies narrative theory's feminist foundations, and elaborates its significance to queer theory and issues of race. The specially commissioned essays are exciting to read, uniting accessibility and rigor, traditional concerns with a renovated sense of the field as a whole, and analytical clarity with stylistic dash. Topical and substantial, The Cambridge Companion to Narrative Theory is an engaging resource on a key contemporary concept.
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Table of Contents

Part I. Foundations: 1. Narrative theory's Longue duree Kent Puckett; 2. Questions of scale: narrative theory and literary history Yoon Sun Lee; 3. The body of plot: Viktor Shklovsky's theory of narrative Ilya Kalinin; 4. Adventures in structuralism: reading with Barthes and Genette Hannah Freed-Thall; 5. The feminist foundations of narrative theory Judith Roof; 6. Philosophies of history Matthew Garrett; Part II. Motifs: 7. Character John Frow; 8. Time David Wittenberg; 9. Pleasure David Kurnick; Part III. Coordinates: 10. Breaks, borders, utopia: race and critical narrative poetics Amy C. Tang; 11. Queer narrative theory Valerie Rohy; 12. Screenarration: the plane and place of the image Garrett Stewart; 13. Narrative theory and the lyric Jonathan Culler; 14. Contemporary formalisms Mark Currie; 15. Digital games and narrative Patrick Jagoda; 16. Narrative theory and novel theory Margaret Cohen.

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