Story, in the largest sense of the term, is arguably the single most important aspect of narrative. But with the proliferation of antimimetic writing, traditional narrative theory has been inadequate for conceptualizing and theorizing a vast body of innovative narratives. In A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-First Century: Theorizing Unruly Narratives, Brian Richardson proposes a new model for evaluating literature - returning to the basis of narrative theory to illuminate how authors play with and help clarify the boundaries of narrative theory. While he focuses on late modernist, postmodern, and contemporary narratives, the study also includes many earlier works, spanning from Aristophanes and Shakespeare through James Joyce and Virginia Woolf to Salman Rushdie and Angela Carter.
By exploring fundamental questions about narrative, Richardson provides a detailed, nuanced, and comprehensive theory that includes neglected categories of storytelling and significantly enhances our treatment of traditional areas of analysis. Ultimately, this book promises to transform and expand the study of story and plot.
This open book is licensed under a Creative Commons License (CC BY-NC-ND). You can download A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-First Century ebook for free in PDF format (4.0 MB).
Table of Contents
Narrative, the Nonnarrative, and the Unnarratable
Modeling Narrative Beginnings
Narrative Middles I: Plot, Probability, and Tellability
Narrative Middles II: Non-Plot-Based Narrative Progressions
The Varieties of Narrative Time
Adventures of the Book: Fabricating Fabula and Syuzhet
Narrative Endings: Fixed, Unfixed, Illusory, and Unnatural