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Technique and the Time of Reading

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 October 2020


What time is it when we read? There are many answers to this question. Time might refer to a particular day of the week, as in Sunday reading, a practice that Christina Lupton finds has spanned both religious and secular contexts. Or time might imply a sense of pace, that reading is something we do quickly or slowly, which Rolf Engelsing suggests when he distinguishes between intensive and extensive reading. Or perhaps time is more periodic, an argument one finds in Deidre Lynch's work on nineteenth-century habitual reading or Christopher Cannon's work on medieval practices of rereading. Or time could be closer to an idea or topos, as in Mikhail Bakhtin's notion of the chronotope like idyllic time. Finally, for someone like Gerard Genette the time of reading is fundamentally about anachronism, the nonlinear nature of narrative time.

talks from the convention
Copyright © Modern Language Association of America, 2018

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