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Friday, September 22, 2006

Diegesis - The Extent of Story

Dead Beat thinks that maybe it’s time to discuss diegesis and mimesis. Well you would, wouldn’t you early on a Friday morning with four little Dead Beats running beneath your feet since they don‘t have a school to go to?

A diegesis is often defined as the world in which the situation and events occur. The diegesis 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.

Mimesis is an imitation or a representation. Thus the creator must be selective, choosing aspects of whatever experience or object is being represented. There are boundaries imposed, and these boundaries simply tell us that what is contained within cannot be real.

In diegesis the creator addresses the audience directly. Interestingly for all us ‘screamers of show and don’t tell” diegesis is thought of as telling. The author narrates action indirectly and describing what is in the character's mind and emotions.

In mimesis the author shows what is going on in characters' inner thoughts and emotions through his external actions.

Now here’s the sucker punch: story refers to all the audience infers about the events that occur in the diegesis on the basis of what they are shown by the plot. Story is always more extensive than plot.

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