Chapter published in:Experiencing Fictional Worlds
Edited by Benedict Neurohr and Lizzie Stewart-Shaw
[Linguistic Approaches to Literature 32] 2019
► pp. 97–117
Framing the narrative
The “fictive publisher” as a bridge builder between intra- and extratextual world
Drawing on cognitive linguistic and narratological conceptualisations of “frames” and “framing” (notably Quendler 2008, 2010) and taking up Grishakova’s (2009: 188) notion of frames as “a link between the ‘real-life’ and ‘fictional’ experience”, this chapter aims to elucidate the phenomenon of paratextual framing and in particular the “fictive publisher” frame as a transitional device that can blend fictional storyworlds and extratextual “reality” and thus act as a bridge between the text and the reader. In the context of fantastic literature, this potential of blending can be seen working at its best. By means of an analysis of the multilayered “fictive publisher” frame in the definitive edition of Adelbert von Chamisso’s fantastic Romantic novella The Wonderful History of Peter Schlemihl, the chapter examines the inherent ontological and perspectival ambivalence and shifting capacity of the “fictive publisher” frame. In the course of this, it sheds light on the dynamics of distance and proximity created by the paratextual frame and – in the case of the specific arrangement in Chamisso’s definitive edition – the utilisation of framing strategies and familiarity to appeal to re-readers.
Keywords: paratext, blending, fictionality, reader engagement, Romanticism, fantastic literature
Published online: 21 February 2019
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