About the book
“Critical Time takes a nuanced view of how modern culture has struggled with time, speed and acceleration. The historical frame and the cross-cultural perspectives make for a thought-provoking survey in this most fascinating arena.”
—Professor Karen Leeder, University of Oxford
The fleeting nature of time is a defining feature of modern and postmodern existence. Identified by Reinhart Koselleck as the temporalization (“Verzeitlichung”) of all areas of human knowledge and experience around 1800, the concept of critical time continues to intrigue researchers across the arts and humanities. This volume combines theoretical and critical approaches to temporality with case studies on the engagement with the modern sense of time in German literature, visual art and culture from the eighteenth century to the present. Contributions explore key areas in the cultural history of time: time in art and aesthetic theory, the intellectual history of time, the relationship between time and space in literature and visual art, the politics of time and memory, and the poetics of time. Essays question the focus on acceleration in recent critical discourse by also revealing the contrapuntal fascination with slowness and ecstatic moments, notions of polyphonous time and simultaneity, the dialectic of time and space, and complex aesthetic temporalities breaking with modern time-regimes.
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