Metalepsis, i. e. the blurring of the hierarchy of narrative levels, is a much discussed phenomenon in modern fiction. De Jong contributes to the project of a historical narratology by exploring the use of metalepsis in early Greek literature. She examines in particular the figure of apostrophe, that is references to the narrative at the level of the action, the blending of narrative voices and the merging of the worlds of the narrator and the narrated at the end of narratives. While in modern fiction metalepses often serve as an ‘anti-illusionistic device’, de Jong makes a strong case that in early Greek literature metalepses tend to increase the authority of the narrator and the realism of the narrative.
Bakker argues that the virtual absence of free indirect discourse is due to the fixed setting of performance, suggests the term of ‘projected indexicality’ which takes into account the diachronic dimension of performance, and challenges the value of a sharp distinction between narrator and character speech in the case of orally performed poetry. As the Odyssey illustrates, the boundaries between the characters’ έπη and the bards’ άοιδή become easily blurred.
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