Chapter

Poetics I: Diegesis and Mimesis. The Poetic Modes and the Matter of Artistic Presentation

Karol Berger

in A Theory of Art

Published in print December 1999 | ISBN: 9780195128604
Published online February 2006 | e-ISBN: 9780199785803 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/0195128605.003.0004
 Poetics I: Diegesis and Mimesis. The Poetic Modes and the Matter of Artistic Presentation

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This chapter explores the nature of the diegetic and mimetic modes in literature, the question of their applicability to painting and music, and the relationship between the author and the voices he employs in his work. The categories of elements that constitute the world presented in the literary work are the setting, the personage, and the narrator. While we may easily find analogues for the setting and the personage in painting and music, a true narrative voice is more difficult to locate and may be something of a rarity in these two arts, although it may appear under specific circumstances. The real author is the creator of the immediately speaking voices he employs to present the world of his work, but himself does not belong to this world. As for the implied author, the arguments for postulating the existence of this entity are examined, and the conclusion reached is that the concept is a theoretical fiction with no useful task to perform.

Keywords: poetics; diegesis; mimesis; mode; voice; setting; personage; narrator; literature; painting

Chapter.  13597 words. 

Subjects: Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

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