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About Time

Narrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time

Mark Currie

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Why have theorists approached narrative primarily as a form of retrospect? Mark Currie argues that anticipation and other forms of projection into the future are vital for an understanding of narrative and its effects in the world. In a series of arguments and readings, he offers an account of narrative as both anticipation and retrospection, linking fictional time experiments (in Ali Smith, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis and Graham Swift) to exhilarating philosophical themes about presence and futurity. This is an argument that shows that narrative lies at the heart of modern experiences of time, structuring the present, whether personal or collective, as the object of a future memory as much as it records the past.

Contents

Series Editor's Preface
Acknowledgements
Introduction About About Time
Chapter One: The Present
Chapter Two: Prolepsis
Chapter Three: Temporality and Self-Distance
Chapter Four: Inner and Outer Time
Chapter Five: Backwards Time
Chapter Six: Fictional Knowledge
Chapter Seven: Tense Times
Bibliography
Index.

About the Author

Mark Currie is Professor of Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary, University of London. His previous publications include Difference (Routledge, 2004), Postmodern Narrative Theory (Palgrave, 2nd edition, 2011) and Metafiction (Longman 1995).

Reviews

'...a very useful examination of a variety of thinkers who have received little attention in contemporary literary discussions of time...a rigorous, innovative, and revealing approach to the material.'
- Novel: A Forum on Fiction

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