DOI: 10.5325/style.57.2.0163 ISSN: 0039-4238

99 Ways to Retell a Story: The Styles and Functions of Narrator Reconstrual

Chloe Harrison
  • Literature and Literary Theory
  • General Earth and Planetary Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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 article 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 article suggests that narrator reconstrual is a pervasive phenomenon in contemporary fiction, and that its occurrence gives rise to meaningful interpretive effects through conceptual comparison and readers’ characterization of the storyteller.