Working to (and with) time

With the clock now ticking at the start of our 3-month schedule, time seems both ordered and fixed as we look ahead to the coming weeks. And yet, when

With the clock now ticking at the start of our 3-month schedule, time seems both ordered and fixed as we look ahead to the coming weeks. And yet, when we come to the end of March, those three months will in retrospect be elastic in our minds, with certain stages seeming to have rushed past in the blink of an eye and others feeling like they lingered on.


Following on from last week's energising Sandbox workshops, much of our first group meeting this week focused on both the ways in which literary writing manipulates time, be it intentionally or unconsciously, and the relationships it simultaneously creates between different narratives of time. Techniques of dilation, compression, repression, and even omission all became clearer to us as we returned to our three writers, recalling Shakespeare's poise, Wordsworth's lyricism, and Hugo's verve. These techniques sophisticate the ways in which personal experiences -- those of the writer, the character(s), and indeed the reader -- all flow into and out of a text.


Of course, a text itself can contain variant temporalities of its own when we think about different versions of the same work, for example in a writer's original manuscripts, in different published editions, and through adaptations across a variety of media such as film. In these respects, time unfolds both in and around a text, so how we might trace and visualise these different temporal relationships is very much at the forefront of our minds this week.

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