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Time in Fiction$
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Craig Bourne and Emily Caddick Bourne

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199675319

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199675319.001.0001

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Pausing and Rewinding Fictional Time?

Pausing and Rewinding Fictional Time?

(p.83) 6 Pausing and Rewinding Fictional Time?
Time in Fiction

Craig Bourne

Emily Caddick Bourne

Oxford University Press

Apparent cases of pausing and rewinding time are considered. Explanation is given of how some fictions, such as Cashback (2005, dir. S. Ellis), generate the appearance of paused time, despite not representing a world where time has stopped. Detailed analysis is given of Funny Games (1997, dir. M. Haneke), in which it appears that time is rewound. It is shown how the film provides further support for the account of anachrony from Chapter 5, and how a possible-worlds analysis illuminates the film’s elements of metafiction. Finally, an account is given of an extreme kind of rewind found in Roald Dahl’s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator. It is argued that not only does the book’s possible-worlds account give a neat analysis of these cases, showing that fiction provides no reason to posit impossible worlds, but the possible-worlds framework also succeeds in bringing out the so-called ‘point’ of such stories.

Keywords:   Funny Games, Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator, paused time, rewinding time, metafiction

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