Genette's Anachronies

Mohamed Dellal, Mohamed I University, Oujda, Morocco

Note 7 to the author's "The Interpreters' Cultural Politics, Or Soyinka's Postcolonial Otherness"

For Genette, anachronies are the "various types of discordances between the two orderings of story and narrative" (16). These are further defined in the following : ... to avoid the psychological connotations if such terms as "anticipation" or "retrospection," ... we will eliminate these terms most of the time in favour of two others that are more neutral, designating as "prolepsis" any narrative manoeuver that consists of narrating or evoking in advance an event that will take place later, designating "analepsis" any evocation after the fact of an event that took place earlier than the point in the story where we are at any given moment, and reserving the geeneral term "anachrony" to designate all forms of discordance between the two temporal orders of story and narrative... (40)


Genette, G. (1980) Narrative Discourse. Trans. Lewin Jan E Oxford and New York: Cornell University Press. Originally Figure III. Larousse: Paris, 1973.

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