Download PDF by Mark Currie: About Time: Narrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time

By Mark Currie

ISBN-10: 0748630406

ISBN-13: 9780748630400

Approximately Time brings jointly rules approximately time from narrative concept and philosophy. It argues that literary feedback and narratology have approached narrative essentially as a kind of retrospect, and demonstrates via a sequence of arguments and readings that anticipation and other kinds of projection into the long run supply new analytical views to narrative feedback and theory.

The ebook deals an account of 'prolepsis' or 'flashforward' within the modern novel which retrieves it from the area of experimentation and locations it on the middle of a modern mode of being, either own and collective, which reviews the current because the item of a destiny reminiscence. almost about probably the most very important contemporary advancements within the philosophy of time, it goals to outline a suite of questions about annoying and temporal reference in narrative which give the chance to reassess the functionality of news in modern tradition. It additionally reopens conventional questions on the variation among literature and philosophy when it comes to wisdom of time. within the context of those questions, the publication bargains analyses of a variety of modern fiction via writers akin to Ali Smith, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis and Graham speedy.

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Additional info for About Time: Narrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time (The Frontiers of Theory)

Sample text

What then does it mean to say that the contemporary novel might be characterised by future orientation? One possible answer to this question is taken up in the next chapter, which aims to analyse the prevalence of prolepsis in contemporary fiction within a wider framework of a culture increasingly conscious of its own present as the object of a future memory. Part of the purpose of the next chapter is to show that even the apparent preoccupation with retrospect in historiographic metafiction can be understood as a kind of future orientation, and particularly when temporality is understood in terms of the formal structure of narrative in general.

We might add to this a related complication, namely that a fictional event will often have a complex temporal structure in which one time locus is embedded inside another. A narrated memory has this structure. It is a mental event located in the narrative’s quasi-present and yet its content, when represented in fiction, will function to narrate the past within this quasi-present: the memory holds within it the time of its happening and the time that it recalls. But the narration of a memory is not quite the same thing as the narration of the past in the sense that it is not the past itself that is the object of narration but the subjective act of recall belonging to a character.

But prolepsis in Waterland is not anachronous in relation to any first narrative because the narrator simply cannot stick with any part of the narrative long enough to establish its priority. Waterland is not a novel that can be clearly enough divided into past, present and future to make the idea of prolepsis meaningful, and anticipation occurs in almost every sentence of the narrative. There is an appetite for the kind of temporal complexity I described above, so that anticipation can be embedded even in acts of distant recall: ‘Once upon a time there was a future history teacher’s wife who, though she said to the future history teacher they should never meet again, married him three years later’ (2002: 122).

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About Time: Narrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time (The Frontiers of Theory) by Mark Currie

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