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mise en abyme is a term used in Western art history to describe a formal technique of placing a copy of an image within itself, often in a way that suggests an infinitely recurring sequence.

In film and literary theory, it refers to the technique of inserting a story within a story. A common sense of the phrase is the visual experience of standing between two mirrors, then seeing as a result an infinite reproduction of one's image. Mise en abyme occurs within a text when there is a reduplication of images or concepts referring to the textual whole. Mise en abyme is a play of signifiers within a text, of sub-texts mirroring each other. This mirroring can get to the point where meaning may be rendered unstable and, in this respect, may be seen as part of the process of deconstruction. In literary criticism, mise en abyme is a type of frame story, in which the core narrative may be used to illuminate some aspect of the framing story. The term is used in deconstruction and deconstructive literary criticism as a paradigm of the intertextual nature of language, that is, of the way language never quite reaches the foundation of reality because it refers in a frame-within-a-frame way, to other language, which refers to other language, and so forth.
As a structural mirror of the overarching plot, the tale is an example of " mise en abyme ".
by yyuryyubicuryy4me July 10, 2018
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