While Plato recommended expelling poets from the ideal society, W. H. Auden famously declared that poetry makes nothing happen. The 19 contributions to the present book avoid such polarized views and, responding in different ways to the “ethical turn” in narrative theory, explore the varied ways in which narratives encourage readers to ponder matters of right and wrong. All work from the premise that the analysis of narrative ethics needs to be linked to a sensitivity to esthetic (narrative) form. The ethical issues are accordingly located on different levels. Some are clearly presented as thematic concerns within the text(s) considered, while others emerge through (or are generated by) the presentation of character and event by means of particular narrative techniques. The objects of analysis include such well-known or canonical texts as Biblical Old Testament stories, Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn, J. R. R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings, Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones, Ann Radcliffe’s The Italian and Matthew Lewis’s The Monk. Others concentrate on less-well-known texts written in languages other than English. There are also contributions that investigate theoretical issues in relation to a range of different examples.
Narrative, Interrupted. The Plotless, the Disturbing and the Trivial in Literature. Eds. Lehtimäki, Markku, Karttunen, Laura, Mäkelä, Maria. Walter de Gruyter, 2012.
Recent postclassical narratology has constructed top-down reading models that often remain blind to the frame-breaking potential of individual literary narratives. Narrative, Interrupted goes beyond the macro framing typical of postclassical narratology and sets out to sketch approaches more sensitive to generic specificities, disturbing details and authorial interference. Unlike the mainstream cognitive approaches or even the emergent unnatural narratology, the articles collected here explore the artifice involved in presenting something ordinary and realistic in literature. The first section of the book deals with anti-dynamic elements such as dialogue, details, private events and literary boredom. The second section, devoted to extensions of cognitive narratology, addresses spatiotemporal oddities and the possibility of non-human narratives. The third section focuses on frame-breaking, fragmentarity and problems of authorship in the works of Vladimir Nabokov. The book presents readings of texts ranging from the novels of Don DeLillo and Thomas Pynchon to the Animal Man comics. The common denominator for the texts discussed is the interruption of the chain of events or of the experiential flow of human-like narrative agents.
Each Other's Yarns. Essays on Narrative and Critical Method for Jeremy Hawthorn. Eds. Goring, Paul, Mitchell, Domhnall and Lothe, Jakob. Novus Forlag, 2012.
This collection of essays is a tribute to the literary critic and theorist Jeremy Hawthorn who, during a career of over forty years as an educator and writer, has made numerous major scholarly contributions which have advanced ways of thinking within literary studies.
It contains eighteen essays all addressing topics explored within Hawthorn’s work: pre-modern narrative and critical approaches, literature and politics, Modernist narratives and Joseph Conrad.
Together the essays reflect the diverse and international contours of Hawthorn's contribution, honouring his achivements whilst also demonstrating how insights from his work continue to inspire and fuels explorations of texts and issues beyond those which he himself has addressed.
After Testimony: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Narrative for the Future (THEORY INTERPRETATION NARRATIV). Eds. Phelan, James, Lothe, Jakob and Suleiman, Rubin Susan. Columbus, OH, Ohio State University Press, 2012.
After Testimony: The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Narrative for the Future collects sixteen essays written with the awareness that we are on the verge of a historical shift in our relation to the Third Reich’s programmatic genocide. Soon there will be no living survivors of the Holocaust, and therefore people not directly connected to the event must assume the full responsibility for representing it. The contributors believe that this shift has broad consequences for narratives of the Holocaust. By virtue of being “after” the accounts of survivors, storytellers must find their own ways of coming to terms with the historical reality that those testimonies have tried to communicate. The ethical and aesthetic dimensions of these stories will be especially crucial to their effectiveness. Guided by these principles and employing the tools of contemporary narrative theory, the contributors analyze a wide range of Holocaust narratives—fictional and nonfictional, literary and filmic—for the dual purpose of offering fresh insights and identifying issues and strategies likely to be significant in the future. In addition to the editors, the contributors are Daphna Erdinast-Vulcan, Sidra DeKoven Ezrahi, Anniken Greve, Jeremy Hawthorn, Marianne Hirsch, Irene Kacandes, Phillipe Mesnard, J. Hillis Miller, Michael Rothberg, Beatrice Sandberg, Anette H. Storeide, Anne Thelle, and Janet Walker.
Disputable Core Concepts of Narrative Theory. Eds. Rossholm, Göran and Christer Johansson. Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2012
The present volume is a contribution to the theory of narrative by scholars from various disciplines, mainly scholars from Comparative Literature but also contributors from Philosophy, Psychology and the languages. The essays focus on central terms and concepts in narrative theory over the last forty years. Established narratological concepts, such as narrative, narrator, story, fiction, character, narrative (un)reliability and point of view, but also relational concepts motivated by the expansion of narratology, such as narrative and non-verbal media, narrative and personal identity and narrative and literary genre, are themes dealt with.
In addition to presenting a critical examination of the core concepts of narrative theory, the volume is a demonstration of the vigour of contemporary Nordic narrative theory. The authors work at universities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and they all belong to the Nordic Network of Narrative Studies.
Grishakova, Marina, "The Models of Space, Time and Vision in V. Nabokov's Fiction: Narrative Strategies and Cultural Frames", Tartu Semiotics Library 5, Tartu University Press, 2012
Marina Grishakova's book points to the relationship between Vladimir Nabokov's narrative techniques and some of the scientific, metaphysical, and ethical ideas on the inner agenda of the twentieth century. It connects Nabokov's handling of time, space, and perspective in his fiction with the philosophical models constructed by his contemporaries, also showing in what ways he may have been ahead of his time.
