This article discusses time travel stories as being of particular interest to narratology: they play by their nature with the temporality of the storyworld itself (rather than with that of its narration, which is the type of time maneuver that narratology has mostly privileged). The discussion focuses on Audrey Niffenegger's Time Traveler's Wife, which has two strong claims to notice in this regard. Both have to do with the narrative's handling of a reality model that includes time travel: it charges the special features of such reality with considerably greater emotional and psychological power than usual, and it combines the play with temporality on the level of the storyworld with a high degree of complexity and sophistication in the deployment of the textual sequence. The novel is first examined in terms of the reality model underlying the storyworld and then in terms of the interplay between the storyworld chronology and its order of presentation. In the latter part, the emphasis falls on Niffenegger's rich use of the compositional resources provided by the existence of two time perspectives in the novel: those of the “time traveler” (Henry) and of his non-time-traveling wife (Clare).
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Eyal Segal; Time Travel Stories as a Challenge to Narratology: The Case of The Time Traveler's Wife. Poetics Today 1 December 2015; 36 (4): 529–560. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-3455135
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