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date: 17 April 2024


A Dictionary of Film Studies

Annette Kuhn,

Guy Westwell

(adj diegetic) A term used in narratology (the study of narratives and narration) to designate the narrated events in a story as against the telling of the story. The diegetic (or intradiegetic) level of a narrative is that of the main story world and the events that exist within it, while the extradiegetic or nondiegetic level stands outside these. In narrative cinema, the diegesis is a film’s entire fictional world. Diegetic space has a particular set of meanings (and potential complexities) in relation to narration in cinema as opposed to, say, the novel; and in a narrative film, the diegetic world can include not only what is visible on the screen, but also offscreen elements that are presumed to exist in the world that the film depicts—as long as these are part of the main story (... ...

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