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The Architecture of Narrative TimeThomas Mann and the Problems of Modern Narrative$
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Erica Wickerson

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198793274

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198793274.001.0001

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(p.19) 1 Space
The Architecture of Narrative Time

Erica Wickerson

Oxford University Press

Since space and time are the two fundamental modes of locating experience, the first chapter of the book considers their interaction. Specifically, the ways in which descriptions of space further the sense of the passing of time are explored. Space has been traditionally thought of as the opposite of time, and critics have suggested that spatial description in narrative actually stills time. In this chapter, it is suggested that the opposite is true; that, in fact, describing objects and settings contributes to the multilayered, multidirectional, complex view of temporality that narrative affords. The chapter includes analyses of Mann’s Tonio Kröger, Death in Venice, and The Magic Mountain, in comparison with Kafka’s short story Home-Coming.

Keywords:   spatial form, pictorial present, Kafka, Lessing, Doreen Massey, going back, moving forward, interaction of space and time, function of spatial description

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