Shapes of the Past and the Future: Darwin and the Narratology of Time Travel
01 Jan 2009-Narrative (The Ohio State University Press)-Vol. 17, Iss: 3, pp 334-352
TL;DR: The authors trace the development of time travel, from H. G.G. Wells's The Time Machine to post-modern science fiction as a brief history of a-historicity.
Abstract: "'Scientific people/ proceeded the Time Traveller, after the pause required for the proper assimilation of this, 'know very well that Time is only a kind of Space'" (The Time Machine 268). What is at stake in treating time "as a kind of space," politically, philosophi cally, and narratologically? While time travel has often been dismissed as merely a popular science-fictional gimmick, it seems far more productive to regard it as an in scription of a specific ideology of temporality. The roots of this ideology are in the evolutionary debate of the fin-de-siecle but its contemporary offshoots have become part of postmodernity's problematic relationship with time and history. The post modern trouble with time finds its expression in the "spatial turn" in narrativity, which includes the topos of time travel (Smethurst 37). In this essay, I will trace the development of time travel, from H. G. Wells's The Time Machine to postmodern science fiction as a brief history of a-historicity. As opposed to most narrative conventions, time travel originates in a single text, H. G. Wells's The Time Machine (1895).1 In his first novel, Wells invents not just a new plot but a new chronotope. Chronotope, as Mikhail Bakhtin defines it, is the spa tial-temporal configuration of the narrative text, "the intrinsic connectedness of tem poral and spatial relationships that are artistically expressed in literature" (15). The
16 Jan 2020
TL;DR: The authors argue that the formal disappearance of aging from the English novel parallels the ideological pressure to identify as being young by repressing the process of growing old, which corresponds to the rise of the long novel, which draws upon the temporality of the body to map progress and decline onto the plots of nineteenth-century British modernity.
Abstract: The rapid onset of dementia after an illness, the development of gray hair after a traumatic loss, the sudden appearance of a wrinkle in the brow of a spurned lover. The realist novel uses these conventions to accelerate the process of aging into a descriptive moment, writing the passage of years on the body all at once. Aging, Duration, and the English Novel argues that the formal disappearance of aging from the novel parallels the ideological pressure to identify as being young by repressing the process of growing old. The construction of aging as a shameful event that should be hidden - to improve one's chances on the job market or secure a successful marriage - corresponds to the rise of the long novel, which draws upon the temporality of the body to map progress and decline onto the plots of nineteenth-century British modernity.
01 Sep 2011
TL;DR: In this article, the transmedia franchise character is defined as a particular modality of fiction, producing particular orientations and operations of meaning and representation, and the trans-textual, trans-medial extension of a fiction can be identified and delineated as a fictional practice.
Abstract: In contemporary media landscapes characterised by technological, industrial, and cultural convergence, transmedia fictional practice, that is, the generation of multiple texts, products and experiences across multiple media outlets cohered by a common narrative reality, cast of characters, or entertainment brand, is in the ascendancy. This thesis begins from the observation that although transmedia practice is coterminously beginning to receive more and more critical attention, there remains much work to be done theorising the “total entertainment” experiences (Grainge, 2008: 11) it produces in fictional terms. It identifies a particular need for further critical investigation of how transmedia fictional practice interacts with the design, development, and representation of character. It takes as its fundamental starting principle the assumption that transmediality can be defined and operationalised as a particular modality of fiction, producing particular orientations and operations of meaning and representation, and that the trans-textual, trans-medial extension of a fiction can be identified and delineated as a fictional practice. In dialogue with existing critical work organised by the concept of transmedia storytelling, and industrial discourses and practices of cross-platform production, I conceptualise and define the object of study of this thesis as the practice of transmedia franchising, of which transmedia storytelling is positioned as a sub-genre. The thesis comprises an original theory of the transmedia franchise character as a fictional object, situated in a poetics of transmedia franchising as a fictional practice. It proposes conceptual tools, theoretical frameworks, and critical positions for understanding and analysing the processes of meaning and representation that build up a picture of a character as it is franchised across texts and media, and how they are shaped and influenced by key contextual factors. The six chapters map six core features of the transmedia franchise character as a fictional object, each then providing a granular elaboration of some of the formal, operational, functional, and critical implications of these features. Chapter One engages the problem of the instability of “the text” as critical concept and material artefact relative to transmedia franchise fiction; Chapter Two theorises the franchise character as extensible, designed to anticipate, sustain and generate serial development and representation across multiple texts; Chapter Three presents transmedia franchising as an art of multiplicity, and explores how it builds up a picture of character through setting in play dialogues between rewrites, reimaginings, and alternate versions; Chapter Four focuses on the multimediality of the franchise character specifically; Chapter Five discusses how paratextual material interpolates into and contributes to the actualisation of the franchise character; and Chapter Six explores the franchise character as site and technology of participation, interactivity, and immersion in the franchise world.
Cites background from "Shapes of the Past and the Future: ..."
26 Nov 2018
TL;DR: The authors traces some of the historical reasons for this state of the field, or fields, of narratology, pinpointing spots in classical, post-classical and contemporary narrative theory where compensation was attempted or is being made through a focus on space instead of time.
Abstract: Abstract Narrative has often been considered “an art of time.” This essay traces some of the historical reasons for this state of the field, or fields, of narratology, pinpointing spots in classical, postclassical and contemporary narrative theory where compensation was attempted or is being made through a focus on space instead of time. It suggests that as geography and geographers have become increasingly interested in narrative approaches in dealing with concepts, visualization, and digitalization, it is perhaps (once again) time narratology itself, while continuing to focus on and explore space and place, took account of its history of treating them and looked at how geography has implemented narratological concepts in its technical and philosophical approaches.
01 Jan 1988
TL;DR: The Non-Darwinian Revolution as discussed by the authors is an argument for a reappraisal of Darwin's importance not only for the history of science but also for history of ideas as well.
Abstract: Concise and clearly written, "The Non-Darwinian Revolution" sets forth a convincing argument for a reappraisal of Darwin's importance not only for the history of science but for the history of ideas as well Bowler finds no fault with Darwin's theory, only with the mistaken notion of its revolutionary effect on nineteenth-century thought Examining the work of such figures as Owen, Spencer, Kelvin, Huxley, Haeckel, and Freud, Bowler discovers a near-universal tendency to accept evolutionism while rejecting Darwin's central premise: natural selection Instead, leading scientists and thinkers stubbornly clung to the Lamarckian theory of evolution as guided, purposeful development until they were forced by the twentieth century's "rediscovery" of Mendelian law to concede otherwise