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A Question of Time

Book description

This book brings together leading critics in American literature to address the representation of time throughout a wide range of genres, methodologies, and chronological periods. American literature, from its beginnings to the present, provides a particularly rich set of texts to examine in this regard, with its interest in history, modernity and progress. Each essay considers how time embeds itself in a variety of textual representations, including Native American rituals, Shaker dances, novels, poetry, and magazines in order to provide readers with a capacious view of time's constitutive role in American literature. The essays are organized into four sections - Materializing Time, Performing Time, Timing Time, and Theorizing Time. Each section reflects a particular approach to the question of time, but taken as a whole the volume makes visible unexpected temporal patterns that cut across time period and genre.


‘The expertly chosen essays in this collection offer a major contribution to the study of time in American literature and culture. Ranging from the colonial period to the present, these pieces reveal the centrality of temporal concerns to the aesthetics and the politics of some of our most important texts and other cultural productions, from canonical literary works to periodical writing, indigenous oral traditions, theatrical performance, testimony, and dance.'

Thomas Allen - University of Ottawa

'Bringing fresh insights from neuroscience, queer studies, and performance studies, this stunning collection explores the multiple chronologies of American literature, richer and stranger than anything we have seen. A must-read for anyone interested in the unfinished stories of past, present, and future.'

Wai Chee Dimock - Yale University, Connecticut

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