Das vergessene Erbe. Zur Konzeption einer Geschichte der Erzähltheorie


  • Matthias Grüne


Narratology is often considered to be an invention of the 20th century. This is based on the assumption that the focus of poetic theory prior to narratology was limited to specific genres, whereas narratology takes ‘narration’ as a transgeneric phenomenon. In contrast, this essay aims to show that, since the late 18th century, genre theory has considered narration a key feature of all epic forms and paved the way for a systematic discussion of narratological subjects. Against this backdrop, the article asks whether there is continuity in how narrative structures are conceptualized. The essay argues for a distinction between constant research issues and context-specific responses in the historiography of narratological concepts. In order to illustrate this approach, the article concludes with a short overview on the history of the concept of narrator.