"Anti-narrativity - A Phenomenological Challenge or Challenging Phenomenology?"

Activity: Talks and presentationsTalks and presentations in private or public companies


Marie-Laure Ryan has suggested the term ‘antinarrativity' for various distortions to which narrative material is subjected in postmodern literature. The present presentation focuses on the cognitive and methodological consequences of anti-narrative strategies in recent fiction, on phenomena such as text fragmentation, minimalism, text digression, narrative self-erasure and metalepsis. Such techniques are used as foregrounding devices, as "the intentional violation of the norm of the standard" (Jan Mukarovsky 1932: 18).  Foregrounding has different purposes, one is cognitive de-automatization.

                      The purpose of this presentation is twofold. First, I wish to discuss the notion of anti-narration. Secondly, this presentation aims at discussing how to deal with anti-narrative strategies methodologically. The incoherence of anti-narratives brings the creative role of the reader into focus, but does the vocabulary of narratology give us adequate tools to deal with reader interference and the intentional anti-narrative strategies of the author? One way to deal with such issues is to draw on methodological principles of the phenomenological and cognitive theories and conceptualizations. This presentation addresses the anti-narrative impulse in recent Scandinavian fiction and the novel House of Leaves (2000) by Mark Z. Danielewski will serve as illustration.


Emneord: narratology, phenomenology, Mark Danielewski, Anti-narrativity
Period2. May 2008
Event titleInternational Conference on Narrative 2008
Event typeConference
OrganisersThe Society for the Study of Narrative Literature, The International Society for the Study of Narrative, SSNL (International Society for the Study of Narrative Literature)
LocationAustin, Texas, United StatesShow on map


  • narratology
  • phenomenology
  • Mark Danielewski
  • Anti-narrativity