First published in Stat'i po tipologii kul'tury 2 (Tartu, 1973): 9‑41. Notes (following Lévi‑Strauss, Mythologiques III) the cyclical‑temporal character of myth, with an absence of beginning and end. In the cyclical world of mythological texts, different characters tend to be made identical. Texts so generated played a classifying, stratifying, regulating role. A different mechanism, organized in accordance with linear‑temporal motion and finding not laws but anomalies or "news" (chance events, crimes, calamities, etc.), was the historical kernel of plot narration. Myth organizes the hearer's world; "news" adds interesting details to the hearer's knowledge of this world. The transition from cyclical myths to "eschatological" narration entailed the linear development of plot, with clearly marked endings (and beginnings not so clearly marked).