Rethinking the Arcadian revenge: metachronous times in the fiction of Sam Taylor

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Edwards, Caroline (2012)

This article interrogates representations of time in the novels of Sam Taylor. Drawing on Ernst Bloch’s utopian philosophical framework, I argue that Taylor’s non-contemporaneous or “metachronous” temporalities reconfigure narrative time within the broader context of increasingly post-secular questions of final judgment. Rather than recapitulating the “Arcadian revenge” of SF ecocatastrophes, Taylor’s nonanthropocentric glimpses of futurity enable us to move beyond the dichotomy of pastoral Arcadia/savage wilderness in twenty-first-century fiction. A comparative reading of Bloch’s writings on natural futurity and Taylor’s novels thus helps us reorient the theorization of temporality, suggesting new directions for post-apocalyptic, ecocritical, and utopian literary analysis.
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