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Contents
PART 1
Preposterous beginnings
1 Revisiting narrativity-GERALD PRINCE
2 The constitution of the narrative text-J. M. LOTMAN
3 Literary narratives-THOMAS G. PAVEL
4 in the direction of . . . afterthoughts, virtually two decades later-SHLOMITH RIMMON-KENAN
PART 2
Plot
5 Extracts from Poetics 6-11-ARISTOTLE
6 creation to the structural research of narratives-ROLAND BARTHES
7 Narrative models, narrative theories-BARBARA HERRNSTEIN SMITH
8 tale and discourse within the research of narrative-JONATHAN CULLER
PART 3
Representing speech
9 Extracts from The Republic-PLATO
10 kinds of narration-WAYNE c. BOOTH
11 Narrative kind and the grammar of direct and oblique speech-ANN BANFIELD
12 loose oblique discourse: a survey of modern accounts-BRIAN McHALE
PART 4
Believe it or not
13 Mood-GERARD GENETTE
14 Narration and focalization-MIEKE BAL
15 The disnarrated-GERALD PRINCE
PART 5
World making
16 what's a description?-PHILIPPE HAMON
17 Over-writing as un-writing: descriptions, world-making and novelistic time-MIEKE BAL

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Extra resources for Narrative Theory

Sample text

The field is in a stage where unrelated theories project quite independent networks of notions. The best strategy of presentation in such cases is to expound the major theoretical proposals in the field, indicating the inter-theoretical connexions wherever appropriate. 2. 1. Propp's narrative functions Literary theory and criticism have been dominated for a long time by the romantic prejudice in favour of individual genius and particular works of art; it is therefore natural that abstract narratology made its first appearance in connection with the study of oral literature.

In fact, though there is a good deal of convergence among the various discussions of narrativity (several of them stress the importance of such features as specificity or virtuality, for instance), none of them links narrativity to particular topics or themes. Even such specifications as the importance of human projects or conflicts can be seen as deriving from more general or formal imperatives. ); their projects imply an orientation, an end, a closure; and conflicts involve relational changes between the different worlds making up a narrative universe.

Forster, »The king died and then the queen died« constitutes a narrative, according to Genette »The king died« is quite enough. As he says, it could even be a news story. Indeed, for Genette, texts like» The boy came« or like» The girlleft« would also constitute narratives. Granted, they might not be very interesting; but, as he points out and as many of us unfortunately know from experience, not every narrative is very interesting. « What the minimal definition does not capture is that certain texts that satisfy it are not always taken to be narratives.

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