Wege zu einer genetischen Narratologie oder: Von der Geburt und dem Abenteuer der Geschichten am Beispiel von Werkgenesen des Autors Arthur Schnitzler


  • Michael Scheffel


Over the course of the so-called narrative turn, narrative research has fundamentally expanded its scope and now also shows an interest in, among other things, the pragmatic context of narratives. As a result of the ‘cognitive turn’, narratologists have mainly explored the ways in which narratives are perceived and received.

Yet every narrative also involves a production process, a crucial dynamic which should also be of narratological interest. This article draws attention to this particular gap in narrative research and tries to reduce it by examining an exemplary case as well as proposing some theoretical considerations towards a genetic narratology. Drawing on the formalist-structuralist model of ‘narrative constitution’ and the phenomenological concept of a ‘narrative hermeneutics,’ it introduces a new methodological approach which seeks to combine research questions and terminologies from the fields of edition philology and narrative theory. The approach will be illustrated with reference to the author Arthur Schnitzler, by investigating his working methods as well as the genesis of his narrative works over several decades. In this context the article particularly focuses on the ‘monologue novella’ Fräulein Else, which – albeit completed in the 1920’s and published in 1924 – probably traces back to a note from the 1890’s.