The 35 original essays in A Companion to Narrative Theory constitute the best available introduction to this vital and contested field of humanistic enquiry. The essays represent all the major critical approaches to narrative - narratological, rhetorical, feminist, post-structuralist, historicist - and investigate and debate the relations among them. In addition, they stretch the boundaries of the field by considering narratives in different disciplines, such as law and medicine, and in a variety of media, including film, music, and painting.
The volume is divided into six parts: competing accounts of the history of the field; examinations of recurrent problems; suggestions for theoretical revisions and innovations; explorations of the relations among form, history, politics, and ethics; analyses of the way narrative operates in different disciplines and in media beyond the written word; and speculations about the future of narrative and of narrative theory. At the same time, it offers provocative analyses of a wide range of works, both canonical and popular, from the Bible through novels by Dickens, Woolf, and Arundhati Roy on to Bernard Herrmann's film music and the action paintings of Jackson Pollock. Among its contributors are many of the leading figures in the field, including such early pioneers as Wayne C. Booth, Seymour Chatman, J. Hillis Miller, and Gerald Prince.