The Unexpected: Narrative Temporality and the Philosophy of Surprise - The Frontiers of Theory (Hardback)Mark Currie (author)
Hardback 192 Pages / Published: 31/01/2013
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This is a critical and philosophical investigation into the unforeseeable and the surprising in narrative and life. This new study asks how stories affect the way we think about time and, in particular, how they condition thinking about the future. Focusing on surprise and the unforeseeable, the book argues that stories are mechanisms that reconcile what is taking place with what will have been. This relation between the present and the future perfect offers a grammatical formula quite different from our default notions of narrative as recollection or recapitulation. It promises new understandings of the reading process within the strange logic of a future that is already complete. It also points beyond that to some of the key temporal concepts of our epoch: prediction and unpredictability, uncertainty, the event, the untimely and the messianic. The argument is worked out in new readings of Sarah Waters' Fingersmith, Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and Julian Barnes' The Sense of an Ending. It is an original discussion of the relation of time and narrative. It is an important intervention in narratology. It is a striking general argument about the workings of the mind. It provides an overview of the question of surprise in philosophy and literature.
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Number of pages: 192
Weight: 440 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 x 18 mm
Currie has written an insightful, informed, and in-depth work; his position is clear and innovative. The breadth of sources he uses is a clear testament to his ambition and the scope of the work. -- Vladimir Rizov, Philosophy in Review, Vol 36, No 1
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