The diegesis - Currently no debate

Currently no general definition


Associated practices:
narrative environment design - Narratology

The diegesis in narrative environment design

The diegesis is the world of the narrative. It includes objects, events, spaces and the characters that inhabit them, including things, actions, and attitudes not explicitly presented in the work but inferred by the audience. That audience constructs a diegetic world from the material presented in a narrative. The narrator may or may not be inside the diegesis (extra- (outside) or intra- (inside) diegetic). Note that this formulation of extra- and intra- diegetic differs from and is simpler than the classic formultaion of Genette (homo- hetero- extra- and intra- diegetic and combinations thereof)*. This is so for two reasons: the first is that the diegesis in a narrative environment is typically constructed of real thing: real place, real objects, real people; the second is that we have found that we do not need such a complex formulation as Genette proposes - inside and outside suffices.

A diegesis may contain other narratives, in which case the narrative it belongs to is called a framing narrative. Stories that are told (usually by characters) within the main narrative are part of its diegesis, but also each has its own internal diegesis. If the diegeses of these subnarratives are related to the diegesis of the framing or master narrative, then in narrative environment design we call the framing narrative a meta narrative.

The diegesis is an important concept in narrative environment design because it will most likely contain real places, spaces, objects. Because the audience (narratee) is in direct physical relationship to these elements, the borderline between intradiegetic (part of the narrative’s world) and extradiegetic (outside the narrative’s world) can be extremely porous, making metalepsis comparatively easy. This is a powerful tool for engaging the narratee. See intradiegetic narratee and metalepsis.

*See under “Voice’ in Genette, Gerard; Narrative Discourse: An Essay in Method (Cornell University Press, 1980)


Stuart Jones

Broader terms:
Diegesis
Narrower terms:
Metalepsis - extradiegetic - intradiegetic
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The diegesis in Narratology

A mataphor or example. A paradigmatic moment is one that unfolds associations. See also ‘syntagmatic’.

This understanding of paradigm is distinct from the more recent and now more general one (in the realm of theory anyway): “a philosophical and theoretical framework of a scientific school or discipline within which theories, laws, and generalizations and the experiments performed in support of them are formulated; broadly : a philosophical or theoretical framework of any kind.” (Merrion-Webster Online Dictionary)

No Broader term
Narrower terms:
Metalepsis - intradiegetic - extradiegetic
No content