The Ohio State University Press

Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

Edited by James Phelan, Peter J. Rabinowitz, and Robyn Warhol

Published by: The Ohio State University Press

Go

Browse Books in Series:

Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

1 2 3 4 NEXT next

Results 1-10 of 34

:
:
Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

An Aethetics of Narrative Performance

Transnational Theater, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany

The contemporary moment has been described in terms of both a “narrative” and a “performative turn,” but the overlap between these two has largely escaped attention. This curious gap is explained by the ways in which scholars across the humanities have defined narrative and performance as opposite forces, emphasizing their respective affiliations with time vs. space and identity constitution vs. its undoing. Although the opposition has been acknowledged as false by many in this simple form, its shifting instantiations continue to shape the ways we make sense of the arts as well as society. Instead, An Aesthetics of Narrative Performance: Transnational Theater, Literature, and Film in Contemporary Germany by Claudia Breger maps the complexities of imaginative worldmaking in contemporary culture through an aesthetics of narrative performance: an ensemble of techniques exploring the interplay of rupture and recontextualization in the process of configuration. Interlacing diverging definitions of both narrative and performance, the study outlines two clusters of such techniques—scenic narration and narrative “presencing” in performance vs. forms of narrative theatricalization—and analyzes the cultural work they do in individual works in three different media: literature, film, and theater. These readings focus on the rich configurations of contemporary worldmaking “at location Germany.” In the discussed representations of German unification, contemporary cultures of migration, and the transnational War on Terror, the aesthetics of narrative performance finds its identity as a multifaceted imaginative response to the post/modern crisis of narrative authority.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

After Testimony

The Ethics and Aesthetics of Holocaust Narrative for the Future

Edited by Jakob Lothe, Susan Rubin Suleiman, and James Phelan

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.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Bloodscripts

Writing the Violent Subject

We live in an increasingly violent world. From suicide terrorists to serial killers, violent subjects challenge our imaginations. We seek answers to our questions on this subject in literature, cinema, and electronic media. In Bloodscripts, Elana Gomel examines how popular culture narratives construct violent subjectivity. Using such various narratives as mystery, horror, detective, and fantasy fiction as well as accounts of the atrocities perpetuated by serial killers and the Holocaust, Bloodscripts offers a new map of the genres of violence and links the twin obsessions of postmodern culture: crime and genocide. Bloodscripts is a stimulating, original, and accessible account of the narrative construction of the violent subject. It proposes a narrative model that will be of interest to literary critics, cultural scholars, criminologists, and anyone trying to understand the role of violence in postmodern culture.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Darkly Perfect World

Colonial Adventure, Postmodernism, and American Noir

Stanley Orr’s Darkly Perfect World offers a large-scale historical narrative about the way American crime fiction and film have changed throughout the twentieth century. Orr argues that films noirs and noir fictions dramatize Raymond Chandler’s pronouncement that “Even in death, a man has a right to his own identity.” Orr illuminates a noir ethos committed to “authenticating alienation”: subjectivity managed through radical polarization of Self and Other. Distinguishing a heretofore unrecognized context for American noir, Orr demonstrates that Chandler and Dashiell Hammett arrive at this subject within and against the colonial adventure genre. While the renegades of Joseph Conrad and Louis Becke project a figure vulnerable to shifts in cultural context, the noir protagonist exemplifies alienated selfhood and often performs a “continental operation” against the slippages of the colonial adventurer. But even as Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, and other noir virtuosi persist with this revision of late Victorian adventure, Chester Himes, Dorothy Hughes, and John Okada experiment with hard-boiled alienation for a subversion of noir that resonates throughout literary postmodernism. In their respective avant-garde novels, Thomas Pynchon, Ishmael Reed, and Paul Auster expose what K.W. Jeter terms the “darkly perfect world” of noir, thus giving rise to and enabling the con men and “connected guys” of contemporary films noirs such as Bryan Singer’s The Usual Suspects, David Fincher’s Seven, Christopher Nolan’s Memento, and Quentin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Ethics and the Dynamic Observer Narrator

Reckoning with Past and Present in German Literature

Written by

In Ethics and the Dynamic Observer Narrator: Reckoning with Past and Present in German Literature, Katra A. Byram proposes a new category—the dynamic observer form—to describe a narrative situation that emerges when stories about others become an avenue to negotiate a narrator’s own identity across past and present. Focusing on German-language fiction from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, Byram demonstrates how the dynamic observer form highlights historical tensions and explores the nexus of history, identity, narrative, and ethics in the modern moment. Ethics and the Dynamic Observer Narrator contributes to scholarship on both narrative theory and the historical and cultural context of German and Austrian literary studies. Narrative theory, according to Byram, should understand this form to register complex interactions between history and narrative form. Byram also juxtaposes new readings of works by Textor, Storm, and Raabe from the nineteenth century with analyses of twentieth-century works by Grass, Handke, and Sebald, ultimately reframing our understanding of literary Vergangenheitsbewältigung, or the struggle to come to terms with the past. Overall, Byram shows that neither the problem of reckoning with the past nor the dynamic observer form is unique to Germany’s post-WWII era. Both are products of the dynamics of modern identity, surfacing whenever critical change separates what was from what is.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Fact, Fiction, and Form

