This article concerns itself with Gérard Genette’s reception in Germanophone literary study. Through an analysis of the rhetorical substrate from which Genette’s terminology draws its specific tension, the article determines that Genette is not only an excessive systematist, but also and simultaneously an author who battles received attempts at order and who foregrounds doubts about the idea of order. In this way, he displays a kinship with such theorists as Roland Barthes and Jacques Derrida. The receptions of the rhetorical construction of Genette’s texts and of the particular strategies of structuralism to which that construction refers did not occur synchronously in French, American, Russian, and German literary studies. The article demonstrates that, while German literary theory occasionally discusses Genette’s positioning within the field, there remains a general absence of the recognition that practically all of his books display a definite proximity to deconstruction, and that this proximity plays a central role in Genette’s enire theoretical edifice. This text is, last but not least, a call to read literary-theoretical texts in their aesthetic contexts.