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Centre for Research in Philosophy and Literature

Relating Narratives: Storytelling and selfhood

Adriana Cavarero
Warwick Studies in European Philosophy

'Relating Narratives is one of the most brilliant, nuanced, inspiring, and erudite studies in philosophy and literature to be produced by a feminist scholar in recent years. This book is a pure pleasure to read.'
Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley

'Adriana Cavarero's book is remarkable in its range and powerfully addresses crises of philosophy and feminist, literary and cultural theory today. It is a book that should not be ignored.'
Christine Battersby, University of Warwick

'Adriana Cavarero's book is a challenge to Anglo-American debates about the question of identity ... one hopes that the English speaking world will give her challenge the attention it deserves.'
Women's Philosophy Review

Relating Narratives: Storytelling and selfhood is a major new work by the philosopher and feminist thinker Adriana Cavarero. First published in Italian to widespread acclaim, Relating Narratives presents a fascinating and challenging new account of the relationship between selfhood and narration.

Drawing on a diverse array of thinkers from both the philosophical and the literary tradition - from Sophocles and Homer to Hannah Arendt, Karen Blixen, Walter Benjamin and Borges - Adriana Cavarero's theory of the 'narratable self' shows how narrative models in philosophy and literature can open new ways of thinking about the formation of human identities. By showing how each human being has a unique story that can be told about them, Adriana Cavarero inaugurates an important shift in thinking about subjectivity and identity which relies not upon categorical or discursive norms, but rather seeks to account for 'who' each of us uniquely is.

Relating Narratives thus reworks and reinvigorates some major themes and figures in philosophy and literature. It presents a challenging alternative to the configuration of identity as it is encountered not only in traditional metaphysics, but also in the fragmented self of postmodernism. It will be of great interest to all those in philosophy, literature and gender studies.

Adriana Cavarero is Professor of Philosophy at the University of Verona and Visiting Professor at New York University. She is the author of In Spite of Plato.

Translated by Paul A. Kottman