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Handbook of Narrative Analysis by Bart Vervaeck, Luc Herman

Handbook of Narrative Analysis


Part of the Frontiers of Narrative Series


Handbook of Narrative Analysis by Bart Vervaeck, Luc Herman

The study of narrative has been a continuous concern from antiquity to the present day because stories are everywhere-from fiction across media to nation building and personal identity. Handbook of Narrative Analysis sorts out both traditional and recent narrative theories, providing the necessary skills to interpret any story that comes along. In addition to discussing classical theorists such as Gerard Genette, Mieke Bal, and Seymour Chatman, Handbook of Narrative Analysis presents precursors (such as E. M. Forster), related theorists (Franz Stanzel, Dorrit Cohn), and a large variety of postclassical critics. Among the latter, particular attention is paid to the ethics of reading, gender theory, and possible worlds. Not content to consider theory as an end in itself, Luc Herman and Bart Vervaeck use two stories by contemporary authors as a touchstone to illustrate each narrative approach, thereby illuminating the practical implications of theoretical preferences and ideological leanings. Marginal glosses guide the reader through discussions of theoretical issues, and an extensive bibliography points readers to the most current publications in the field. Written in an accessible style, this handbook combines a comprehensive treatment of its subject with a user-friendly format appropriate for specialists and nonspecialists alike


The authors manage to give a comprehensive and coherent account of narratology; their text is engaging and readable and explicitly oriented towards the reader's experience. -Sabine Gross, Surveying Narratology -- Sabine Gross * Surveying Narratology * This volume provides a detailed overview of the main currents in narratology, from the theoretical discussion of literary form by E. M. Forster to the work of well-known contemporary literary critics such as Gerard Genette and Mieke Bal. The authors also examine what they define as `post-classical narratology', which broadly encompasses post-structuralist readings of narrative, that are less reliant on abstract theoretical models, and bring ideology, the reader, gender issues, and wider culture into consideration. The authors are careful not to champion any theory in particular, nor do they seek to find a coherent and all-encompassing model for studying narratives, although one does detect a certain nostalgia for classical narratology with its more rigid methodologies and structural models. -Caragh Wells, Modern Language Review * Modern Language Review *

About the Author

Luc Herman is a professor of American literature and literary theory at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. He is a Pynchon specialist and the author of Concepts of Realism. Bart Vervaeck is a professor of Dutch literature and literary theory at the Free University Brussels. He is the author of a study on postmodern Dutch literature.

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Book Info

Publication date

1st May 2005


Bart Vervaeck, Luc Herman

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University of Nebraska Press


232 pages


Literary theory
Semantics, discourse analysis, etc



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