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Monika Fludernik’s Toward a Natural Narratology (1996) develops a detailed historical account of how the textual structures of experientiality identified in the theoretical framework have developed in English fiction since the 17th century. According to Fludernik’s account, the English novel gets progressively better at matching the cognitive schemata underlying such experientiality. The present article argues, however, that such an understanding of the historical dimension of experientiality is an instance of “the curse of realism,” that is, of discussing early modern texts in light of the expectations established by 19th-century realism. It proposes an alternative model for engaging with the historical dimension of cognitive narratology, which is rooted in embodied cognition and predictive processing.