Essays in Narrative and Fictionality: Reassessing Nine Central Concepts
This book brings together several major essays on foundational topics of narrative studies and the theory of fictionality by one of the preeminent figures of postclassical narrative theory. It reexamines and reconceives the role of the author, the status of implied authors, the model for unnatural narrative theory, the nature of narrative, and the ideological implications of narrative forms. It also explores the status of historical characters in fictional texts, the paradoxes of realism, the presence of multiple implied readers, the role of actual readers, and the question of fictionality. In addition, an appendix offers a useful approach for teaching narrative theory. The book includes analyses of works by Conrad, Joyce, Woolf, Nabokov, Beckett, Jeanette Winterson, Deborah Eisenberg, and others. Throughout, it argues for a more expansive conception of narrative theory and keen attention to the nature and difference of fiction. This provocative book makes crucial interventions in ongoing critical debates about narrative theory, literary theory, and the theory of fictionality, and is essential reading for all students of narrative.
Brian Richardson is a Professor in the English Department of the University of Maryland. He is the author and co-author of five books on narrative theory, including Unnatural Voices: Extreme Narration in Modern and Contemporary Fiction (2006) and, most recently, A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-first Century: Theorizing Unruly Narratives (2019). He is also the editor or co-editor of four books and six other collections of essays on narrative theory, including the anthologies Narrative Beginnings: Theories and Practices (2009) and Unnatural Narratology: Extensions, Revisions, and Challenges (with Jan Alber, 2020). He has written over 100 articles on topics related to narrative theory, modernism, postmodernism, and modern drama, and his work has been translated into French, German, Portuguese, Danish, Magyar, Italian, Czech, and Chinese.
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