Selected Essays

Ralph W. Rader, along with Sheldon Sacks and Wayne Booth, was one of the three leading figures of the second generation of neo-Aristotelian critics. During his long career in the English Department at the University of California, Berkeley, Rader published scores of essays. Fact, Fiction, and Form: Selected Essays, edited by James Phelan and David H. Richter, collects the most important of these essays, all of them written between the late 1960s and the late 1990s. These critical inquiries, which engage with a remarkable range of literary texts—Moll Flanders, Pamela, Tristram Shandy, “Tintern Abbey,” “My Last Duchess,” Barchester Towers, Lord Jim, Ulysses, and more—are a rich resource for anyone interested in criticism’s ongoing conversations about the following major issues: the concept of form, the genres of the lyric and the novel, the literary dimensions of literary history, the distinction between fiction and nonfiction, the evaluation of literary quality, and the testing of theories and of interpretations. Moreover, the essays collectively develop a distinctive, coherent, and compelling vision of literary form, purpose, and value. Rader’s vision is distinctive and coherent because it is based not on an underlying theory of language, power, history, or culture but rather on the idea that form is the means by which humans respond to fundamental aspects and conditions of their existence in the world. His vision is compelling because it includes a rigorous set of standards for adequate interpretation against which he invites his audience to measure his own readings.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Feminist Narrative Ethics

Tacit Persuasion in Modernist Form

Feminist Narrative Ethics: Tacit Persuasion in Modernist Form establishes a new theory of narrative ethics by analyzing how rhetorical techniques can prompt readers of novels to reconsider their ethical convictions about women’s rights. Katherine Saunders Nash proposes four new theoretical paradigms: the ethics of persuasion (Virginia Woolf), of fair play (Dorothy L. Sayers), of distance (E. M. Forster), and of attention (John Cowper Powys). While offering close readings of novels by each author, this book also provides a new, interdisciplinary basis for coordinating feminist and rhetorical theories, history, and narrative technique. Despite pronouncements by many theorists about the difficulty—even the impossibility—of doing justice in a single study to both history and form, Feminist Narrative Ethics proves that they can be mutually illuminating. Its approach is not only resolutely rhetorical, but resolutely historical as well. It strikes a felicitous balance between history and form that affords new understanding of the implied author concept. Feminist Narrative Ethics makes a persuasive case for the necessity of locating authorial agency in the implied (rather than the actual) author and cogently explains why rhetorical theory insists on the concept of an implied (rather than an inferred) author. And it proposes a new facet of agency that rhetorical theorists have heretofore neglected: the ethics of progressive revisions to a project in manuscript.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Financial Speculation in Victorian Fiction

Plotting Money and the Novel Genre, 1815-1901

In Financial Speculation in Victorian Fiction: Plotting Money and the Novel Genre, 1815–1901, Tamara S. Wagner explores the ways in which financial speculation was imagined and turned into narratives in Victorian Britain. Since there clearly was much more to literature’s use of the stock market than a mere reflection of contemporary economic crises alone, a much-needed reappraisal of the Victorians’ fascination with extended fiscal plots and metaphors also asks for a close reading of the ways in which this fascination remodeled the novel genre. It was not merely that interchanges between literary productions and the credit economy’s new instruments became self-consciously worked into fiction. Financial uncertainties functioned as an expression of indeterminacy and inscrutability, of an encompassing sense of instability. Bringing together canonical and still rarely discussed texts, this study analyzes the making and adaptation of specific motifs, of variously adapted tropes, extended metaphors, and recurring figures, including their transformation of a series of crises into narratives. Since these crises were often personal and emotional as well as financial, the new plots of speculation described maps of some of the major themes of nineteenth-century literature. These maps led across overlapping categories of literary culture, generating zones of intersection between otherwise markedly different subgenres that ranged from silver-fork fiction to the surprisingly protean versions of the sensation novel’s domestic Gothic. Financial plots fascinatingly operated as the intersecting points in these overlapping developments, compelling a reconsideration of literary form.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

Franz Kafka

Narration, Rhetoric, and Reading

Edited by Jakob Lothe, Beatrice Sandberg, and Ronald Speirs

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 that arise in narration and narratives in Kafka’s fiction. 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.

Access Restricted no This search result is for a Book

I Know That You Know That I Know

Narrating Subjects from Moll Flanders to Marnie

In I Know That You Know That I Know, Butte explores how stories narrate human consciousness. Butte locates a historical shift in the representation of webs of consciousnesses in narrative—what he calls “deep intersubjectivity”—and examines the effect this shift has since had on Western literature and culture. The author studies narrative practices in two ways: one pairing eighteenth-and nineteenth-century British novels (Moll Flanders and Great Expectations, for example), and the other studying genre practices—comedy, anti-comedy and masquerade—in written and film narratives (Jane Austen and His Girl Friday, for example, and Hitchcock’s Cary Grant films). Butte’s second major claim argues for new ways to read representations of human consciousness, whether or not they take the form of deep intersubjectivity. Phenomenological criticism has lost its credibility in recent years, but this book identifies better reading strategies arising out of what the author calls poststructuralist phenomenology, grounded largely in the work of the French philosopher Merleau-Ponty. Butte criticizes the extreme of transcendental idealism (first-wave phenomenological criticism) and cultural materialism (when it rules out the study of consciousness). He also criticizes the dominant Lacanian framework of much academic film criticism.

1 2 3 4 NEXT next

Results 1-10 of 34

:
:

Return to Browse All Series on Project MUSE

Series

Theory and Interpretation of Narrative

Content Type

  • (34)

Access

  • You have access to this content
  • Free sample
  • Open Access
  • Restricted Access