Franz Kafka: Narration, Rhetoric, and Reading. Ed. by Jakob Lothe, Beatrice Sandberg, and Ronald Speirs. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press, 2011
Franz Kafka: Narration, Rhetoric, and Reading presents essays by noted Kafka critics and by leading narratologists who explore Kafka’s original and innovative uses of narrative throughout his career. Collectively, these essays by Stanley Corngold, Anniken Greve, Gerhard Kurz, Jakob Lothe, J. Hillis Miller, Gerhard Neumann, James Phelan, Beatrice Sandberg, Ronald Speirs, and Benno Wagner examine a number of provocative questions arising from Kafka’s narratives and method of narration. The arguments of the essays relate both to the peculiarities of Kafka’s story-telling and to general issues in narrative theory. They reflect, for example, the complexity of the issues surrounding the “somebody” doing the telling, the attitude of the narrator to what is told, the perceived purpose(s) of the telling, the implied or actual reader, the progression of events, and the progression of the telling. As the essays also demonstrate, Kafka’s narratives still present a considerable challenge to, as well as a great resource for, narrative theory and analysis.
Strange Voices in Narrative Fiction, Ed. by P-K. Hansen, S. Iversen, H-S. Nielsen, R. Reitan. Berlin-New York: de Gruyter, 2011
How does narratology relate to narrative strangeness? This question is urgent for narratologists who share a marked skepticism towards the idea of using 'natural' narratives as some kind of genetic model for understanding and interpreting all kinds of narratives, and for whom the distinction of fiction is important. This anthology presents a collection of articles that deal with different aspects of narrative voice in fiction ? with strange narratives, narratives of the strange, or, more generally, with the strangeness of fiction, and even with some strange aspects of narratology.
Intermediality and Storytelling. Ed. by M. Grishakova, M.-L. Ryan. Berlin-New York: De Gruyter, 2010
The essays gathered in this volume apply the newly gained awareness of the expressive power of media to particular texts, demonstrating the productivity of a medium-aware analysis. Through the examination of a wide variety of different media, ranging from widely studied, such as literature and film, to new, neglected, or non-standard ones, such as graphic novels, photography, television, musicals, computer games and advertising, they address some of the most fundamental questions raised by the medial turn in narratology: how can narrative meaning be created in media other than language; how do different types of signs collaborate with each other in so-called ”multi-modal works“, and what new forms of narrativity are made possible by the emergence of digital media.
Untamable Texts Literary Studies and Narrative Theory in the Books of Samuel, by Greger Andersson The Library of Hebrew Bible/Old Testament Studies, T&T Clark International, 2010
The prime and “unique” contribution of this study is the meta-theoretical approach according to which a popular method of analysis and interpretation regarding the books of Samuel is discussed an evaluated critically. The main goal of this study is to attempt a better understanding of the biblical texts and their influence and meaning. Questions considered include “Do the texts of the Bible have forms that do not comply with the frames interpreters assume? What aims and agendas do literary or narrative methods serve in the hands of biblical interpreters?
Beyond Narrative Coherence (Studies in Narrative) Ed. by Matti Hyvarinen, Lars-Christer Hyden, Marja Saarenheim, Maria Tamboukou John Benjamins Pub Co, 2010
"Beyond Narrative Coherence" reconsiders the way we understand and work with narratives; addressing the limits and aspects of narrative (dis)cohering by offering a rich theoretical and historical background to the debate. Limits of narrative coherence are discussed from the perspective of three fields of life that often threaten the coherence of narrative: illness, arts, and traumatic political experience.
Krogh Hansen, Per (ed.) "Borderliners" vol.3 in the series "Writings from the Center of Narratological Studies", University of Southern Denmark, 2009
The third volume in the series Writings from the Center of Narratological Studies is concerned with the boundaries of narrative and narratology: can one distinguish the non-narrative from the narrative? And what to do with ‘borderline cases’ - texts which only scarcely can be considered narrative? These questions serve as guidelines for the studies collected in this volume.
Joseph Conrad. Voice, Sequence, History, Genre Edited by Jakob Lothe, Jeremy Hawthorn and James Phelan Published by Ohio State University Press, 2008
This book brings together essays by established critics of Conrad and by leading narratologists that explore Conrad’s innovative uses of narrative throughout his career.
Skalin, Lars-Åke, (ed.) "Narrativity, Fictionality, and Literariness. The Narrative Turn and the Study of Literary Fiction", Örebro Studies in Literary History and Criticism, 2008
The department of Comparative Literature at Örebro University arranged a seminar on November 9–10, 2007 to discuss matters related to the development within narrative theory. Much of the discussion came to be about the relations between key concepts in literary and narrative theory like the nature of narrativity, fictionality, and literariness. The major part of speeches given at the event were reworked into essays presented in this volume The department of Comparative Literature at Örebro University arranged a seminar on November 9–10, 2007 to discuss matters related to the development within narrative theory. Much of the discussion came to be about the relations between key concepts in literary and narrative theory like the nature of narrativity, fictionality, and literariness. The major part of speeches given at the event were reworked into essays presented in this volume.
The volume is a collection of articles by scholars from Estonia and Finland, updating the theory of intertextuality by means of semiotic methods. The authors discuss the relationships between "strong" and "weak" intertextuality, the place of intertextuality in postmodernist and feminist theory, the role of intertextuality as genre-generating and transforming device in film, fiction and historiography. Case studies include analysis of film, photography and the use of computer technologies to create the models of intertextuality.