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    Read more about Prose Fiction: An Introduction to the Semiotics of Narrative

    Prose Fiction: An Introduction to the Semiotics of Narrative

    (6 reviews)

    Ignasi Ribó

    Copyright Year:

    Publisher: Open Book Publishers

    Language: English

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    Attribution Attribution
    CC BY


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    Reviewed by William Pendergast, Adjunct Professor/Coordinator, Bunker Hill Community College on 1/31/21

    The book is a through account of the structure of narrative stories. It outlines all the elements that make a narrative successful in a critical writing sense. It defines the subject and breaks down the classic sense of drama throughout the ages... read more

    Reviewed by Luke Brown, Lecturer, Howard University on 1/21/21

    The text approaches the question and possibilities of narrative from seven entry points (e.g., setting, language), including a general overview of major threshold concepts, terms, and approaches to narrative in the first chapter. read more

    Reviewed by Kathryn Evans, Professor, Bridgewater State University on 6/30/20

    The book is comprehensive in that it is broad, covering the bases of narrative; however, chapters tend to be brief (students will likely appreciate this, although we might wish for more examples in the form of actual quotations). The glossary... read more

    Reviewed by Adam Mooney, Associate Lecturer, University of Massachusetts Boston on 6/30/20

    The text offers tools for students to read and engage in critical discussion through a comprehensive discussion of narrative theory and narrative elements, including plot, characterization, language, theme, setting, and narration. The introduction... read more

    Reviewed by Thea Prieto, Adjunct Professor, Portland Community College on 6/24/20

    Ribó sets out to create “a conceptual skeleton” of fiction writing, one that allows teachers to decide what readings to use in their classrooms. For a creative writing class, this means the textbook discusses various theories and craft elements of... read more

    Reviewed by Justina Salassi, Coordinator of General and Developmental Education/English Faculty, Central Louisiana Technical Community College on 4/29/20

    The text covers its topic very well, giving relevant and easy to understand examples appropriate to second year students. As writing about literature is generally required in literature courses, it would have been helpful to provide some guidance... read more

    Table of Contents

    • 1. Introduction
    • 2. Plot
    • 3. Setting
    • 4. Characterisation
    • 5. Narration
    • 6. Language
    • 7. Theme

    Ancillary Material

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    About the Book

    This concise and highly accessible textbook outlines the principles and techniques of storytelling. It is intended as a high-school and college-level introduction to the central concepts of narrative theory – concepts that will aid students in developing their competence not only in analysing and interpreting short stories and novels, but also in writing them.
    This textbook prioritises clarity over intricacy of theory, equipping its readers with the necessary tools to embark on further study of literature, literary theory and creative writing. Building on a ‘semiotic model of narrative,’ it is structured around the key elements of narratological theory, with chapters on plot, setting, characterisation, and narration, as well as on language and theme – elements which are underrepresented in existing textbooks on narrative theory. The chapter on language constitutes essential reading for those students unfamiliar with rhetoric, while the chapter on theme draws together significant perspectives from contemporary critical theory (including feminism and postcolonialism).
    This textbook is engaging and easily navigable, with key concepts highlighted and clearly explained, both in the text and in a full glossary located at the end of the book. Throughout the textbook the reader is aided by diagrams, images, quotes from prominent theorists, and instructive examples from classical and popular short stories and novels (such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, Franz Kafka’s ‘The Metamorphosis,’ J. K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, or Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, amongst many others).
    Prose Fiction: An Introduction to the Semiotics of Narrative can either be incorporated as the main textbook into a wider syllabus on narrative theory and creative writing, or it can be used as a supplementary reference book for readers interested in narrative fiction. The textbook is a must-read for beginning students of narratology, especially those with no or limited prior experience in this area. It is of especial relevance to English and Humanities major students in Asia, for whom it was conceived and written.

    About the Contributors


    Ignasi Ribó (Ph.D. in Modern European Literature and Thought, University of Sussex) is a Catalan writer and scholar. He has been teaching Literary Theory and Semiotics at university level for more than ten years and currently works as a Lecturer in the School of Liberal Arts at Mae Fah Luang University (Chiang Rai, Thailand). Ignasi is the author of several novels, as well as academic essays on literary theory, comparative literature, ecocriticism, biosemiotics, cultural ecology, and environmental philosophy.

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