Basic Elements of Narrative
January 2009, ©2009, Wiley-Blackwell
- Includes an overview of recent developments in narrative scholarship
- Provides an accessible introduction to key concepts in the field
- Views narrative as a cognitive structure, type of text, and resource for interpersonal communication
- Uses examples from literature, face to face interaction, graphic novels, and film to explore the core features of narrative
- Includes a glossary of key terms, full bibliography, and comprehensive index
- Appropriate for multiple audiences, including students, non-specialists, and experts in the field
The Scope and Aims of This Book.
Storytelling Media and Modes of Narration.
1. Getting Started: A Thumbnail Sketch of the Approach Developed in This Book.
Toward a Working Definition of Narrative.
Profiles of Narrative.
Narrative: Basic Elements.
2. Background and Context: Framing the Approach.
Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Narrative and Narrative Theory.
Major Trends in Recent Scholarship on Narrative.
3. Back to the Elements: Narrative Occasions.
The Narrative Communication Model.
4. Temporality, Particularity, and Narrative: An Excursion into the Theory of Text Types.
From Contexts of Narration to Narrative as a Type of Text.
Text Types and Categorization Processes.
Narrative as a Text-Type Category: Descriptions vs. Stories vs. Explanations.
Summing up: Text Types, Communicative Competence, and the Role of Stories in Science.
5. The Third Element: Or, How to Build a Storyworld.
Narratives as Blueprints for Worldmaking.
Narrative Ways of Worldmaking.
Narrative Worlds: A Survey of Approaches.
Configuring Narrative Worlds: The WHAT, WHERE, and WHEN Dimensions of Storyworlds.
Worlds Disrupted: Narrativity and Noncanonical Events.
6. The Nexus of Narrative and Mind.
The Consciousness Factor.
Consciousness Across Narrative Genres.
Experiencing Minds: What It's Like, Qualia, Raw Feels.
Storied Minds: Narrative Foundations of Consciousness?.
Reproduction of Ernest Hemingway's "Hills Like White Elephants" (1927).
Transcript of a Story Told during Face-to-Face Interaction: UFO or the Devil.
Pages from Daniel's Clowes's Graphic Novel Ghost World (1997).
Screenshots from Terry Zwigoff's Film Version of Ghost World (2001).
• Provides an accessible introduction to key concepts in the field
• Contributes new ideas and theories
• Views narrative as a cognitive structure, type of text, and resource for interpersonal communication
• Uses examples from literature, face to face interaction, graphic novels, and film to explore the core features of narrative
• Includes a glossary of key terms, full bibliography, and comprehensive index
• Appropriate for multiple audiences, including students, non-specialists, and experts in the field
"In Basic Elements of Narrative the eminent narratologist David Herman offers new ideas about what narrative is . . .The interdisciplinary nature of this chicken-and-egg question-whether narratives represent what it's like to live in our world or we learn from narratives what it's like to live in our world-serves as an excellent indication of the breadth of the audience for which Herman's book will be thought-provoking." (Papers on Language and Literature, 2010)