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20 Metalepsis as a Transgeneric and Transmedial Phenomenon: A Case Study of the Possibilities of ‘Exporting’ Narratological Concepts [2005]

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[One of the consequences of the increasing importance of interdisciplinarity (which is a precondition for intermediality studies) is the appearance of terms and concepts in individual disciplines which have been ‘imported’ from other disciplines and have originally also been applied to other phenomena. It is the main aim of the present essay to discuss the chances and problems of such terminological and conceptual ‘imports’ and ‘exports’. The main example chosen here is the originally narratological concept of ‘metalepsis’, which designates paradoxical transgressions between (onto-)logical levels or ‘worlds’ (the essay thus is also a contribution to metalepsis research and aims at expanding the relevance of this concept). After a clarification of the conditions under which terminological and conceptual exports/imports make sense, the notion ‘metalepsis’ is clarified, and its transmedial and transgeneric nature is subsequently illustrated with reference to fields beyond fictional narratives, namely comics, and (non-narrative examples from) the visual arts. The conclusion answers the question of why exporting concepts such as ‘metalepsis’ to fields outside narratology matters. It must be stressed that the export(ability) of a narratological concept such as metalepsis into other domains highlighted here is only one possible example which may be complemented by others, including meaningful ‘imports’ from other domains into narratology.]



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