Location: [Reed College] [Department of English] [Laura Arnold][ Nation and Narration]Narrative Strategies
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For those who have not had either an Introduction to Fiction (or Narrative) course (or for those who would like a review), I have ordered the book, Essentials of the Theory of Fiction by Michael Hoffman and Patrick Murphy. It is in the bookstore and on reserve for the class in the library. In addition, here are some tips:
Narrative is a fancy word for an account of real or imagined events, in other words a story. Narrative Strategies are the techniques writers employ to tell stories. These include:
Here's an example you can try on your own. Thomas Cole's two series The Voyage of Life and The Course of Empire tell two very basic stories about nations. Take a look at these series and ask yourself the following questions:
Cole's understanding of landscape and and "narrative" of the American narration influenced the writers of the American Renaissance greatly. As you read the literary and critical texts for our class, you should be asking yourself what stories the authors are telling about the nation and how they are telling them. Where do they say we began? Where will we end? We are we today?