Narrative time

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As a rule, narration time denotes the amount of time a reader needs to read a text , watch a film , listen to a radio play , audio book (or similar processes). In the case of texts, the narrative time is given either in average times for reading or in pages or words. In the case of a film or radio play, the narration time corresponds to the length of the film; in the case of dramas, the length of the performance.

In contrast to the narrative time, there is the narrated time , that is the period over which the story extends in terms of content.

In computer games with dialogue systems such as interactive fiction , the narration time is suspended while the player uses the keyboard. The narration time continues as soon as the enter key has been pressed. The events in the fictional world arise in the moment in which they are told.

Literary studies

The relationship between narrated time and narrative time is called narrative speed . (On the other hand, it makes sense to use Jost Schneider as the narrative tempo to differentiate the frequency of profound changes in the situation from the speed, and thus to differentiate again precisely between temporal relationships on the level of action and temporal relationships on the level of representation.) From the relationship between narrative time and narrated time the following basic possible narrative speeds result:

  1. Time coverage; The narrative time and the narrated time are almost the same, i.e. they correspond (in the drama : all dialogue passages; in the epic : see seconds style )
  2. Time stretching; Narrative time is longer than narrated time (e.g. when rendering streams of consciousness )
  3. Time lapse; The narration time is shorter than the narrated time, so "unimportant" periods of time are shortened or omitted entirely (e.g. in reports, chronicles, etc.)

An extreme example of time stretching is James Joyce's Ulysses , whose narrated time only extends over one day (namely June 16, 1904 ), but stretches it over almost a thousand pages and, due to its complexity, requires a lot of time for reading. The reverse example (i.e. time lapse) is Thomas Mann's novel Buddenbrooks , which in a shorter narrative time reproduces a narrated time that extends over several generations.

There are also special phenomena in the said relationship, the most important of which are:

More recent works have endeavored to define and expand the traditional dichotomy of a reconstructable narrated time and a measurable narrative time: especially in modern literary texts, different times and narrative speeds are often played with. By comparing the system time and the reference time , it is possible to analyze different time experiences of figures within a text. One can relate a character's proper time to a collective time ; the collective time (or the sum of the other times) then forms a reference value. In this way one can compare the time experience of different characters in a text. If there is a noticeably strong difference, this can be explained by the fact that different concepts of time or different concepts of the present come together.

Film studies

In film studies, a distinction is made primarily between Fabula and Syuzhet.

  • Fabula means the story told in the sense of the time told (see above)
  • Syuzhet means the presentation of the story, the arrangement, the cut.

"It is a pattern that arranges the events and actions according to certain criteria, it is the blueprint, the architecture, the form of presentation of the story" (Nagel 1997, p. 22).

The Syuzhet comprises a total of three levels of a depicted scene:

  • narrative time,
  • the narrative logic, d. H. the causal structures between the narrative elements,
  • narrative space.

The Syuzhet guides the viewer's perception. B. tension, surprise, curiosity can be built up. It uses u. a. of the aforementioned phenomena ellipse , analepse , prolepse and anachrony .

See also

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Marie-Laure Ryan: Narrative and Digitality: Learning to Think With the Medium. In: A Companion to Narrative Theory , edited by James Phelan and Peter J. Rabinowitz , Blackwell Publishing, Malden / Massachusetts and Oxford 2005, paperback edition 2008, ISBN 978-1-4051-1476-9 Table of Contents , pp. 515-528.
  2. ^ Jost Schneider: Introduction to the novel analysis. Darmstadt 2003, p. 35 f.
  3. ^ Günther Müller: narrative time and narrated time . In: Elena Müller (Ed.): Morphological Poetics . Darmstadt 1968, pp. 269-286.
  4. Katrin Stepath: Contemporary Concepts. A philosophical and literary analysis of temporal structures . Königshausen & Neumann, Würzburg 2006, pp. 177–180.
  5. Uwe Nagel: The red thread made of blood. Narrative structures in Quentin Tarantino . Schüren, Marburg 1997, pp. 17-27.