2. The Concept of “Time”
Narratology is made up of many elements and facets. As a framework, narratology includes different genres and levels, which analyses different characteristics of a narrative such as story, action, tellability, focolization (mood), narration (voice), time, tense, narrative modes, narrative situation, discourse, and characters. Among these elements, ‘time’ is considered in this study.
The concept of time is one of the components of narratology.
Together with spatial parameters of height, width, and depth, time is the fourth dimension which makes it possible to locate and measure occurrences (Scheffel et al., 2013). Besides, time is seen and interpreted differently by different people and cultures. Thus, time is a culturally constructed concept, and it varies as a result of historical evolutions (Scheffel et al., 2013) or maybe cultural changes.
Time is a complex phenomenon and is not understood unless in a coherent and tangible framework. Due to its elementary quality, time is widely discussed in philosophy, physics, and aesthetics. St Augustine claims that “time is hard to grasp even though one has an intuitional notion of it” (Augustine, 1992, p. 154). Lessing (1962) believes the art of speech (poem and fiction), as opposed to visual art, takes place within time. In particular, narratives, understood as representations of event-sequences, are defined and differentiated by their temporality.
In discussions about sequentiality and eventfulness, time, along with causality, is considered by some theoreticians to be a necessary condition for narrativity. From what scholars say, it seems that ‘time’ plays a crucial role in determining the narativity of a work and thus is a unified concept which should be carefully studied and examined. The study of time, thus, needs some frameworks.
In the discussion of time, the sequence and order of events are important features of stories. There exist some discrepancies between story time and discourse time. This feature should be taken into careful consideration when analyzing a story. Thus the same “time”, can be reconstructed is different ways by different writers.
The two concepts of story/ narrated time and text/ discourse/ narrating time are distinguished. Story time refers to the actual duration of events in the story. It is the sequence of events and the length of time that passes in the story. Discourse-time, on the other hand, covers the length of time that is taken up by the telling (or reading) of the story and the sequence of events as they are presented in discourse. In narrative analyses of time, the relationship between these two concepts are examined.