This contribution discusses the two programmatic assumptions made by David Darby in his outline of the history of narratology orErzähltheorie (narrative theory).The first is that narratology ought to be remodeled into a contextualist theory of interpretation; the second is that such a “contextualist narratology” necessarily requires the category of the “implied author.” By contrast, we argue that the “contextualists” can state convincing reasons neither for a change of narratology's aims nor for a necessary widening of its object domain. Finally, we demonstrate that Darby's thoughts on Wayne C. Booth's concept of the “implied author” are based on the mixing of two definitions of this concept that are in fact mutually exclusive.

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