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Narrative As Communication Cover

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Narrative As Communication

Didier Coste

Narrative as Communication is the first major treatise on narrative and narrative theory to make use of all the analytic tools developed in the twenty years. Intended as an up-to-date introduction, it carefully defines narrative discourse, distinguishing it from other discourses, and analyzes what it entails by referring to numerous examples spanning a wide range of media and literary works. At the same time, it orients narrative theory in the current debates surrounding the “New Historicism” and postmodern ideology, showing that theories of narrative are necessarily central to any understanding of history. Not restricted to any single genre, Coste’s text emphasizes the production of narrative meaning in diverse contexts: The Epic of Gilgamesh, a John Ford film classic, French American, and Spanish new fiction, Dante, Shakespeare, the pastoral, the fairy tale, The Communist Manifesto, Prescott’s History of the Conquest of Peru, a painting by Gustave Moreau. Coste thoroughly and critically examines the usual concepts of voice, character, point of view and narrative syntax, and he develops radical revisions in the notion of fictionality, character, narrative economy and the function of narrative meaning itself. The book is a remarkable synthesis that will likely become a reference for future studies in narratology.

Narrative Beginnings Cover

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Narrative Beginnings

Theories and Practices

Brian Richardson

George Eliot wrote that “man cannot do without the make-believe of a beginning.” Beginnings, it turns out, can be quite unusual, complex, and deceptive. The first major volume to focus on this critical but neglected topic, this collection brings together theoretical studies and critical analyses of beginnings in a wide range of narrative works spanning several centuries and genres. The international and interdisciplinary scope of these essays, representing every major theoretical perspective—including feminist, cognitive, postcolonial, postmodern, rhetorical, ethnic, narratological, and hypertext studies—extends from classic literary fiction to nonfictional discourse to popular culture.
The authors, respected scholars and emerging critics, ask what conventions structure our understanding of beginnings before we encounter them; how best to analyze and comprehend beginnings in historical, traditional, and postmodern works; and how endings are (often unexpectedly) related to beginnings. The contributors use historical, political, narratological, and psychological frameworks to pursue these and related questions in works by Laurence Sterne, James Joyce, Virginia Woolf, Samuel Beckett, Manuel Puig, Salman Rushdie, Julia Alvarez, and feminist hypertext fiction. Together their essays comprise the single most important volume for theorizing about and understanding narrative beginnings.

A Narrative Community Cover

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A Narrative Community

Voices of Israeli Backpackers

Chaim Noy

Backpacking, or Tarmila’ut, has been a time-honored rite of passage for young Israelis for decades. Shortly after completing their mandatory military service, young people set off on extensive backpacking trips to “exotic” and “authentic” destinations in so-called Third World regions in India, Nepal, and Thailand in Asia, and also Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Brazil, Chile, and Argentina in Central and South America. Chaim Noy collects the words and stories of Israeli backpackers to explore the lively interplay of quotations, constructed dialogues, and social voices in the backpackers’ stories and examine the crucial role they play in creating a vibrant, voiced community. A Narrative Community illustrates how, against the peaks of Mt. Everest, avalanches, and Incan cities, the travelers’ storytelling becomes an inherently social drama of shared knowledge, values, hierarchy, and aesthetics. Based on forty-five in-depth narrative interviews, the research in this book examines how identities and a sense of belonging emerge on different social levels—the individual, the group, and the collective—through voices that evoke both the familiar and the Other. In addition, A Narrative Community makes a significant contribution to modern tourism literature by exploring the sociolinguistic dimension related to tourists’ accounts and particularly the transformation of self that occurs with the experience of travel. In particular, it addresses the interpersonal persuasion that travelers use in their stories to convince others to join in the ritual of backpacking by stressing the personal development that they have gained through their journeys. This volume is groundbreaking in its dialogical conceptualization of the interview as a site of cultural manifestation, innovation, and power relations. The methods employed, which include qualitative sampling and interviewing, clearly demonstrate ways of negotiating, manifesting, and embodying speech performances. Because of its unique interdisciplinary nature, A Narrative Community will be of interest to sociolinguists, folklore scholars, performance studies scholars, tourism scholars, and those interested in social discourses in Israel.

