Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating

Narratology: Introduction to the Theory of Narrative

3.56 of 5 stars 3.56  ·  rating details  ·  121 ratings  ·  15 reviews

Since its first publication in English in 1985, Mieke Bal's Narratology has become the international classic and comprehensive introduction to the theory of narrative texts. Narratology is a systematic account of narrative techniques, methods, their transmission, and reception, in which Bal distills years of study of the ways in which we understand both literary and non-li

...more
ebook, Third Edition, 0 pages
Published May 23rd 2009 by University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (first published 1978)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 346)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
Bernard Norcott-mahany
This is supposed to be an excellent introduction to narratology, which I suppose it is, but I guess my head just wasn't up to reading what seemed to me a dry analysis of what makes a story a story. I suppose it's time for me to find and reread Cohan and Shires' "Telling Stories," which I think does the same job but with a little more verve.
Matt
It's not as if this book has a lot in it to surprise-- I think most people who come to it know what they are getting into, a famously "systematic" take on narrative theory, with a share of complicated symbols, etc. But despite some sort of short-sighted statements, like the claim that a narrative is a among other things, a text with a first and last word, this is a remarkably durable book, and one that seems at least open to the possibility that readers process texts as they go along, not only a...more
Mick
Sometimes I read academic texts for information, sometimes for edification, and sometimes, simply because I want to brush up on my jargon in a particular area. This latter reason was why I picked up this book. It is groundbreaking in that Bal was one of the first to really codify the theory of narrotology into a field of study. And, on some levels, the discussion is useful... particularly the ways in which narrotology can offer a critical perspective outside of literature.

Beyond the jargon, how...more
Theryn Fleming
In Narratology, Mieke Bal argues that a narrative text can be divided into three layers: the fabula (elements, or series of events), the story (aspects, e.g. ordering, point of view), and the text (words). At each level there is an agent: fabula (actor, or agent who performs actions), story (focalizer, or subject of focalization), and text (narrator, or linguistic subject). The first two chapters (fabula, story) were clearly presented and fairly straightforward, the third chapter (text) a little...more
Carl
I read (most of) this book for a course in narratology which I audited years ago. Am thinking of rereading it now, having run into someone who works on the incredibly awesome topic of Narrative AIs for video games. Not sure this is exactly the topic which most parallels that concern in the humanities, but hey, I should reread this anyway.
robert
Apr 02, 2008 robert rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: freaks and weirdos
This book is essential - if you're interested in narratology - the study of narrative. most people aren't. this book is extremely dry, but gains in clarity in a pretty difficult topic. it's hopelessly structuralist, but mieke bal does a good job, in this second edition, to tie narratology to other means of doing ideological critique.
Dan
A thin book in which Bal analyzes the techniques of narrative, including the duration of a representation, its frequency, and its chronological order. Her discussion of focalization is particularly good.
Norm
A brutal read - if this is the easiest book on Narratology then it's a tough discipline!! But in the end I feel smarter and will never see the world the same way again.
Pimpawan
A revisited conceptual frameworks of narratology, packed with tons of academic gibberish that are useful when you need to cite something 'sophisticated'.
Robert
First time I've read a analytic discussion of the elements of narrative. It's good. I'd love to find more like this. Any suggestions?
Kriangkrai Vathanalaoha
I love this book...Easy to understand and practical to anyone who loves Narratology.
Shelly
Was very useful for my thesis, but I am unlikely to read it again.
Emily
Jul 08, 2009 Emily marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
I can not understand it well
Emily Care
Good fundamental work. Dense.
Desi
Grammar for narratives.
Eduarda
Eduarda marked it as to-read
Apr 20, 2014
Sara
Sara is currently reading it
Apr 17, 2014
Yen
Yen marked it as to-read
Apr 16, 2014
Naseer Ahmed
Naseer Ahmed marked it as to-read
Apr 15, 2014
Marvin E
Marvin E marked it as to-read
Apr 11, 2014
Krysta
Krysta marked it as to-read
Apr 06, 2014
Nicola Parise
Nicola Parise marked it as to-read
Apr 04, 2014
Martina
Martina is currently reading it
Apr 04, 2014
Michelle
Michelle marked it as to-read
Mar 26, 2014
Ashlyn Downing
Ashlyn Downing marked it as to-read
Mar 19, 2014
TJ
TJ is currently reading it
Mar 14, 2014
John Thomas
John Thomas marked it as to-read
Mar 09, 2014
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • The Rhetoric of Fiction
  • Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method
  • Graphs, Maps, Trees: Abstract Models for a Literary History
  • A Poetics of Postmodernism
  • Mimesis: The Representation of Reality in Western Literature (Fiftieth-Anniversary Edition)
  • On Deconstruction
  • The Sense of an Ending: Studies in the Theory of Fiction
  • Anatomy of Criticism: Four Essays
  • The Penguin Dictionary of Literary Terms and Literary Theory
  • The Ideology of the Aesthetic
  • A Theory of Semiotics
  • The Political Unconscious
  • Aspects of the Novel
  • Maps of the Imagination: The Writer as Cartographer
  • Marxism and Literature
  • The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays
  • The Fantastic: A Structural Approach to a Literary Genre
  • Making Shapely Fiction
Mieke Bal is a Dutch literary theorist, cultural and art historian.
More about Mieke Bal...
The Artemisia Files: Artemisia Gentileschi for Feminists and Other Thinking People Quoting Caravaggio: Contemporary Art, Preposterous History Travelling Concepts in the Hum Acts of Memory: Cultural Recall in the Present Looking in: The Art of Viewing

Share This Book