We are happy to announce a talk by Sebastian Bücking (Siegen) in the Semantics Colloquium.

The talk will take place on campus in IG 4.301.

Title: When the time of the story meets the time of the telling: On temporal metalepses from a linguistic perspective

Date: February 2

Time: 4 pm – 6 pm ct


Following the introduction of the term into narratology by Genette (1983), Pier (2016, Sec. 1) defines narrative metalepsis as a „deliberate transgression between the world of the telling and the world of the told“. Perhaps the most famous example is the following, cited in Genette (1983, 235) from Balzac’s Illusions perdues, where the past time of the told story is said to overlap with the present time of the telling.

(1) While the venerable churchman climbs the ramps of Angoulême, it is not useless to explain …

In my talk, I will tackle temporal metalepsis from a linguistic point of view. Specifically, I will ponder the merits and problems of four potential approaches to it, namely, literal interpretation, accommodation of imagination, accommodation of an operator such as in the story, and deferred reference. The comparison of these approaches will hopefully shed initial light on how temporal metalepses relate to parafictional and metafictional statements (see, e.g., Lewis 1978, Zucchi 2001, Semeijn 2021).