Anachronism in the Anthropocene: Plural Temporalities and the Art of Noticing in Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

Abstract

Ruth Ozeki’s A Tale for the Time Being (2013) reclaims what is untimely to engage with the uneven temporalities of the Anthropocene. With its metatextual discourse mixing life writing and fiction and embedding anachronism into literary form, the novel resists narrative closure to disturb a binary distinction between past and present. This article develops the conceptual framework of “anachronistic noticing” as a recuperative methodology to explore the nonlinear time, space, and nonhuman materiality in the novel. I analyze how anachronistic noticing is not simply a misplacing of temporal order, but a strategic hindsight that recognizes the multiple pasts and unrealized futures occluded by modern linear progress. In particular, A Tale for the Time Being adopts anachronism to recalibrate human responsibility toward environmental violence that is long-term but easily ignored. The novel indicates that anachronism and anatopism are of ethical and political relevance to our current times through highlighting specific histories of exclusion and recentering the local in global ecological imaginations.Keywords: anachronism, Anthropocene, temporality, ecology, Ruth Ozeki
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)305-321
Number of pages17
JournalLIT Literature Interpretation Theory
Volume32
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Oct 2021

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Arts and Humanities(all)

User-Defined Keywords

  • Anthropocene
  • Temporality
  • Anachronism
  • Waste
  • autobiography
  • Scale

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