HERMAN, Luc and Bart VERVAECK, Handbook of Narrative
Analysis, University of Nebraska Press, 2005, 232 p. ISBN: 0-8032-7349-5
The study of narrative has been a continuous concern from antiquity to the present day because stories are everywhere—from fiction across media to nation
building and personal identity. Handbook of Narrative Analysis sorts out both traditional and recent narrative theories, providing the necessary skills to interpret any story that comes along.
In addition to discussing classical theorists such as Gérard Genette, Mieke Bal, and Seymour Chatman, Handbook of Narrative Analysis presents precursors (such as E. M. Forster), related theorists (Franz Stanzel, Dorrit Cohn), and a large variety of
postclassical critics. Among the latter, particular attention is paid to the ethics of reading, gender theory, and "possible worlds."
Not content to consider theory as an end in itself, Luc Herman and Bart Vervaeck use two stories by contemporary authors as a touchstone to illustrate each narrative approach, thereby illuminating the practical implications of theoretical preferences and ideological leanings. Marginal glosses guide the reader through discussions of theoretical issues, and an extensive bibliography points readers to the most
current publications in the field. Written in an accessible style, this handbook combines a comprehensive treatment of its subject with a user-friendly format appropriate for specialists and nonspecialists alike.
Luc Herman is a professor of American literature and literary theory at the University of Antwerp in Belgium. He is a Pynchon specialist and the author of
Concepts of Realism. Bart Vervaeck is a professor of Dutch literature and literary theory at the Free University Brussels. He is the author of a study on postmodern Dutch literature.