Archive: November 29th, 2008

Paidia and Ludus

[General,Research] (11.29.08, 4:07 pm)

I made a mistake in my posts on Tristram Shandy and If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. These two unconventional narratives have a playful element, and I was describing this as ludic. That actually was not the word I was looking for. I was digging through some notes the other day and found some notes that I took when Marie-Laure Ryan visited, and found a comparison between paidia and ludus. Paidia represents uncontrolled play, whereas ludus is structured and goal oriented. So, the comparison that I meant to make earlier is that both Sterne and Calvino embraced paidia, whereas most narratives and novels have a form that more resembles ludus.

The distinction between paidia and ludus are outlined by Callois. Chris Bateman gives an excellent analysis of the complexity between the two.