This Issue


  • Editors / Herausgeber


Whereas the last issue of DIEGESIS (4.1) was dedicated to “Narrative and Lies”, the current volume’s focus shifts to “Narrative and Truth”. Is there a correlation between a narrative’s truth claim and its form? Does the form of narrative allow for the possibility of certain types of truth-oriented discourses in the first place? Or does it, on the contrary, prove an impediment to authentic truthful speech?

Johannes Stephan distinguishes two kinds of travelogues: those reproducing received knowledge and those attempting to present the traveller’s experiences. One example of the latter type is the Arabic ‘Travel Book’ (1764) by the Syrian author Ḥanna Dyāb, in which focalization is used not only to witness but also to visualise the experiences of the traveller.

Evelyn Chew and Alex Mitchell discuss a similar problem with application to contemporary texts. They investigate the construction of truth claims in three interactive nonfiction life stories in different genres. In the three case studies, of an autobiography, a biographical docugame and a video-based web documentary respectively, subjective and objective legitimation strategies are investigated.

Against a backdrop of philosophical discussions of the epistemic value of narration and with specific reference to Aristotle’s Poetics, Malte Dreyer distinguishes three forms of generating coherence in narrative texts: the causal, the teleological and the holistic. He goes on to apply these concepts to social contract theories and to discuss the validity claims of the different types of narrative explanation.

In this issue’s “My Narratology” section, James Phelan responds to our questions about his personal ideas of narratology. He describes his own approach as “theorypractice” and argues in favour of conceptualising narrative as “rhetorical action”.

We wish you an interesting read!