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In: Origins and Futures: Time Inflected and Reflected
In: Protest und Verweigerung / Protest and Refusal
In: Das Diktat
In: Anschauung und Anschaulichkeit


An introductory section explores the semantics as well as the psychological effect of uncertainty and points out its pervasive if unacknowledged presence in contemporary narratology. Using a range of examples from contemporary fiction, the main section examines the crucial and somewhat paradoxical role of uncertainty in two major areas of narrative fiction: temporal structure and the persona of the narrator.

1) Temporal structure: readers crave — and rely on — temporal certainty a well-defined temporal progression, and specification of time as necessary to help them establish a temporal frame of reference for the events presented. Within this framework, uncertainty has specific uses.

2) The narrator: realism of the story world depends on narrative certainty. A reliable and credible narrative voice contributes significantly to this kind of certainty. Yet conversely, an uncertain narrator can actually enhance the credibility of story and plot.

Uncertainty thus contributes to shaping the fictional narrator as a subject persona for the reader. As textual construction and as effect on the reader, it can serve both to reinforce and to deconstruct the realism of a text. Finally, narrative uncertainty can serve as a commentary on history and acquire an ethical dimension.

In: Time and Uncertainty
In: KronoScope
Time holds an enduring fascination for humans. Time and Trace investigates the human experience and awareness of time and time’s impact on a wide range of cultural, psychological, and artistic phenomena, from reproductive politics and temporal logic to music and theater, from law to sustainability, from memory to the Vikings. The volume presents selected essays from the 15th triennial conference of the International Society for the Study of Time from the arts (literature, music, theater), history, law, philosophy, science (psychology, biology), and mathematics. Taken together, they pursue the trace of time into the past and future, tracing temporal processes and exploring the traces left by time in individual experience as well as culture and society.

Contributors are: Michael Crawford, Orit Hilewicz, Rosemary Huisman, John S. Kafka, Erica W. Magnus, Arkadiusz Misztal, Carlos Montemayor, Stephanie Nelson, Peter Øhrstrøm, Jo Alyson Parker, Thomas Ploug, Helen Sills, Lasse C. A. Sonne, Raji C. Steineck, and Frederick Turner.
In: Time and Trace: Multidisciplinary Investigations of Temporality
In: Time and Trace: Multidisciplinary Investigations of Temporality