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Narrative Theory
A Critical Introduction


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  • Date Published: December 2016
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107684744

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About the Authors
  • Kent Puckett's Narrative Theory: A Critical Introduction provides an account of a methodology increasingly central to literary studies, film studies, history, psychology and beyond. In addition to introducing readers to some of the field's major figures and their ideas, Puckett situates critical and philosophical approaches towards narrative within a longer intellectual history. The book reveals one of narrative theory's founding claims - that narratives need to be understood in terms of a formal relation between story and discourse, between what they narrate and how they narrate it - both as a necessary methodological distinction and as a problem characteristic of modern thought. Puckett thus shows that narrative theory is not only a powerful descriptive system but also a complex and sometimes ironic form of critique. Narrative Theory offers readers an introduction to the field's key figures, methods and ideas, and it also reveals that field as unexpectedly central to the history of ideas.

    • Proposes a new and expanded intellectual history for narrative theory
    • Offers readers an introduction to the field's key figures, methods and ideas increasingly central to literary studies, film studies, history, psychology and beyond
    • Addresses particular political and social contexts out of which narrative theories emerged
    Read more


    • Winner, 2018 Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Prize, The International Society for the Study of Narrative

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    Product details

    • Date Published: December 2016
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107684744
    • dimensions: 229 x 152 x 18 mm
    • weight: 0.5kg
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction: story/discourse
    2. Action, event, conflict: the uses of narrative in Aristotle and Hegel
    2.1. Beginning, middle, and end: Aristotle and narrative
    2.2. Tragedy, comedy, and the cunning of reason: Hegel and narrative theory
    3. Lost illusions: narrative in Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud
    3.1. First as tragedy: Karl Marx, narrative, and revolution
    3.2. Beyond story and discourse: Friedrich Nietzsche and the limits of narrative
    3.3. Narrative and its discontents: Sigmund Freud's story
    4. Epic, novel, narrative theory
    4.1. Relations stop nowhere: Henry James and the novel's narrative
    4.2. Starry maps: Georg Lukács and the comparative analysis of narrative genres
    4.3. To kill is not to refute: Mikhail Bakhtin on genre, narrative, and history
    4.4. History's scar: Erich Auerbach and narrative thinking
    5. Form, structure, narrative
    5.1. The hero leaves home: Vladimir Propp and narrative morphology
    5.2. Knight's move: Viktor Shklovsky and Russian Formalism
    5.3. Differences without positive terms: Ferdinand de Saussure and the Structuralist turn
    5.4. The elementary structures of story and discourse: Claude Lévi-Strauss and the narrative analysis of myth
    6. Narratology and narrative theory: Kristeva, Barthes, and Genette
    6.1. It is what it isn't: Julia Kristeva and Tel Quel
    6.2. Parisian gold: Roland Barthes and narrative pleasure
    6.3. The knowable is at the heart of the mysterious: Genette's narrative poetics.

  • Author

    Kent Puckett, University of California, Berkeley
    Kent Puckett is an Associate Professor of English at the University of California, Berkeley. He is author of Bad Form: Social Mistakes and the Nineteenth-Century Novel (2008) and War Pictures: Cinema, History, and Violence in Britain, 1939–1945 (forthcoming).


    • Winner, 2018 Barbara Perkins and George Perkins Prize, The International Society for the Study of Narrative

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