Currere and Prolepsis: A Literary Analysis
Currere Exchange Journal
Literary scholars and English teachers will recognize the word prolepsis as a term describing the moment in a short story or novel when the reader becomes fully cognizant of past, present, and future events all in one instant. This is a moment of heightened insight, transcending historical sedimentation. " A proleptic moment is any experience " of a text that shifts the reader/viewer/listener outside of " linear segmentation of time and creates a holistic understanding of the past, present, and future simultaneously " (Slattery, 2013, p. 305). Prolepsis is the moment when all of the events of the narrative coalesce. The proleptic experience may unfold in the opening pages of a novel like the progressive moment of currere, as in Faulkner's (1929/1990) The Sound and the Fury. Or, perhaps the proleptic experience is a regressive currere or climax at the end of a film or narrative that is self-evident but not comprehended, as in Murder on the Orient Express. As a literary device, often called a " flash forward, " the narrative is taken forward in time to show events that are expected to occur, or that have already occurred in the future, even though the main part of the narrative is further back in the past. Prolepsis as literary analysis foreshadowed the emergence of currere in curriculum theory in the 1970s. Currently, literary analysis can be useful for deepening our understanding of time and context in curriculum studies. Prolepsis is the synthetical moment of Pinar and Grumet's (1976) currere.
Hall, K. K., Suarez, M. I., Lee, S., & Slattery, P. (2017). Currere and prolepsis: A literary analysis. Currere Exchange Journal, 1(1), 101-110.