99 ways to retell a story: The style and functions of narrator reconstrual

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This article explores narrator reconstrual, and its stylistic forms and functions, in contemporary fiction. Previous research in narrative retellings historically has focused on how stories are retold at the site of text production: by writers or speakers making edits or amendments to their work, or by adapting, translating or rewriting the stories of others. This paper begins by outlining the different types of narrative retelling that occur across all levels of the text, and argues that the construal model provides a stylistic framework to examine how retellings as told by the same narrator, in particular, are created and represented in stories. Through analysis of four reconstrued scenes from different text types and genres, this paper suggests that narrator reconstrual is a pervasive phenomenon in contemporary fiction, and that its occurrence gives rise to a number of meaningful interpretive effects through conceptual comparison and readers’ characterization of the storyteller.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 18 Nov 2022

Bibliographical note

This article is protected by copyright. This is an accepted manuscript of an article published in Style. The published version is available at: [link here when available].


  • Retelling
  • stylistics
  • construal
  • narrator
  • contemporary fiction


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