Storytelling is not just a human practice, but a practice that reflects the physical and cognitive make-up of human beings. This is the intuition at the core of Monika Fludernik’s notion of “experientiality.” One of the upshots of this idea is that narrative struggles to come to terms with realities (such as natural evolution or geological history) that are not human-scale. In light of recent discussions in posthumanism and ecocriticism, one may ask if and how narrative can overcome this anthropocentric bias. This essay addresses this question through a close reading of Kurt Vonnegut’s Galápagos (1985), a novel set a million years into the future, when humanity has evolved into a radically different species. The essay explores formal strategies and affective impact of Vonnegut’s novel, using it as a springboard to rethink narrative’s experientiality in the face of a more-than-human vantage point.


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pp. 303-314
Launched on MUSE
Open Access
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