Story and Discourse: Narrative Structure in Fiction and Film by Seymour Chatman
This book is the first comprehensive approach in English to a general theory of narrative, both in verbal and in visual media. The primary question to which Professor Chatman addresses himself is what narrative is in itself. Following such French structuralists as Roland Barthes, Tzvetan Todorov, and Gerard Genette, he posits a what and a way. "The what of narrative," he says, "I call its 'story'; the way, I call its 'discourse.'" Liberally illustrating his concepts with discussions of particular novels and films, he effects a synthesis of the latest Continental critical thinking about narrative and the Anglo-American tradition exemplified by Henry James, Percy Lubbock, Wayne Booth, and others. A judicious and well-informed book, Story and Discourse should become a standard guide to narrative and to modern thinking about narrative.