What was, is, and will be: Time Manipulations in the Telling of Narrative Events
Narrative theorists study movements of time in narrative by discussing how events in a narrative fit together. Writers shift from the past, to the present, to the future, and back again when they write. Writers move back and forth through time. Time, however, does not only shift between the telling of discrete narrative events. Writers also manipulate time within singular narrative events, whether it is to move the reader across different time periods, or whether it is to try and get the reader to comprehend the totality of time by calling forth moments from the past, present, and future and intertwining them together in a single sentence or phrase. These types of time manipulations are worth studying because of the rhetorical effect they have on the reader. Each writer discussed in this thesis works with time in a different way and often to different narrative effect. A helpful way to organize narrative time manipulations would be to place them in two categories: through the ways writers manipulate time in narrative explicitly and through the way in which writers shift time in a single sentence or paragraph implicitly. This thesis will explore this analytical framework through a number of texts, including narratives by William Faulkner and Vladimir Nabokov.
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