Toward the Non-Natural: Diachronicity and the Trained Reader in Fludernik’s Natural Narratology
- Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 16, Number 2, June 2018
- pp. 271-277
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The article traces the theoretical reader position implicitly constructed in Fludernik’s natural narratology. Fludernik’s diachronic method assumes a conceptual reader figure trained by the texts she encounters while making her way in diachronic succession from oral to the written, ending up with literary deconstruction of language and narrative. Along the way, she gains the required reading strategies and cognitive parameters, finally being able to make narrative sense of — narrativize — (almost) any representation. I claim that this non-empirical (and as such, “non-natural”) reader position marks the cornerstone of postclassical narratology, suggesting a necessary departure from the synchrony of “natural” cognitive parameters. Eventually I will ask if diachronic narratology, as originally initiated by Fludernik’s book, has the potential to deal also with the synchronicity of narrative sense-making through its manifestly non-natural reader construct.