Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism

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Cambridge University Press, Aug 7, 1997 - Literary Criticism - 286 pages
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In Chronoschisms Ursula Heise explores the way developments in transportation, communication and information technology have led to the emergence of a different culture of time in Western societies. The radical transformation in our understanding and experience of time has also profoundly affected the structure of the novel. Heisse argues that postmodern novels are centrally concerned with the possibility of experiencing time in an age when temporal horizons have been drastically foreshortened. Drawing on theories of postmodernism and narratology, she shows how postmodern narratives break up the concept of plot into a spectrum of contradictory story lines. The coexistence of these competing experiences of time then allows new conceptions of history and posthistory to emerge, and opens up comparisons with recent scientific approaches to temporality. This wide-ranging study offers readings of postmodernist theory and fresh insight into the often vexed relationship between literature and science.

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About the author (1997)

Ursula K. Heise is Associate Professor of English at Stanford University, where she teaches contemporary literature and literary theory. She specializes in twentieth-century literatures of the Americas and Western Europe, in theories of modernization, postmodernization, and globalization, and in
ecocriticism. Her other areas of research and teaching interest include media theory, literature and science, science fiction, animal representations and urban studies.

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