1st Edition

Catching Time Temporality, Interaction, and Cognition in the Novel

By Isabelle Wentworth Copyright 2024

    'Time travels in divers paces with divers people.' Shakespeare’s oft-quoted line contains a hidden ambiguity: not only do individual people experience time differently, but time travels in diverse paces when we are with diverse persons. The line articulates a contemporary understanding of subjective time: it is changed by interaction with our social environment. Interacting with other people—and even literary characters—can slow or quicken the experience of time. Interactive time, and the paradigm of enactive cognition in which it sits, calls for an expansion of traditional ideas of time in narrative. The first book-length study of interactive time in narrative, Catching Time explains how lived time and narrative time interpenetrate each other, so that the relational model of subjective time acts as a narrative function. Catching Time develops a novel, interdisciplinary framework, drawing on cognitive science, narratology, and linguistics, to understand the patterns of temporality that shape narrative.

    Chapter 1. Introduction to Catching Time, Chapter 2. Lived and Literary Narratives: From Embodiment to Emplotment, Chapter 3. 'Body Time': Don DeLillo's The Body Artist, Chapter 4. The Flow of Time: Lía Chara’s Agua, Chapter 5. ‘Home wasn’t built in a day’: the Temporality of Place in Lisa Gorton’s The Life of Houses, Chapter 6. Bodies and Technologies: Martín Felipe Castagnet’s Los cuerpos del verano, Chapter 7. Postface


    Isabelle Wentworth is an early-career researcher in literary studies. She has a Ph.D. in cognitive literary criticism from the University of NSW. Her work has been published in a range of journals of literary criticism and cognitive science. Catching Time is her first monograph.

    “A clear, poignant, and expansive contribution to understanding temporality in literature, Catching Time brings neuroscience, literature, cultural studies, environmental studies, and object studies together into the now.” Sam KolodezhUniversity of California, San Diego