Mark Currie

in About Time

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print October 2006 | ISBN: 9780748624249
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748652037 | DOI:

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This chapter provides an analytical framework for the concept of prolepsis designed to take the term forward from Genette's influential account in such a way that it is capable of accounting for effects formerly considered as metafictional. Prolepsis, for Genette, is a moment in a narrative in which the chronological order of story events is disturbed and the narrator narrates future events out of turn. The complications in the definition of prolepsis are reported. Performative prolepsis produces the future in the act of envisaging it, so that the possible transforms itself into the actual. The relationship of Prolepsis 1 and Prolepsis 3 is the axis between time and self-consciousness, since storytelling is not just self-distance but temporal self-distance; and, on this subject, narratology has much to learn from the philosophy of time.

Keywords: prolepsis; Genette; metafictional; storytelling; narratology; philosophy of time

Chapter.  10688 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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