While postmodernist writers often highlighted the problematic nature of using narrative to convey accurate representations of history, many contemporary writers have reoriented their focus, demonstrating that narrative is a valuable system for conveying personal, subjective history. This essay argues that these claims are most visible in “reflexive double narratives,” books that tell two versions of their stories and explain why they have done so. This essay relies on Brian Richardson's term “denarration” from Unnatural Voices and David Herman's conception of “qualia” from Basic Elements of Narrative to reveal that the contemporary novel has reconceived accuracy in a nonliteral way. For post-postmodernists, experiential accuracy is more important than empirical accuracy. The contemporary novel often focuses on revealing what it feels like to be certain characters in certain situations as a way to find a new kind of value in storytelling.
Research Article|September 01 2017
Nicholas Frangipane; Two Sides to the Story: Multiple Versions and Post-Postmodernist Epistemology. Poetics Today 1 September 2017; 38 (3): 569–587. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/03335372-4166710
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