Narratives and Narrators: A Philosophy of Stories

Paperback | January 26, 2012

byGregory Currie

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Narratives are artefacts of a special kind: they are intentionally crafted devices which fulfil their story-telling function by manifesting the intentions of their makers. But narrative itself is too inclusive a category for much more to be said about it than this; we should focus attentioninstead on the vaguely defined but interesting category of things rich in narrative structure. Such devices offer significant possibilities, not merely for the representation of stories, but for the expression of point of view; they have also played an important role in the evolution of reliablecommunication. Narratives and narrators argues that much of the pleasure of narrative communication depends on deep-seated and early developing tendencies in human beings to imitation and to joint attention, and imitation turns out to be the key to understanding such important literary techniques as free indirectdiscourse and character-focused narration. The book also examines irony in narrative, with an emphasis on the idea of the expression of ironic points of view. It looks closely at the idea of character, or robust, situation-independent ways of acting and thinking, as it is represented in narrative.It asks whether scepticism about the notion of character should have us reassess the dramatic and literary tradition which places such emphasis on character.

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Narratives are artefacts of a special kind: they are intentionally crafted devices which fulfil their story-telling function by manifesting the intentions of their makers. But narrative itself is too inclusive a category for much more to be said about it than this; we should focus attentioninstead on the vaguely defined but interesting...

Gregory Currie is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Nottingham.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:264 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 0.01 inPublished:January 26, 2012Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0199645280

ISBN - 13:9780199645282

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Table of Contents

PrefaceAcknowledgementsAnalytical contents1. Representation2. The content of narrative3. Two ways of looking at a narrative4. Authors and narrators5. Expression and imitation6. Resistance7. Character-focused narration8. Irony: a pretended point of view9. Dis-interpretation10. Narrative and character11. Character scepticismIn ConclusionBibliographyIndexes

Editorial Reviews

"an ambitious, careful, and philosophically rich work containing a number of novel and important arguments ... The book has many virtues, and the greatest of them might be that it opens up new areas for exploration in the philosophic study of narrative" --Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews