In response to Wm. R. Pace's request for a definition of "diegetic":
The term is from narrative theory and refers to "The (fictional) world in
which the situations and events narrated occur" [Gerald Prince, DICTIONARY
OF NARRATOLOGY]. The term can also refer to the "telling" rather than
(dramatised) "showing" of events. For applications to film, see Chapter 3
of Bordwell and Thompson's FILM ART:AN INTRODUCTION. A fuller elaboration
of some implications of the term can also be found in Bordwell's NARRATION
IN THE FICTION FILM, among other places.
In the case of the first defintion, at least, film usually presents us with
diegetic and extra (or non) diegetic elements. The former include the
characters and events depicted, the rendition of setting, sounds generated
from within the story world and so forth. The latter would include such
things as credits, "background" music, and the kinds of odd stuff that someone
like Godard likes to throw into his films.
Hope that helps.
Don Larsson, Mankato State U (MN)
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