About This Issue


  • Editors / Herausgeber*innen


We are happy to present a new issue of DIEGESIS. After 17 issues and almost ten years of publishing, our journal has undergone substantial changes under the hood, by migrating to a new content management system (OJS 3, for those of you interested in technology). This ensures that DIEGESIS will offer, in years to come, a reliable service to a vibrant community of scholars and scientists working on all aspects of narrative. We will retain our Gold Standard open access policy without pay-walls or sign-up procedures for readers. Publishing will also remain free of charge for authors, whose contributions will be archived, as in the past, by the German National Library.

We established the journal in 2012, with a special issue titled “Narratology in the 21st Century. An Interdisciplinary Review.” In that issue we, the editors of DIEGESIS, offered our own thoughts on the benefits, goals, projects, and futures of narrative. In this anniversary issue, simply titled “Why Narratology?”, we once again reflect on the state of the art and future avenues for narrative research.

Matei Chihaia’s contribution examines the journalistic coverage of the Mexican region of Sinaloa in DIE ZEIT for eventfulness and tellability with the help of computational narratology. Sandra Heinen investigates postcolonial narratology and suggests that it move beyond its original aim and provide postcolonial research questions with a narratological footing. Katharina Rennhak’s article focuses on another contextualist approach, as she discusses possible reasons for the neglect of the phenomenon of ‘women writing men’ by both feminist literary critics and narratologists. Arguing for an integration of narratological and gender-oriented approaches, she charts the field of 21st-century novels by Irish women writers which feature male protagonists and narratively reconstruct masculinities. Michael Scheffel’s contribution contends that current cognitive-psychologically accentuated narratological approaches are not (yet) interested in the fact that narratives are not only created in the minds of readers, but also on paper and in the minds of the subjects who produce them. Using the example of the genesis of Arthur Schnitzler’s narrative fiction, he develops perspectives of a genetic narratology. Roy Sommer revisits the concept of narrative dynamics to include transtextual and transactional dimensions; this theoretical contribution to contextual poetics sheds new light on dialogical constellations in narrative fiction, e.g. the interdependencies between Karl Ove Knausgård’s ‘slow’ autofiction and the autobiographical novel October Child (2021) by Linda Boström Knausgård.

This anniversary issue introduces two new categories. Our familiar interview section, “My Narratology,” will from now on be called, with a nod to H.G. Wells, “The Shape of Things to Come.” The new interview will focus on new research projects which seek to make an impact and advance the field in new directions. The new series begins with an introduction of an exciting collaborative project headed by Maria Mäkelä at the University of Tampere, Finland. “Instrumental Narratives” focuses on the limits of storytelling and proposes what Mäkelä and her team call a “story-critical narrative theory.” If you wish to see your project featured here, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the editorial team: diegesis@uni-wuppertal.de.

The second new section, titled “Hands-On Narratology,” is brand new, indeed. Here, authors comment briefly on selected phenomena from the world of narrative, or narratives. Essays in this section discuss and demonstrate the relevance of narratological approaches for current public debates. Authors offer a provocative take on a familiar problem or on a topical issue, or they comment on a new kind of narrative. In this issue, Michael Butter reflects on the current trend to speak of ‘conspiracy narratives’ rather than use the established term ‘conspiracy theory,’ and argues against the rebranding of this phenomenon.

As usual, this issue is rounded off with two book reviews: A Poetics of Plot for the Twenty-First Century: Theorizing Unruly Narratives by Brian Richardson (2019) and Erzählte Zeiten im Roman der frühen Neuzeit. Eine historische Narratologie der Zeit by Lukas Werner (2018).

Finally, we wish to thank our in-house partner, the library of the University of Wuppertal, for providing the technological assistance for DIEGESIS; and our editorial team for all the work they invest to make DIEGESIS happen and to keep it going. Our thanks also go to our readers and contributors: welcome back, we hope you enjoy this new issue. Happy browsing!