The Unexpected: Narrative Temporality and the Philosophy of Surprise (The Frontiers of Theory EUP)
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Explores the relationship between unexpected events in narrative and life
Focusing on surprise, spontaneous eruption and the unforeseeable, The Unexpected argues that stories help us to reconcile what we expect with what we experience. Though narrative is often understood a recapitulation of past events, the book argues that the unexpected and the future anterior, a future that is already complete, are guiding ideas for new understandings of the reading process. It also points beyond that to some of the key temporal concepts of our epoch, of unpredictability, the event, the untimely and the messianic.
The Unexpected is an important intervention in narratology and a striking general argument about the cultural significance of surprise. The enquiry is developed by a range of new readings in philosophy and theory, as well as of Sarah Waters's Fingersmith, Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go and Julian Barnes's The Sense of an Ending.
An original discussion of the relation of time and narrative
An important intervention in narratology
A striking general argument about the workings of the mind
Provides an overview of the question of surprise in philosophy and literature
relation of speech and writing that this formula involves. We might note, for example, the emphasis that Morson’s study of the novel places on the category of writing: In a novel the future in fact is there, already written; we need only skip a few pages. It has the full substantiality of a past event. Novels that do not rely on foreshadowing allow us more easily to suspend this knowledge and so to come closer to representing open temporality; novels that use foreshadowing call our attention to
source of constant insight and surprise. Mark Currie CURRIE 9780748676293 PRINT.indd viii 06/12/2012 15:17 Introduction: What Lies Ahead In what lies ahead there is a central claim about the temporality of narrative: namely, that it operates according to a tense structure quite different from the one we normally assume for it. This tense structure is the future perfect, the tense that refers to something that lies ahead and yet which is already complete, not what will happen, but what will
than as the production of those efforts. It is worth noting too the number of temporal relations at work in the formulation: that politics is an effort in the present that sees itself in the past, and develops a future, that the conservative presents a continuity (an understanding of events) between past and future via the present, and the radical accepts dislocation (a spontaneous emergence) between the present and the future, and finally that the response to the future as surprise is either
of modern European verb conjugations, an alternate account of time begins to arrive. This ‘other time’ is at variance with the tense structures of the languages in which Derrida and Husserl write; and this poses huge problems for its expression and articulation within the grammars of natural language. (Hodge 2007, 39) This is obviously a significant problem, that the verbs forms of natural language project into our understanding a notion of natural time, or what Heidegger calls an ordinary
from Y. (Runciman cited in Wakeford 1969, 69) The key feature of this concept of social control is that a person who enters a total institution must be systematically deprived of individual freedom, personal space, and opportunities for self-expression relative to other individuals in the institution. The privilege of others must therefore be made visible and possibly offered as an enticement to an individual, as an expectation for the future. This initial deprivation must be relieved slowly