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Glossary of Literary Theory
by Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown


An offshoot of structuralism which seeks to apply the linguistic model to the analysis of narrative. Its enabling distinction is between story (the "actual" chronological sequence of events) and discourse (the order in which those events are presented to the reader). Narratology attempts to construct a poetics of fiction or grammar of storytelling, analyzing the codes, conventions, and systems that structure all narration. (See also Structuralism.)

© Greig E. Henderson and Christopher Brown,
University of Toronto
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University of Toronto English Library
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Last modified: March 31, 1997