Hakan Keleş

Published Apr 14, 2021

The concept of “chronotope”  was coined by the Russian philologist Mikhail Bakhtin, from the Greek words for time (chronos) and space (topos). In “The Dialogic Imagination”, he argues that the literary chronotope functions as the “primary means of materializing time in space”, and is thus the organizing principle of the novelistic form. This “time space” designates “the intrinsic connectedness of temporal and spatial relationships that are artistically expressed in literature.…Time, as it were, thickens, takes on flesh, becomes artistically visible; likewise, space becomes charged and responsive to the movements of time, plot and history” (Bakhtin, 1981). When discussing the concept of a chronotope, Bakhtin’s focus was on literature, more specifically, on the novel form. But there is a lot of researches argue chronotope in different narrative forms like cinema and graphic narrative. As Vice (2001) and McCloud noticed before (1994), especially in graphic narrative and comics, time becomes visible in the spatial relation between panels. At the same time, the space between panels on a page becomes charged with the movement of time. The necessary connection of time and space produces both the narrative and all its intricacies (De Souza, 2017). Also, as thinking in reality, architecture as a process necessarily inscribes itself in time, it can be thought  of as a ‘chronotope’. A chronotope might consider a set of spatio-temporal aspects represented in  an architectural project  (Kenniff,2012).


de Souza, M. M. (2017). Comic-chronotope in Julio’s Day: Gilbert Hernandez’s explorations of the form-shaping ideologies of the medium. Journal of Graphic Novels and Comics, 8(4), 359-375.

Thomas-Bernard Kenniff (2012). Chronotopic architecture, Hipo K, 11, Madrid.

Bakhtin, M. M. (1981). The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. edited by M. Holquist, Translated Caryl Emerson, Michael Holquist. Austin: U of Texas P.

McCloud, S. (1993). Understanding comics: The invisible art. Northampton: Mass.

Vice, S. (2001). It’s about Time: the Chronotope of the Holocaust in Art Spiegelman’s Maus. J. Baetens içinde, The Graphic Novel. 13vols. . Leuven : UP. Print.