What is time jump

Analepse

As Analepse, also flashback and flashback, is a narrative behavior and a form of timing in the literature. The analepse is not found in all genres, but is common in drama and very typical of epic texts. The analepse means the circumstance, that an event, that in the narrated story - which is considered the starting point in time - happened before, is told in retrospect. This often happens in the form of memories or associations of the protagonists. Such flashbacks are used in texts to provide additional information. Analepsis can appear in different lengths: sometimes they are extremely extensive, sometimes only small moments are shown. Sometimes the time level is changed completely, which is particularly typical in stories and novels.

term

The term Analepse can be derived from the Greek nounanálēpsis lead back. This can be done with Resumption and also Restoration translate. Thus, the translation refers to what this is basically about: namely, the resumption of a thing that has happened before.

It is similar with the term Flashback: this already refers to the underlying principle through the translation. The term comes from English and can simply be used with Flashback translate what next Turning back and Retrospective is also the German name for the analepse.

Note: All of the terms presented can be used for the abnormalities described. But mostly will - especially in German lessons - the terms Analepse and Flashback used for such time leaps.

example

To make the whole thing clearer, let's look at an example from literature. For example, the following passage can be found in Johann Wolfgang von Goethe's prose story Novella (1797).


But they all waited for the prince, who, saying goodbye to his young wife, hesitated for too long. Having only recently married, they already felt the happiness of the same minds; Both were of an active, lively character, one liked to take part in the other's inclinations and endeavors.

The prince's father had experienced and used the point in time when it became clear that all members of the state spend their days with the same activity, each one should first win in his own way and then enjoy it in the same activity and work. How successful this was could be seen in those days when the main market was gathering [...].

The prince had yesterday led his wife on horseback through the swarm of piled-up goods, and let her see how the mountainous country met with a happy exchange here for the flat country; he knew how to make them aware of the hustle and bustle of his district on the spot.


The above example excerpt in a sense jumps between the times. We can distinguish here between the actual time of the narration and various analepsis.

The time structure of the short section, i.e. the actual narrative and all analepsis, can be made clear with the help of a graphic. For the time being, a straight line is suitable, which represents the time span of the actual action. The previous is dashed.

We see now that the above text actually only covers a very small period of time. Namely the description that the prince is saying goodbye to his wife, which is why they are waiting. However, the reader is shown even more by means of a flashback.

The first analepsewhen it is mentioned that the two characters got married only a short time ago. This is a leap in time that provides the reader with additional information, although it is of course only of limited scope.

However, the text provides us with two more flashbacks in a tight sequence. It is pointed out here that the prince's father had met the prince's father a long time ago and how he acted during this time - the father's policy is dealt with here, followed by another analepsis, that of the couple on the market yesterday reported.

Thus there are three flashbacks in the example text, who look differently into the past. The first analepse, which briefly reports on the wedding ceremony, is in the near past, whereas the second analepse looks much further back. The third flashback only refers to yesterday, so it took place almost immediately before the narrated plot.

Note: Analepsis are all time leaps into the past, at least viewed from the narrated starting point of a story. Each of these leaps in time, no matter how small, can be called a flashback. The extent of the time jump is irrelevant.

Partial and complete analepse

A distinction is made between two forms of analepsis: partial and complete. This is about how the flashback was embedded in the action and is connected to it.

The complete analepse means that the inserted flashback is fully reproduced from the time of the flashback to the narrated plot. If a messenger were to come to the king, tell him what happened yesterday on the battlefield and then describe how he rode from the front to the throne room and thus to the action shown, this would be a complete analepsis.

The partial analepsis inserts the event, the one between the flashback and the action shown does not. If the messenger were only to report from the battlefield and wait for the king's answer, this would be regarded as a partial analepsis, since the events between the battle and the reproduction were left out.


But they all waited for the prince, who, saying goodbye to his young wife, hesitated for too long. Having only recently married, they already felt the happiness of the same minds; Both were of an active, lively character, one liked to take part in the other's inclinations and endeavors.

In the example above there is a partial analepse. The small flashback that refers to the wedding ceremony is partial, as the events between the wedding ceremony and the farewell of the prince and wife are not told.

In contrast, the flashback, which tells of the father's politics, is connected to the main story. This is through the word just signals.


The prince's father had experienced and used the point in time when it became clear that all members of the state spend their days with the same activity, each one should first win in his own way and then enjoy it in the same activity and work. How successful this was could be seen in those days when the main market was gathering [...].

Here the past is linked to the action shown. First it is told that the prince's father experienced a certain time and then it is shown that certain things of this time were absorbed in the here and now, which is shown in the moment (precisely). Therefore we speak of a complete analepse, although this is of course difficult to recognize here.

Summary

  • In the literature, a narrative behavior and a form of timing is referred to as analepsis, also known as flashback and flashback. She means the circumstance, that an event, that is in the narrative - which is considered the starting point in time - happened before, is told in retrospect.
  • A distinction is made between partial and complete analepsis. A flashback is complete when it is told from the flashback to the here and now - it is partial when the flashback is only carried out, but the in-between is not told.