From Epic Naiveté to the Intrusion of the Time into the Play
Moments of adventuristic time occur when the normal course of events, the normal, intended or purposeful sequence of life’s events is interrupted. These points provide an opening for the intrusion of nonhuman forces – fate, gods, villains – and it is precisely these forces, and not the heroes, who in adventure-time take all the initiative. of course the heroes act in adventure-time – they escape, defend themselves, engage in battle, save themselves – but they act, as it were, as merely physical persons, and the initiative does not belong to them. Even love is unexpectedly sent to them by all-powerful Eros. In this time, persons are forever having things happen to them (they might even 'happen' to win a kingdom); a purely adventuristic person is a person of chance. He enters adventuristic time as a person to whom something happens. But the initiative in this time does not belong to human beings. we may take it for granted that moments of adventure-time, all these 'suddenlys' and 'at just that moments,' cannot be foreseen with the help of analysis, study, wise foresight, experience, etc., alone.
Such things are better understood through fortune-telling, omens, legends, oracular predictions, prophetic dreams and premonitions. Greek romances are indeed filled with all these. For Greek adventure-time to work, one must have an abstract expanse of space. The world of the Greek romance is of course chronotopic, but the link between space and time has, as it were, not an organic but a purely technical (and mechanical) nature. In order for the adventure to develop it needs space, and plenty of it. The world of Greek romances is an abstract-alien world, and furthermore one utterly and exclusively other, since the native world from which the author came and from which he is now watching is nowhere to be found in it. Therefore, nothing in this world limits the absolute power of chance, and for that reason all these abductions, escapes, captivities and liberations, alleged deaths and resurrections and other adventures follow upon each other with such remarkable speed and ease. Greek adventure-time, as we already know, leaves no traces - neither in the world or in human beings.
Mikhail Bakhtin, Forms of Time and Chronotope in the Novel: 1937–1938.