Narrative Discourse Cover

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Narrative Discourse

Authors and Narrators in Literature, Film and Art

In Narrative Discourse: Authors and Narrators in Literature, Film, and Art, Patrick Colm Hogan reconsiders fundamental issues of authorship and narration in light of recent research in cognitive and affective science. He begins with a detailed overview of the components of narrative discourse, both introducing and reworking key principles. Based on recent studies treating the complexity of human cognition, Hogan presents a new account of implied authorship that solves some notorious problems with that concept. In subsequent chapters Hogan takes the view that implied authorship is both less unified and more unified than is widely recognized. In connection with this notion, he examines how we can make interpretive sense of the inconsistencies of implied authors within works and the continuities of implied authors across works. Turning to narrators, he considers some general principles of readers’ judgments about reliability, emphasizing the emotional element of trust. Following chapters take up the operation of complex forms of narration, including parallel narration, embedded narration, and collective voicing (“we” narration). In the afterword, Hogan sketches some subtleties at the other end of narrative communication, considering implied readers and narratees. In order to give greater scope to the analyses, Hogan develops case studies from painting and film as well as literature, treating art by Rabindranath Tagore; films by David Lynch, Bimal Roy, and Kabir Khan; and literary works by Mirabai, Harriet Beecher Stowe, Ernest Hemingway, William Faulkner, Margaret Atwood, Ngugi wa Thiong’o, and Joseph Diescho.

Narrative Experiments Cover

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Narrative Experiments

The Discursive Authority of Science and Technology

Gayle L. Ormiston and Raphael Sassower

Narrative Experiments was first published in 1989. Minnesota Archive Editions uses digital technology to make long-unavailable books once again accessible, and are published unaltered from the original University of Minnesota Press editions.

In Narrative Experiments, Gayle Ormiston and Ralph Sassower bring a refreshing perspective to the domains of inquiry we call "science" and "technology," asserting that traditional definitions (like classical idealism and materialism) fail to suggest the rich and complex cultural/linguistic interplay occurring between them. This context is not merely a background, nor is Ormiston and Sassower's just one more interdisciplinary approach to the subject. Instead, their book argues, science, technology, and the humanities developed in concert with one another, and their reciprocity obliterates all traditional disciplinary boundaries.

Ormiston and Sassower build their case by devoting a chapter to each of the four themes emerging from the etymological introduction. First, they look at the role fiction and other literary modes play in developing our attitudes toward science and technology -- how the visions of Bacon, Hobbes, Galileo, Rousseau, Mary Shelley, and Orwell evoke both anxiety and hope. Next, they examine a series of eighteenth-century "fictions" -- the Enlightenment texts of Kant, Rousseau, and Hume -- and the elevated (but ambiguous) status science and technology associated with them. The last two chapters evaluate modes of discursive authority and its dissemination -- classical and modern extralinguistic approaches; the contemporary-linguistic view espoused by Rorty, Quine, and others; and their own avowedly experimental journey through the labyrinths of cultural and linguistic usage.

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Narrative in the Feminine

Daphne Marlatt and Nicole Brossard

What does it mean to tell a story from a woman’s point of view? How have Canadian anglophone and francophone writers translated feminist literary theory into practice?

Avant-garde writers Daphne Marlatt and Nicole Brossard answer these, and many more questions, in their two groundbreaking works, now made more accessible through the careful, narratological readings and theoretical background in Narrative in the Feminine.

Susan Knutson begins her study with an analysis of the contributions made by Marlatt and Brossard to international feminist theory. Part Two presents a narratological reading of How Hug a Stone, arguing that at the deepest level of narrative, Marlatt constructs a gender-inclusive human subject which defaults not to the generic masculine but to the feminine. Part Three proposes a parallel reading of Picture Theory, Brossard’s playful novel that draws us into (re-) readings of many other texts written by Brossard, Barnes, Wittig, Joyce, de Beauvoir, Homer...to name a few. Chapter 12 closes with a reflection on the expression <’e>criture au f<’e>minin — a Qu<’e>b<’e>cois contribution to an international theoretical debate.

Readers who care about feminist writing and language theory, and students and teachers of Canadian literature and critical and queer studies, will find this book invaluable for its careful readings, its scholarly overview, and its extension of the feminist concept of the generic. Not least, the study is a guide to two important works of the leading experimental writers of Canada and Quebec, Daphne Marlatt and Nicole Brossard.

