New Perspectives on Narrative Perspective

Edited by Willie van Peer & Seymour Chatman

Subjects: Literary Theory
Series: SUNY series, The Margins of Literature
Paperback : 9780791447888, 412 pages, March 2001
Hardcover : 9780791447871, 412 pages, March 2001

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Table of contents

List of Illustrations


Willie van Peer and Seymour Chatman

Part I: Concepts

1. On the Narrative Connection
Noel Carroll

2. A Point of View on Point of View or Refocusing Focalization
Gerald Prince

3. Why Narrators Can Be Focalizers--and Why It Matters
James Phelan

Part II: History

4. The Origins of Figural Narration in Antiquity
Irene J. F. de Jong

5. The Rise and Fall of Empathetic Narrative: A Historical Perspective on Perspective
Sylvia Adamson

6. The Establishment of Internal Focalization in Odd Pronominal Contexts
Monika Fludernik

Part III: Applications and Case Studies

7. Ironic Perspective: Conrad's Secret Agent
Seymour Chatman

8. Point of View and Viewer Empathy in Film
Els Andringa, Petra van Horssen, Astrid Jacobs, and Ed Tan

9. Breaking Conventional Barriers: Transgressions of Modes of Focalization
Dan Shen

10. Holding onto Established Viewpoints during Processing News Reports
Herre van Oostendorp

11. Actor-Role Analysis: Ideology, Point of View, and the News
Warren Sack

Part IV: Comprehension

12. On the Perspective Structure of Narrative Texts: Steps toward a Constructvist Narratology
Ansgar Nunning

13. Situation Models and Point of View in Narrative Understanding
Daniel Morrow

14. Collective Perspective, Individual Perspective, and the Speaker in Between: On "We" Literary Narratives
Uri Margolin

15. Who Said What? Who Knows What? Tracking Speakers and Knowledge in Narratives
Arthur C. Grasser, Cheryl Bowers, Ute J. Bayen, and Xiangen Hu

Part V: Effects and Consequences

16. Prolegomena for a Science of Psychonarratology
Peter Dixon and Marisa Bortolussi

17. Shifting Perspectives: Readers' Feelings and Literary Response
David S. Miall and Don Kuiken

18. Perspective as Participation
Richard J. Gerrig

19. Justice in Perspective
Willie van Peer

20. Elipogue: Research Questions, Research Paradigms, and Research Methodologies in the Study of Narrative
Mick Short




Name Index

Subject Index

Offers an interdisciplinary approach to narrative perspective, with essays by leading scholars of literary studies, cognitive psychology, linguistics, philosophy, and film and media criticism.


Narrative perspective is the faculty through which humans understand, structure, and explore the world that confronts them. This is the first volume to bring together the theoretical study of perspective with the rigor of experimental studies, combining work in narratology with that in linguistics, philosophy, film studies, literary theory, and cognitive psychology. The chapters are grouped thematically and drawn together by the editors, who provide guidance through this new and fascinating interdisciplinary territory.

Willie van Peer is Professor of Literary Studies at the University of Munich. He is the author of several books on poetics and the epistemological foundations of literary studies, including The Taming of the Text: Explorations in Language, Literature, and Culture. Seymour Chatman is Professor Emeritus of Rhetoric and Film Studies at the University of California, Berkeley. He is the author of several books on literary and cinematic narratology, including Coming to Terms: The Rhetoric of Narrative in Fiction and Film.


"By far the best thing about this book is the mix of authors. We find first-rate literary theorists, psychologists, film critics, and linguists all writing about more or less the same thing but, of course, from very different perspectives. A nice mix of humanistic and empirical scholarship. " — Colin Martindale, University of Maine

"This book is very timely, in light of current developments in American stylistics. American scholars, except for researchers like Chatman, Gerald Prince, and Ann Banfield, have tended to shy away from global treatments of narrative, whereas this subject has been a focus of a great deal of research in Europe for the last twenty years. In addition, partly as a response to the excesses of so-called literary theory, interest has mounted in a more empirical approach to literary analysis. This volume speaks to both of these developments. It will constitute an important statement within an emergent sub-discipline of stylistics, and should help alter the terms of current debate over literary theory. " — Donald C. Freeman, University of Southern California