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n. pl. met·a·lep·ses (-sēz′)
1. A figure of speech in which a word or phrase makes indirect reference to another figure of speech. For example, in "His new leaf turned out to be short-lived, and his life spiraled back out of control," "new leaf" alludes to the expression "turn over a new leaf."
2. A narrative device that involves transgressing the boundary between a fictional world and the real world or between two discrete fictional worlds, as when a character from one TV series makes an appearance in a different series.

[Latin metalēpsis, from Greek, alternation, succession, the use of one word for another, from metalambanein, metalēp-, to take instead, substitute, receive in succession : meta-, meta- + lambanein, lēp-, to take.]


a rhetorical device in which a word that is used figuratively is taken through a succession of its different meanings or two or more tropes are united in the use of a single word. — metaleptic, adj.
See also: Rhetoric and Rhetorical Devices
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.metalepsis - substituting metonymy of one figurative sense for another
metonymy - substituting the name of an attribute or feature for the name of the thing itself (as in `they counted heads')
References in periodicals archive ?
In the chapter on voice Genette identifies the technique as narrative metalepsis and continues:
In an exchange with the conservative Richard Smith, who has argued that if Christ merely called bread his body, then bread was "given to death for you," Cranmer mocks a literalism baffled by metalepsis and metonymy; at the same time, his examples attest to the figurality even of ordinary language: And so "a man may not take a loaf in his hand made of wheat that came out of Dantzic, and say this is wheat that grew in Dantzic, but it must follow, that the loaf grew in Dantzic.
10) Likewise, what distinguishes a metalepsis (the rhetorical figure that takes a cause for its effect or vice versa) is its undermining of the temporal logic upon which the very distinction between cause and effect (what comes before and what comes after) is based.
This insulation involves a substitution, a metalepsis, where a sociopolitical effect is identified as a cause.
On the one hand, an analysis of minds in Johnson's novel would be reductive without an account of metalepsis, metafiction, irony (a more extensive reading would also refer to the grotesque and elaborate on the dynamics of pathos and irony, which amounts to tragicomedy).
Metalepsis, as Herman explains, can be formally defined as "one or more illicit movements up or down the hierarchy of diegetic levels structuring narrative discourse" (133).
An Essay in Method [El discurso narrativo: Un ensayo metodologico] (1980), este tipo de transicion, o metalepsis, puede existir unicamente en la narracion, jugando con "la doble temporalidad de la historia y el acto de narrar" (235).
Discussion is routed through the (I think) misleadingly clinical idiom of classical rhetoric - catachresis and metalepsis are the most consequential diagnoses - and the politics under interrogation is "the politics of the simile," etc.
But the final chapter introduces literary allusions to At Swim-Two-Birds that break through the frame of the story, involving us in a variation of narrative metalepsis that promotes this novel's elasticity and inventiveness.
But sign-posted in linguistic, thematic, and structural inversions, and in the writer's metatextual observations and the fracturing effect of metalepsis (illicit slippage between levels of the text, between fiction and metacommentary), desire in Duras is a complex, non-linear, non-dialectical product of a pleasure-inducing network of power relations and conflicts and not simply an opposite reaction to repression or disciplinary normalization of the body.
Here, the eye of the narrative, damping its aperture down to a binocular anopticity nearly enough in sync with Dingle's own to make double or nothing a redundancy, piggybacks on a flatbed of metalepsis to it's own dim view of things, in this case how the "Cave of Winds" segment of Ulysses acquires an eigenvalue relative to the eigenvector of the Collective Copy, one among many such eigenvectors, the sum of which comprises the "observable," or the eigenbasis of the observable (an eigenbasis being a set of vectors, such that any arbitrary vector can be represented as a linear combination of those in the set).
While it may be trite to continue to carp at the alienating terminology of Spivak's criticism (terms such as catachreses, metalepsis, paleonomy, axiogical, and chromatism) -- for which one has yet to find an adequate glossary -- this text is mercifully free of much of the special usage that makes Spivak, largely as a deconstructionist, inaccessible.