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Diegetic Space

Hakan Keleş

Published Apr 14, 2021

Diegetic is a technical literary term for “the fictional ‘world’ of events narrated” (Van Peer, Chatman, 2001) In cinema, Gorbman defines diegesis as the 'narratively implied spatiotemporal world of the action and characters' and diegetic music as 'music that issues from a source within the narrative” (Gorbman, 1987). As comics, among other activities the reader constructs during his reading of a comic the diegetic space of a story. The diegetic space is the fictive space in which the characters live and act. This space can be constructed by the reader in various ways: both by elements that appear inside the frame of a panel, and by elements which remain unseen (which are called in French 'hors champ'). Except that diegetic space in every comic has also an extradiegetic space, namely the space outside the fictive world of the comic. The extradiegetic space is the material space that surrounds the individual panels: not only the whites between the panels, but also the real space in which the reader is located (Lefevre, 2006).

References


Gorbman C. (1987). Unheard Melodies: Narrative Film Music, Bloomington, Indiana University Press.

Van Peer, W., & Chatman, S. (2001). New perspectives on narrative perspective. Albany, NY: State University of New York Press.

Lefevre , P. (2006). The construction of space in comics. Image & Narrative, 16.

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