Review by Choice Review
One of the early discoveries for students of narrative is the frequency with which overlapping new terms describe frustratingly similar narrative phenomena. Another is that the perception of what constitutes narrative has developed exponentially across disciplines in recent decades to accommodate ever-expanding ideas about what a narrative is. Gerald Prince's Dictionary of Narratology (CH, Sep'88, 26-0049) has been the field's standard reference. Prince joins other well-established narrative scholars and theorists such as M. Bal, P. Brooks, J. Culler, M. Fludernik, D. Herman, E. Kafalenos, S. Lohafer, U. Margolin, J. Phelan, D. Richter, and R. Warhol as a contributor to this pricey volume. The entries "cover the history of the field, key terms and concepts, ... various schools and approaches, important debates, and a wide range of disciplinary contexts in which narratives figure prominently." Potentially daunting, this complex subject is made a snap by clever arrangements for entries: five different types, from mini-essay to thumbnail definition, all cross-indexed. The helpful navigational aids include coded typeface, a thematically organized reader's guide, and an excellent comprehensive index. One expects a certain degree of unevenness in so many essays from diverse hands. Despite this shortcoming, however, the overall volume is thorough, accessible, and remarkably free of obfuscating language. ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. Academic libraries at all levels. T. Loe SUNY Oswego
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