Theorists of narrative studies often claim that the history of narrative theory is impossible to narrate because of its specific nature, consisting in the discontinuity of development due to disproportional introduction (and implementation) of the theory in various research cultures connected with diverse traditions of philological studies, which has resulted in a cluster-like character of particular narratologic systems. Narrative theory may represent a case study in the context concerned, i.e. in the discourse questioning historiographic methods in general. The question that narratologists may share with historians is this: are there any spheres of human culture and periods of its development so specific in their character as to prevent us from mediating them by means of current historiographic methods? A scheme for writing the history of narrative theory is presented here, based on negotiating between a history of ideas (including virtual links between related concepts dislocated in time and space) and an institutional history that enables us to understand the gaps. Various narrative modes are employed to re-construct the development of narrative studies as a coherent process. Recent attempts at replacing the history of narrative studies with a selection of canonic text are subject to criticism; the first synthetic essays on the topic Fludernik (2005) Herman (2005) are analyzed here in order to discern the principles of 'making a history of narrative theory possible'.
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