From Metalepsis to Performance


  • Ondřej Sládek Institute of Czech Literature, Czech Academy of Sciences, Prague


metalepsis, literary performance, narrative theory, Czech literature, interpretation


This study deals with the issue of metalepsis, which is explored from the point of view of literary performance. The focus is on the narrative figure of addressing the addressee (i.e., a specific type of metalepsis) and its performative effect. In the study, the author demonstrates that addressing the addressee as part of a textual strategy does not only instruct the reader on how to read, understand and interpret a certain narrative text but can also motivate the reader to begin specific activities and performances. The author distinguishes three types of addressing the addressee in a narrative text: addressing in the introduction of the book or in the narrative; addressing as part of the narrative and the game of fiction; addressing as a call to action/performance. These different types of addressing are illustrated with examples and characterised regarding their performative effect.