The Space/Time continuum
Chronoschisms, Ursula Heise argues that developments in transportation
and communication have affected the structure of literary time - "postmodern
narratives break up the concept of plot into a spectrum of contradictory story lines"
- though it's not clear to her whether this change in our notions of time
was caused by the postmodern novel's fragmentation
of personae, or vice versa.
A paper-based literary work is a linear snapshot of non-linear, non-uniform
time whose form is thus especially influenced
by changing notions of time. Post-modernist
narratology has shown how, even in pre-web days, our foreshortened
horizons and greater bandwidth have affected narrative flow, requiring new
metrics for gauging distance and intimacy.
- The setting for Eliot's mythic toppling
of bougeois clock-time was a
whose multilayered time was flattened into space.
cities have warped our notion of space and
time - news now takes longer to go from London
to a sleepy Lake District village than it does to reach New York.
If journey-time or time-to-access rather than distance were used to
scale our paper maps, they would be closer to our
mental maps of places and relationships.
- "cyberspace may already itself be a kind of metaspacial phenomenon,
the result of a transformative reflection upon space, or its absence",
Steven Connor, Postmodernist Culture