Why have theorists approached narrative primarily as a form of retrospect? Mark Currie argues that anticipation and other forms of projection into the future are vital for an understanding of narrative and its effects in the world. In a series of arguments and readings, he offers an account of narrative as both anticipation and retrospection, linking fictional time experiments (in Ali Smith, Ian McEwan, Martin Amis and Graham Swift) to exhilarating philosophical themes about presence and futurity. This is an argument that shows that narrative lies at the heart of modern experiences of time, structuring the present, whether personal or collective, as the object of a future memory as much as it records the past.
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