Narrative: 2nd Edition (Hardback) book cover


2nd Edition

By Paul Cobley


304 pages

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Paperback: 9780415834445
pub: 2013-11-20
Hardback: 9780415834438
pub: 2013-11-26
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203494929
pub: 2013-12-04
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Human beings have constantly told stories, presented events and placed the world into narrative form. This activity suggests a very basic way of looking at the world, yet, this book argues, even the most seemingly simple of stories is embedded in a complex network of relations. Paul Cobley traces these relations, considering the ways in which humans have employed narrative over the centuries to ‘re-present’ time, space and identity.

This second, revised and fully updated edition of the successful guidebook to narrative covers a range of narrative forms and their historical development from early oral and literate forms through to contemporary digital media, encompassing Hellenic and Hebraic foundations, the rise of the novel, realist representations, narratives of imperialism, modernism, cinema, postmodernism and new technologies. A final chapter reviews the way that narrative theory in the last decade has re-orientated definitions of narrative.

Written in a clear, engaging style and featuring an extensive glossary of terms, this is the essential introduction to the history and theory of narrative.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1. In the beginning: the end Chapter 2. Early narrative Chapter 3. The rise and rise of the novel Chapter 4. Realist representation Chapter 5. Beyond realism Chapter 6. Modernism and the cinema Chapter 7. Postmodernism Chapter 8. In the end: the beginning Chapter 9. What is narrative?

About the Author

Paul Cobley is Professor in Language and Media at Middlesex University. He is the author of a number of books including The American Thriller (2000) as well as editor of a number of volumes including The Routledge Companion to Semiotics (2010).

About the Series

The New Critical Idiom

The New Critical Idiom is an invaluable series of introductory guides designed to meet the needs of today's students grappling with the complexities of modern critical terminology. Each book in the series provides:

  • A clear, explanatory guide to the use (and abuse) of the term
  • An original and distinctive overview by a leading literary and cultural critic
  • Helpful definitions of the boundaries between the literary and non-literary
  • Basic guidance for the introductory reader in how the term relates to the larger field of cultural representation

With a strong emphasis on clarity, lively debate and the widest possible breadth of examples, The New Critical Idiom is an indispensable guide to key topics in literary studies.

Learn more…

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