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Commemorating the Past, Anticipating the Future

Commemorating the Past, Anticipating the Future

Chapter:
(p.93) Chapter 3 Commemorating the Past, Anticipating the Future
Source:
Autobiographical Comics
Author(s):
Elisabeth El Refaie
Publisher:
University Press of Mississippi
DOI:10.14325/mississippi/9781617036132.003.0004

This chapter describes how, in Western industrialized nations, time is commonly conceptualized as something linear, regular, and measurable. However, our actual experience of temporality is much richer and less reassuring than this. In our memories, time acquires a further dimension, often skipping certain events completely, while preserving an exact record of seemingly unimportant details, or combining two different moments in unexpected ways. This idiosyncratic experience of subjective time, with its irregularities, circularities, overlaps, and gaps, is what graphic memoirists typically want to “commemorate” or share with their readers. Time has always been a central concern of narrative theorists, who like to draw a distinction between the chronology or duration of events in a story (“story-time”) and the way these are rearranged in the process of their telling (“discourse-time”).

Keywords:   subjective time, temporality, graphic memoirists, narrative theorists, story-time, discourse-time

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