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Plots

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  10 Ratings  ·  5 Reviews
Robert L. Belknap’s theory of plot illustrates the active and passive role literature plays in creating its own dynamic reading experience. Literary narrative enchants us through its development of plot, but plot tells its own story about the making of narrative, revealing through its structures, preoccupations, and strategies of representation critical details about how a ...more
Hardcover, 200 pages
Published May 17th 2016 by Columbia University Press
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Everdeen Mason
Oct 04, 2016 rated it liked it
A little dry, and the foreword killed me. BUT I learned some interesting things (including some new words!). However, I think some of this wouldn't have been surprising or new for someone who had perhaps studied English and/or literature in college.

Mostly this helped me place some of the things I had noticed about what made a plot but didn't necessarily have a name for.
Lucy Pollard-Gott
Aug 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
You may never look at a story the same way again after reading Robert Belknap’s incisively clear and illuminating book, titled simply, Plots. In her very helpful Introduction, Robin Feuer Miller calls Belknap’s achievement “a magnum opus that is particular, profound, original, and short.” I absolutely agree. The first part of the book presents the fundamental dynamic that authors use to create plots: the active arrangement (and re-arrangement) of incidents in the story world to make a narrative ...more
Rebecca
Apr 06, 2018 rated it liked it
I enjoyed the first half of this, having to do with the theory, but I found the second half, which applied the theory to Shakespeare and Dostoevsky, to be rather fragmented and difficult to follow.
Nancy
May 11, 2016 rated it it was amazing
How Plot Affects the Reader's Experience

In this short treatise, Belnap gives a cogent discussion of how the structure of a plot affects the reader's experience and how it relates to the period in which the work was created. To illustrate his thesis, the author used Shakespeare's King Lear and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment.

In King Lear, Belnap discusses the use of characters and how scenes such as recognition scenes or reconciliation scenes affect the audience. I found the discussion fascina
...more
Margaret Sankey
Using King Lear and Crime and Punishment as case studies, Belknap's lectures examine how narratives work, particularly the tension between the relationship of events in the characters' world, and the relationship of events in the text. One surprising insight was looking at the way summaries of plots, like the work of the Lambs on Shakespeare, highlight the summarizers' literary culture.
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