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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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Backwards Time

Backwards Time

(p.87) Chapter 6 Backwards Time
About Time

Mark Currie

Edinburgh University Press

This chapter involves the readings of Graham Swift's Waterland and Martin Amis's Time's Arrow. Waterland is a novel full of explicit theorisation that finds its application in the storytelling itself: a novel which explores the theme of time through the temporal logic of storytelling. A discussion which aims to explain what it is that the contemporary novel has expressed, if anything, about time, is provided. In Amis's Time's Arrow, the disjunction between the narrator and the narrated is not a difference of location in time, but one of the experience of the direction of time. The effect that time reversal seems least in control of is the relationship between the meaning of words and the forward direction of time. Time's Arrow offers a striking example of a contradiction between what the novel does and what it says.

Keywords:   time reversal, Graham Swift, Waterland, Martin Amis, Time's Arrow

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