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Journal of Literary Semantics

An International Review

Founded by Eaton, Trevor

Ed. by Toolan, Michael

2 Issues per year


CiteScore 2017: 0.38

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2017: 0.122
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2017: 0.575

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1613-3838
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Volume 46, Issue 1

Issues

Unnatural narratology and premodern narratives: Historicizing a form

Eva von Contzen
Published Online: 2017-04-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2017-0001

Abstract

‘Unnatural’ narratology has been a thriving new field of narrative theory in recent years. What its various sub-fields share is that they are concerned, very broadly, with narratives that transcend the parameters of conventional realism. One of the field’s promises is that it can also account for earlier ‘unnatural’ narrative scenarios, for instance in ancient and medieval literature. Focusing on two recent publications by Alber and Richardson, this essay challenges the historical trajectory the movement envisages. Paying special attention to the influence of religion on premodern narratives and its implications for the concept of the unnatural, this essay argues that unnatural narratology is reductionist and adheres to a structuralist paradigm, and thus cannot do justice to the idiosyncrasies of premodern narrative forms and functions. An alternative approach to the unnatural as a dynamic form is introduced as an outlook.

Keywords: unnatural narratology; narrative theory; premodern literature; historical approach

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About the article

Published Online: 2017-04-07

Published in Print: 2017-04-01


Citation Information: Journal of Literary Semantics, Volume 46, Issue 1, Pages 1–23, ISSN (Online) 1613-3838, ISSN (Print) 0341-7638, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/jls-2017-0001.

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