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mise-en-abîme


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[French ‘placing into the abyss’]

1. The double-mirroring effect created by placing an image within an image and so on, repeating infinitely (infinite regression): for example, the album cover of Pink Floyd's Ummagumma (1969). This is also known as Droste effect.

2. A reflexive strategy where the content of a medium is the medium itself: for example, Shakespeare's Hamlet features a play within a play and Fellini's (1963) is a film within a film. See also reflexivity.

3. A formal technique in Western art of placing a small copy of an image inside a larger one.

Subjects: Literature


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