Unnatural Narrative: Theory, History, and Practice provides the first extended account of the concepts and history of unnatural narrative. In this book, Brian Richardson, founder of unnatural narrative studies, offers a theoretical model that can encompass antirealist and antimimetic works from Aristophanes to postmodernism. Unnatural Narrative begins with a sustained critique of contemporary narratology, diagnosing its mimetic bias and establishing the need for a more comprehensive account. This new approach results in original theoretical insights into the basic elements of story, such as beginnings, sequencing, temporality, endings, and narrative itself.
Applying these theoretical insights, Richardson also provides a compelling alternative view of the history of narrative. He traces a genealogy of unnatural narratives from ancient Greek and Sanskrit works through medieval and renaissance fiction to eighteenth-century and romantic fiction. The study continues through the twentieth century, discussing the unnatural elements of Ulysses and other early twentieth-century texts, and engages with contemporary fiction by offering an alternative account of postmodernism. Unnatural Narrative makes an essential intervention in narrative theory and an important contribution to the history of the novel.