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The Cambridge Introduction to Narrative


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Table of Contents

1. Narrative and life; 2. Defining narrative; 3. The borders of narrative; 4. The rhetoric of narrative; 5. Closure; 6. Narration; 7. Interpreting narrative; 8. Three ways to interpret narrative; 9. Adaptation across media; 10. Character and Self in narrative; 11. Narrative and truth; 12. Narrative worlds; 13. Narrative contestation; 14. Narrative negotiation: conflict revisited; 15. Narrative negotiation: closure revisited.

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Helps readers understand what narrative is, how it is constructed, and how it changes when the medium changes.

About the Author

A specialist in narrative, autobiography, modernism, and nineteenth- and twentieth-century literature, H. Porter Abbott is an internationally recognized scholar in the field of narrative and the work of Samuel Beckett. He taught at the University of California, Santa Barbara, from 1966 to 2005, with stints as Chair of English and Acting Dean of Arts and Humanities, and continues as Research Professor Emeritus.


Praise for the second edition: 'This second edition of H. Porter Abbott's very widely used (and highly regarded) Introduction is even stronger than the first edition. The new edition includes two additional chapters, one on 'Narrative and Truth' and the other on 'Narrative Worlds,' which incorporate recent research by a range of scholars exploring the relevant issues, and, furthermore, the author has painstakingly reworked the entire volume to ensure accuracy, comprehensiveness, and clarity in its treatment of major trends in the study of narrative ... What was true of the first edition is even more true of the second: this Introduction is not only an appropriate text for classes focusing on narrative - including advanced undergraduate and graduate classes in such (sub)disciplines as literary theory, film theory, communication studies, discourse analysis, women's and gender studies, history, comparative media studies, and critical legal theory - but also an invaluable resource for specialists.' David Herman, editor of The Cambridge Companion to Narrative
Praise for the first edition: 'Abbott brilliantly zeroes in on the architecture of narrative with an exactness and bent for orderly exposition that utterly redeems his subject.' The Chronicle of Higher Education
Praise for the first edition: 'Anyone seeking a lucidly written guide to the study of narrative technique should turn immediately to H. Porter Abbott's Cambridge Introduction to Narrative.' Literature/Film Quarterly
Praise for the first edition: 'Directness, accessibility, and coherence distinguish this brief but comprehensive study of narrative ... Most highly recommended.' Choice
Praise for the first edition: 'A lucid, practical, wide-ranging, and often original introduction to narrative, which will be extremely useful in undergraduate and graduate courses on literary theory and criticism. This is not a dry textbook, however; the reader is made aware of a real voice and of a fascination with the role of narrative across many areas of culture and beyond.' Derek Attridge, University of York

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