Narrative

(2955 words)
  • Paul Cobley (Middlesex University)

The most common conception of narrative is as “story”. There is some truth in this conception but it reveals only a small part of what narrative is and can also be misleading. The Oedipus plays, Egil’s Saga, Titus Andronicus, Rasselas, The Charterhouse of Parma, The Ring and the Book, Dick Barton, Scarface, Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, The Simpsons and Fahrenheit 9/11 are all narratives and all of them have stories. Yet, to simply recount the story events in these narratives would be to neglect what gives them their character as particular forms that might invite specific kinds of reader engagement and pleasure. At root, narrative is best understood as a form of …

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Citation:
Cobley, Paul. "Narrative". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 August 2005
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/stopics.php?rec=true&UID=1222, accessed 21 April 2014.]