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Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics

Vol. 1 (2011) through current issue

Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics (NIB) provides a forum for exploring current issues in bioethics through the publication and analysis of personal stories, qualitative and mixed-methods research articles, and case studies. Articles may address the experiences of patients and research participants, as well as health care workers and researchers. NIB is dedicated to fostering a deeper understanding of bioethical issues by engaging rich descriptions of complex human experiences. While NIB upholds appropriate standards for narrative inquiry and qualitative research, it seeks to publish articles that will appeal to a broad readership of health care providers and researchers, bioethicists, sociologists, policy makers, and others.

Narrative Landmines Cover

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Narrative Landmines

Rumors, Islamist Extremism, and the Struggle for Strategic Influence

Daniel Leonard Bernardi, Pauline Hope Cheong, Chris Lundry, and Scott W. Ruston

Islamic extremism is the dominant security concern of many contemporary governments, spanning the industrialized West to the developing world. Narrative Landmines explores how rumors fit into and extend narrative systems and ideologies, particularly in the context of terrorism, counter-terrorism, and extremist insurgencies. Its concern is to foster a more sophisticated understanding of how oral and digital cultures work alongside economic, diplomatic, and cultural factors that influence the struggles between states and non-state actors in the proverbial battle of hearts and minds. Beyond face-to-face communication, the authors also address the role of new and social media in the creation and spread of rumors.


As narrative forms, rumors are suitable to a wide range of political expression, from citizens, insurgents, and governments alike, and in places as distinct as Singapore, Iraq, and Indonesia—the case studies presented for analysis. The authors make a compelling argument for understanding rumors in these contexts as “narrative IEDs,” low-cost, low-tech weapons that can successfully counter such elaborate and expansive government initiatives as outreach campaigns or strategic communication efforts. While not exactly the same as the advanced technological systems or Improvised Explosive Devices to which they are metaphorically related, narrative IEDs nevertheless operate as weapons that can aid the extremist cause.

Narrative Matters Cover

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Narrative Matters

The Power of the Personal Essay in Health Policy

edited by Fitzhugh Mullan, M.D., Ellen Ficklen, and Kyna Rubin foreword by Abraham Verghese, M.D.

This anthology brings together the personal stories of patients, physicians, policy makers, and others whose writings humanize discussions and deliberations about health policy. Drawn from the popular "Narrative Matters" column in the journal Health Affairs, the essays epitomize the policy narrative, a new genre of writing that explores health policy through the expression of personal experiences. Forty-six articles focus on such topics as the hard financial realities of medical insurance, AIDS, assisted suicide, marketing drugs, genetic engineering, organ transplants, and ethnic and racial disparities in the health care system. The narratives raise ethical and moral issues that are being studied in many of our nation's medical schools. This compelling collection provides important insight into the human dimensions of health care and health policy.

Narrative Means, Lyric Ends Cover

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Narrative Means, Lyric Ends

Temporality in the Nineteenth-Century British Long Poem

How did nineteenth-century poets negotiate the complex interplay between two seemingly antithetical modes—lyric and narrative? Narrative Means, Lyric Ends examines the solutions offered by four canonical long poems: William Wordsworth’s The Prelude, Lord Byron’s Don Juan, Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Aurora Leigh, and Robert Browning’s The Ring and the Book. Monique Morgan argues that each of these texts uses narrative techniques to create lyrical effects, effects that manipulate readers’ experience of time and shape their intellectual, emotional, and ethical responses. To highlight the productive tension between the modes, Morgan defines narrative as essentially temporal and sequential, and lyric as creating an illusion of simultaneity. The poems reinforce their larger narrative strategies, she suggests, with their figurative language. Through her readings of these texts, Morgan questions lyric’s brevity and a-sociability, interrogates retrospection’s importance for narrative, examines the gendered implications of several genres, and determines the dramatic monologue’s temporal structure. Narrative Means, Lyric Ends offers four case studies of the interactions between broad modes and among specific genres, changes our aesthetic and ideological assumptions about lyric and narrative, expands the domain of narratology, and advocates a renewed formalism.

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