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Homo Fabula and Dimensions of Story Tellability in
Yann Martel’s Life of Pi and Beatrice and Virgil

Heidelberg University

The proposed study illustrates the complexity of the storytelling phenomenon in two of Yann Martel’s novels in which
story gains both self-reflective and self-reflexive senses. Story here gains functions varying from as a cognitive scheme of events to discursive realit(y)/ies with the aim of constructing identity. The paper examines the modes in which Martel’s narrator (prototype of homo fabula) tells or, from a rhetorical viewpoint, “performs” identity through story. Particular stresses in the discussion are laid on the conceptualization of the novels as meta stories with supporting exemplifications, on their “tellability” and canonicity breach with reference to the ten narrative traits defined by Jerome Bruner.

Keywords: narrative, story, meta story, storytelling, fabula, social self, meaning, rhetoricity, tellability, discursive reality/ construct, duality


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