Modernism and Time Machines

Charles M. Tung

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Bridging modernist studies and science fiction scholarship

Modernism and Time Machines places the fascination with time in canonical works of twentieth-century literature and art side-by-side with the rise of time-travel narratives and alternate histories in popular culture. Both modernism and this cardinal trope of science fiction produce a range of effects and insights that go beyond the exhilarations of simply sliding back and forth in history. Together the modernist time-obsession and the fantasy of moving in time help us to rethink the shapes of time, the consistency of timespace and the nature of history.

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AcknowledgementsList of Figures

Introduction: Modernism, Time Machines, and the Defamiliarization of Time1. The Heterochronic Past and Sidewise Historicity: Pablo Picasso, T. S. Eliot, and Murray Leinster2. Alternate History and the Presence of Other Presents: Virginia Woolf, Philip Dick, and Christopher Nolan 3. Time Lags and Differential Pace: Bullet Time, William Faulkner, and Jessica Hagedorn 4. Temporal Scale, the Far Future, and Inhuman Times: Foresight in Wells and Woolf, Time Travel in Olaf Stapledon and Terence Malick

Conclusion BibliographyIndex

Modernism and Time Machines is a distinguished and exceptional monograph that will inform scholarship on modernism and SF for years to come.
Robert Finnigan, Fafnir – Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research
Modernism and Time Machines is packed with insights about time in its many modernist manifestations, working with an archive and reading list that allows for very different kinds of works to reside together. [...] With such a rich diversity of artifacts and a superb command of the critical literature, Tung promotes an argument that ranges widely, attuned to this welter of cultural and aesthetic objects and histories.
Sarah Cole, Columbia University, Modernism/modernity
Crossing the gulf between modernism and science fiction, this book teaches us that to live in late modernity is to travel through time at variable speeds, be buffeted by clashing chronologies, and grow aware of history’s untaken but possible roads. Among Tung’s lessons: if you were to go back in time and knock sci-fi and modernism out of alignment, the cultural present as you know it would cease to exist.
Paul K. Saint-Amour, University of Pennsylvania
In its wide, polytemporal remit, its interdisciplinarity, and its methodological ease, Modernism and Time Machines is a study that provides exciting new angles for thinking about modernisttemporalities and opens avenues for further scholarship along machinic lines.
Alexander Jones, Trinity College Dublin, The Modernist Review
Charles M. Tung is currently an Associate Professor of English at Seattle University. His publications have appeared in ASAP/Journal, Modernism/Modernity, Configurations, and Symploke.

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