TIME! IS TIME FICTION??
Isn’t “TIME” a creation of man’s imagination?
Are not the past, present and future, the three dimensions we perceive
to be “TIME”? And, does the word “TIME”,
to a writer, mean at a critical or present moment? Let’s
try to find out.
If a writer really wants to understand “TIME” one would
have to read the French philosopher Henri-Louis Bergson’s
essay “TIME and the FREE WILL” (1910). In it, he declares
that human beings apprehend “TIME” not through intellect,
but through intuition, and that they experience time as a continuous
and flowing duration, rather than as a succession of separate steps.
He presents a good polemic.
In literature, it’s generally perceived that the flow of
time chiefly depends upon its perception by a subjective character.
In certain novels, it becomes incessantly clear to the reader that
“TIME” in any given plot can rebel or shall we say misbehave,
by the cunning “make believe” on the part of a clever
I, personally agree with Shakespeare in his Sonnet 16 in which
he describes “TIME” as a bloody tyrant, and to quote
him apart from this Sonnet, “human life is forever circumscribed
by a hopeless struggle against it”. To further quote him,
“Time is meaningless and is abreast to chasing the wind”.
Oh man, how true, how true!
Sonnet 16 is one of the first 17 sonnets commonly referred to as
the “recreation sonnets”. They seem to relate
to “time, love and beauty” with number 16 pertaining
to war against time while being youthful. Let’s see if we
can catch his meaning.
But wherefore do not you a mightier way
make war upon this bloody tyrant, TIME?
And fortify yourself in your decay
with means more blessed than my barren rhyme?
Now, stand you on the top of happy hours,
and many maiden gardens yet unset
with virtuous wish would bear your living flowers,
much liker than your painted counterfeit:
So should the lines of life that life repair,
which this, time’s pencil, or my pupil pen,
neither in inward worth, nor outward fair,
can make you live yourself in eyes of men.
To give away yourself keeps yourself still,
And you must live, drawn by your own sweet skill.
Let’s ponder a moment on Shakespeare’s play on “TIME”
and allow me to present my thoughts:
When a person reads a novel, they make present events
seems as though that are in the past and when they live their life,
they often do the opposite and live in the present as if
it were already in the past and to become the object of a future
Whoa, maybe it’s best that I stop here and do a little defining:
DEFINITION OF TIME: A measuring system of a particular period or
part of duration, whether past, present or future; a point or portion
of duration: as, the time was, or has been; the time is, or will
Although, an interesting view has surfaced that relates: “TIME”
is neither an event nor a thing, and thus is not itself measurable
nor can it be traveled. Intriguing!
DEFINITION OF PAST: No longer current nor future.
DEFINITION OF PRESENT: Now existing, begun but not ended.
DEFINITION OF FUTURE: Yet to come, something that will exist.
As I stated earlier, in the literary world, objective “TIME”
reigns supreme, a writer’s surprising twist to a story can
become a puzzling deflection. The twist causes an illusion thus
creates time for the writer to treat his reader to another page.
Linger on this: To a Geologic writer chronology can be nothing
but an illusion to a reader because the past and the future are
both implicit in the present; therefore the event (situation, etc.),
the cause and the effect exist simultaneously. Simply put: the action
in a story has no focus—nor is the action the focus.
If you wish some extraordinary and bizarre views on the concept
of “TIME” check out Gene Ray’s website the TIME
CUBE. But, be prepared for some way out thinking. Especially, when
it comes to religions. Not my cup of tea.
“TIME” plays the most intriguing part in our everyday
lives. Can we do anything without time? Think about it. Don’t
we take time to: get up, get dressed, get to work, get the job done,
get home, get supper, go to bed. And, how about time warp, time
travel, time out, set our time clocks to Eastern, Central or Standard
time, worry about the time of the day or the time of the year, sense
of time, the axis of time, the essence of time, etc. Hell, I could
go on for paragraphs noting the many ways we make use of the word
Now, that I’ve taken the “TIME “ to explain about
“TIME” as a fiction, please allow me to finish my column
with this statement, “The science of time is merely the refinement
of everyday thinking”. That’s according to Albert Einstein.
Books to read: Time as Power: the social construction
of time in modern fiction by Mark L. Homa (1997) Published by Tulane
University and About Time: narrative, fiction and the philosophy
of time by Mark Currie (2007) Edinburgh University Press.
I hope you found this column short, sweet and on time to the relevancy