Narratology is not usually seen as a poststructuralist critical approach. It is perceived as a structuralist enterprise, a phenomenon of the 1960s, when systematic and scientific approaches to the analysis of narrative were still in fashion. Now, of course, the authority of scientific method is considerably diminished in criticism after two decades of assault from poststructuralist theory and renewed interest in politics and history. Narratology undoubtedly flourished in criticism which was committed to formalist close reading, which put aside sociological and historical questions in order to focus on the text itself, on the technical operations of a narrative. Structuralist narratology developed an impressive terminology for the description of technique, analysing narratives in the way that a linguist would analyse a sentence; a rigorously analytical language sure to offend any critic still concerned with pre-critical issues like characters, literary value or emotional response.
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