Ontological Metalepsis and Unnatural Narratology

BELL, Alice and ALBER, Jan (2012). Ontological Metalepsis and Unnatural Narratology. Journal of Narrative Theory, 42 (2), 166-192.

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Link to published version:: https://doi.org/10.1353/jnt.2012.0005


In this article, we focus on ontological metalepses that involve represented transgressions of world boundaries as one manifestation of the unnatural. We first discriminate between ascending, descending, and horizontal metaleptic jumps a three types of unnatural metalepses, or, more specifically, metalepses physically or logically impossible (Alber 80) and, in a second step, try to determine their potential functions. We also propose a new cognitive model that modifies Gerard Genette's structuralist model to conceptualize ontological metaleptic jumps as (1) vertical interactions either between the actual world and a storyworld or between nested storyworlds, or as (2) horizontal transmigrations between storyworlds.2 We argue that our postclassical method offers a more effective way of analyzing metalepsis because it allows us to describe the nature of ontological metalepsis more accurately and also because it embraces interpretation. We place this article on the overlap between unnatural narratology and transmedial narratology insofar as we analyze ontological metalepsis, an unnatural phenomenon, in both print and Storyspace hypertext fiction.

Item Type: Article
Research Institute, Centre or Group - Does NOT include content added after October 2018: Humanities Research Centre
Identification Number: https://doi.org/10.1353/jnt.2012.0005
Page Range: 166-192
Depositing User: Sam Wharam
Date Deposited: 26 Apr 2013 09:32
Last Modified: 18 Mar 2021 19:45
URI: https://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/6939

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