Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction

Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction

Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction

Telling Stories: A Theoretical Analysis of Narrative Fiction

Synopsis

Telling Storiesoverturns traditional definitions of narrative by arguing that any story, whether a Bette Davis film, a jeans ad, a Jane Austen novel of a 'Cathy' comic, must be related to larger cultural networks. The authors show how meanings and subjectivity do not exist in isolation, but are manufactured by the narratives our culture reads and watches every day. They call for a critical practice that, through the fracturing of texts, can alter the grounds of knowledge and interpretation. This timely study will interest critics of narrative and culture, as well as students wanting to extend post-Saussurean theories to poopular and canonical cultures, and to the dynamics of story-telling itself.

Excerpt

It is easy to see that we are living in a time of rapid and radical social change. It is much less easy to grasp the fact that such change will inevitably affect the nature of those disciplines that both reflect our society and help to shape it.

Yet this is nowhere more apparent than in the central field of what may, in general terms, be called literary studies. Here, among large numbers of students at all levels of education, the erosion of the assumptions and presuppositions that support the literary disciplines in their conventional form has proved fundamental. Modes and categories inherited from the past no longer seem to fit the reality experienced by a new generation.

New Accents is intended as a positive response to the initiative offered by such a situation. Each volume in the series will seek to encourage rather than resist the process of change; to stretch rather than reinforce the boundaries that currently define literature and its academic study.

Some important areas of interest immediately present themselves. In various parts of the world, new methods of analysis have been developed whose conclusions reveal the limitations of the Anglo-American outlook we inherit. New concepts of literary forms and modes have been proposed; new notions of the nature of literature itself and of how it communicates are current; new views of literature's role in relation to society

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