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Disputable Core Concepts of Narrative Theory

Edited By Göran Rossholm and Christer Johansson

The present volume is a contribution to the theory of narrative by scholars from various disciplines, mainly scholars from Comparative Literature but also contributors from Philosophy, Psychology and the languages. The essays focus on central terms and concepts in narrative theory over the last forty years. Established narratological concepts, such as narrative, narrator, story, fiction, character, narrative (un)reliability and point of view, but also relational concepts motivated by the expansion of narratology, such as narrative and non-verbal media, narrative and personal identity and narrative and literary genre, are themes dealt with.
In addition to presenting a critical examination of the core concepts of narrative theory, the volume is a demonstration of the vigour of contemporary Nordic narrative theory. The authors work at universities in Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Norway and Sweden, and they all belong to the Nordic Network of Narrative Studies.

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GREGER ANDERSSON - Is There a Narrative Method of Text Analysis and Interpretation? 279

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279 GREGER ANDERSSON Is There a Narrative Method of Text Analysis and Interpretation? In my doctoral dissertation, The Book and Its Narratives, and in a recently finished study, Untamable Texts: Literary Studies and Narra- tive Theory in the Books of Samuel, I have attempted to discuss meta-theoretical issues relating to the applicability and validity of narratology. My method in these studies was rather simple. I con- structed a tripartite dialogue between theory, texts, and inter- preters who claim to use a narrative or literary approach, and then discussed issues that come to the fore in such a dialogue. The gen- eral subject could perhaps be described as an examination of the relationship between narrative theory (narratology) and biblical nar- rative criticism. It should be noted, though, that biblical literary critics have different apprehensions of narratology, and that the same kind of theoretical and methodological diversity that presently characterizes literary criticism also is found in these studies. Biblical literary criti- cism is thus a much larger field than a discussion that focuses on the application of narrative theory might imply. Even in my stu- dies, I relate to a more general discussion concerning a synchro- nic and literary approach in the study of the biblical texts. Yet I am especially interested in narratology and narrative criticism, and the fact that some biblical critics appear to apprehend narrative theory, mainly discourse narratology, as an established method of text analysis and interpretation. This “method” seems mainly to consist of distinctions, concepts, and terms,...

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