In his book "Fiction and Diction", Gerard Genette bemoans a contradiction between the pretense and the practice of narratological research. Instead of studying all kind of narratives, for Genette, narratological research concentrates de facto on the techniques of fictional narrative. Correspondingly, Genette speaks of a "fictional narratology" in the pejorative sense of a discipline that sets arbitrary limits on its area of study. In his objection, the narratology that literary scholars practice considers fictional narrative to be at least the standard case of any narrative. In other words, what is merely a special case, within a wide field of narratives, is here elevated to narrative par excellence. According to Genette, narratology does not omit the domain of non-fictional narratives from its investigations with any justification, but rather annexes it without addressing its specific elements.
What are possible ways in which this perspective, which Genette criticizes as truncated, can be set right? Can the problem, as outlined, simply be solved by expanding the area of study in narratological research? Or are there not, perhaps, important differences between fictional and nonfictional narratives which seem to encourage narratological research, understood as a fundamental discipline of literary study, under the heading of "fictional narratology"?
In order to come to an answer here, we will first discuss the problem of differentiating between fictional and non-fictional narratives, as well as the possibility of a connection between narrative and fictionality theory. Second, we will expand our considerations to encompass pragmatic and historical aspects of narratives in order to delineate the scope of our proposal.