The Structure of the Fabula (II): Boris Tomashevski, 'Thematics'; Mieke Bal, 'Narratology' (Narrative Theory, 2)

22 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2015

Date Written: 1990


'Narrative Theory' is an online introduction to classical structuralist narratological analysis. The second section addresses the structure of the action or fabula provided by the Russian Formalists, notably by Boris Tomashevski, contemplated from the standpoint provided by Mieke Bal's structuralist theory of narrative. The paper addresses the Formalist definitions of fabula and siuzhet, the formalist notions of motifs and narrative macrostructures, the two logics of narrative, kinds of motifs, horizontal sections of the fabula, the vertical integration of narrative levels, with an an approach to exposition and motivation, and concluding with the Formalist views on time, space, and character.

Keywords: Literary theory, Narratology, Narrative analysis, Narrative structure, Russian formalism, Discourse analysis, Plot

Suggested Citation

Garcia Landa, Jose Angel, The Structure of the Fabula (II): Boris Tomashevski, 'Thematics'; Mieke Bal, 'Narratology' (Narrative Theory, 2) (1990). Available at SSRN: or

Jose Angel Garcia Landa (Contact Author)

Universidad de Zaragoza ( email )

Gran Via 2
Zaragoza, 50005


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