A THEORY OF NARRATIVE. By Franz Stanzel. Translated by Charlotte G with a preface by Paul Hernadi. Cambridge: Cambridge University Pr. xvi, p. Franz Stanzel, German pulmonologist. Achievements include development of Air Force-DLight system. Recipient Interventional Pulmonology Travel Award. Semantic Scholar profile for Franz Stanzel, with fewer than 50 highly influential citations.

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Franz Stanzel set out to derive a comprehensive typology of all conceivable narrative structures.

There is no apparent narrator. A reflector character thinks, feels and perceives. An illusion of im-mediacy is created. In fact, all narration is first-person because there is always a narrator between the reader and the story.

The narrator either exists as a character within the world of the fictional events of the story, or he exists outside it. Perspective may be internal limitedlocated in the story, in the protagonist or in the centre of the action, or it may be external omniscient outside the story or or its centre of action located in a narrator who does not belong to the world dtanzel the characters, or who is merely a subordinate figure.

The narration may be highly personalized or relatively invisible. Mode distinguishes between what Stanzel calls reportorial narration and scenic presentation. Modal possibilities constitute a continuum.

In each of the three narrative situations, another constitutive element or pole of the binary opposition associated with it attains dominance over the other constitutive elements and their poles. Does the narrator belong to the world of the story, or does he remain in another realm of existence?


Does the narrator directly convey information to the reader, or does he filter it through the consciousness of one or several characters? Victorian writers preferred the authorial narrative or the quasi-autobiographical form of the first-person narration. Twentieth century writers combine authorial and figural elements.

At any time, some writers deviate from the historic norm by defamiliarizing the conventions through estrangement. This accounts for the historical development of the form. It should be understood that the narrative situation can change at any point.

Franz Stanzel

A work xtanzel complex of basic narrative forms whose profile may be charted. As well, an individual reader reads according to reading strategies which may very from reader to reader the indeterminacy of the reader, who through a kind of inertia maintains his spatio-temporal orientation until the text conspicuously signals a change.

Profile of a narrative: Rhythm of a narrative: The succession of the basic forms of narration summary, report, description, commentary, scenic presentation interspersed with action report.

The teller is there to tell, report, witness, comment, anticipate, recapitulate. He provides a generalized summary or a complete record of events.

The reflector is there to mirror in frwnz own consciousness what is going on in the world outside or inside. He pretends to be giving an unmediated view, as if the reader were presented with fraanz thing itself. He provides arbitrary details, apparently the result of existential situations. You are commenting using your WordPress.

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Franz Stanzel – EACTS

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. Literary Studies Literature is a luxury; fiction is a necessity. Stay updated via RSS. September 19, in Literary theory.


Whenever a piece of stnzel is conveyed, whenever something is reported, there is a mediator- the voice of a narrator is audible. The world of the characters is identical to the world of the narrator.

The narrator is outside the world of the characters. The constitutive elements of mediacy 1 Person: Dominance of external perspective. Dominance of fictive world. Dominance of the reflector mode. Possibilities of narrative mediation: Narrative modes overt mediacy covert mediacy indirect direct personalization impersonalization telling showing summary scenic presentation report 1. Scene with extensive dialogue and brief impersonal allusions to the context and action. Reflection of the fictional events in the consciousness of a fictional character.

Teller Character and Reflector Character a Teller mode: The value of any detail is determined by the mode.

Franz Stanzel: Narrative Theory and the Typological Circle | Literary Studies

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