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About TimeNarrative, Fiction and the Philosophy of Time$
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Mark Currie

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780748624249

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624249.001.0001

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Tense Times

Tense Times

Chapter:
(p.137) Chapter 8 Tense Times
Source:
About Time
Author(s):

Mark Currie

Publisher:
Edinburgh University Press
DOI:10.3366/edinburgh/9780748624249.003.0008

This chapter investigates the potential impact of tense philosophy on narratology and asks the question of whether it is possible to infer a metaphysics of time from the linguistic form of narrative. It aims to identify and analyse the ways in which the study of narrative can learn from the philosophy of tense, and the ways in which this relationship between narrative and tense map onto the debates surrounding time in the physical sciences. The distinction between A-series and B-series theories of time is capable of some important contributions to an understanding of narrative, and particularly so when it operates by moving between linguistics and metaphysics. The value of tense-based narratology would extend beyond the description of narrative fiction, and of its increasingly complex temporal structures, to an analysis of the relationship between time and narrative in general.

Keywords:   tense philosophy, narratology, narrative fiction, theories of time, metaphysics, linguistics

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