Prolegomenon to a Differential Theory of Narrative


The object of study of this article is narrative. My aim is to sketch what exactly constitutes the necessary and sufficient building blocks of narrative as such. The article’s concern is thus with the ontological build-up and status of narrative. In this, it argues against narratology’s prevalent anti-metaphysical Kantianism and for a Deleuze-inflected metaphysical conception of narrative. My account unfolds according to the following trajectory: first, I stage a critique of narratology’s default Kantianism; second, I formulate an alternative Deleuzian program; third, I present short exemplary readings of three literary narratives, two contemporary novels and a nineteenth-century short story. The concept of narrative that ultimately emerges from this trajectory is differential, immanent, univocal, unconscious, and non-human.

Read Article On Muse