3 Answers

  1. In simple terms, mizanabism is a work within a work. The simplest case that historically gave the phenomenon its name is when a smaller coat of arms is placed in the middle of a heraldic image (coat of arms), forming a recursion.

    In the modern world, or as you put it, in pop culture, the meaning of the term has expanded to include any recursive product. If the characters in a movie watch a movie , this is mizanabism, if the hero writes his own literary work in a literary work, this is also mizanabism, and so on.

    Let's focus on textbook examples:

    • In the” Portrait of the Arnolfini Couple ” by Jan van Eyck, a small convex mirror hangs on the wall behind the figures of the portraitists, in which you can see how the artist draws the portraitists and the very mirror in which he is reflected.
    • In Don Quixote, a priest and a barber, while exploring the protagonist's library, find a book by Cervantes and begin discussing its merits; it turns out that the barber is a friend of Cervantes. In other words, “the barber, a figment of Cervantes or an image from Cervantes' dream, judges Cervantes.”
    • The beginning, Nolan's film, is a perfect example of mizanabism, in which the characters are immersed in dreams in dreams, and there the recursion becomes infinite – according to the plot of the film, it is not clear until the last moment what is real and what is in the characters ' dreams.

    There are a lot of examples of misanabism in pop culture, I would even say that it is difficult to find a work where it would not be in one form or another, because we live in a postmodern world, and recursion and self-quoting are favorite techniques of postmodernists!

  2. I know what mizanabim is, but honestly, I'm not sure what you mean by the term “pop culture”)) But I'll try to answer it.

    When we look at a work of art, we see, as Tolkien said, a “secondary reality”-a piece of a fictional world. And if in this world there is a passage even further-to the” secondary world ” of characters-this is mizanabim. A work of art within a work of art.

    Actually, Tolkien's own work is a vivid example, because The Lord of the Rings, The Silmarillion and The Hobbit are books written by characters from his world – Bilbo and Frodo Baggins (in the case of the Silmarillion, translated from Elvish).

    Or, for example, a comic about “Legends of the Black Schooner”, which is read by the characters of the comic book “Guardians” (in the film adaptation, it also exists – but only in the director's version and not so relevant).

    This technique is especially common in movies. Well, I love movies, so most of the examples will be from there.

    A reference example is Christopher Nolan's The Beginning. The characters live in an ordinary world, but from time to time they move into the world of dreams, a fictional reality relative to their world.

    Or one of the episodes of the animated series “Avatar: the Legend of Aang”, in which the characters watch a play about their own adventures (by the way, a brilliant move to replace the standard series “what happened before”, which usually consists of a simple retelling to cut past episodes).

    Well, from the last – the movie “Joker” is, in fact, the memories of the Joker himself, told or surfaced in his head during an appointment with a psychiatrist.

  3. The term came from medieval heraldry, where the French word abyme (obsolete spelling of the word abĂ®me) meant a miniature coat of arms in the center of the coat of arms. Mise en abyme meant “to place the heraldic element in the center of the coat of arms”. In the modern sense of metonymic reproduction of a figure within itself, this heraldic term was first used at the beginning of the XX century by the writer Andre Gide.

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