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EN 1006 Lecture Notes - Diegesis, Mimesis, Omnipotence

Course Code
EN 1006
Megan Hillman

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Fabula/Histoire: the raw material of the story
Sjuzet/Récit: the way the raw materials are worked into the finished product
Mimesis: showing, imitation, representation e.g. dialogue or very detailed
Diegesis: telling, narration
Homodiegesis: forms a portion of the same story as the primary diegesis (i.e.
the discovery of Anne`s identity)
Heterodiegesis: belongs to a different story than the primary diegesis (i.e.
Mrs. Kempe`s failing health)
Extradiegetic narration: narration that occurs at the higher level of a story
e.g. an omnipotent narrator
Intradiegetic narration: narration that occurs inside the story e.g. a 1st person
Stories are composed of 4 parts:
1) Setting: characters, location and time
2) Theme: the general focus to which the plot adheres; the theme is the stated or implicit goal
the character/s set out to achieve
3) Plot: indefinite number of episodes which have subgoals and goals connected to the theme
4) Resolution: achieving a stable state
Three registers of time:
1) Story Time (ST): the duration of events covered by the story
2) Narrative Time (NT): the portions of the story that are actually narrated
3) Reading Time (RT): the time it takes to actually read the story
Anachrony: various types of discordance between the orderings of narrative
and story
a) Prolepsis: a narrative manoeuvre that consists of narrating or evoking in advance an event
that will take place later
b) Analepsis: an evocation after the fact of an event that took place earlier than the point in
the story at which we`ve arrived.
c) Reach: the distance forward or backward in time
d) Extent: the duration of the anachrony
e) Ellipsis: a portion of the story time that is left out (on the grounds that nothing of
importance happened)
f) Paralipsis: the signalled absence of a moment in the story; a side-stepping more than
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