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Time, Narrative, and the Multiverse: Post-Newtonian Narrative in Borges's "The Garden of the Forking Paths" and Blake's Vala or The Four Zoas

Time, Narrative, and the Multiverse: Post-Newtonian Narrative in Borges's "The Garden of the... TIME, NARRATTVE, AND THE MULTIVERSE: POST-NEWTONIAN NARRATIVE IN BORGES'S "THE GARDEN OF THE FORKING PATHS" AND BLAKE'S VALA OR THE FOUR ZOAS David M. Baulch I. The Multiverse and Literary Theory Time does not flow. Other times are just special cases of other universes. (David Deutsch 288) In taking as an epigraph this initially baffling statement about time from a recent book by Oxford physicist David Deutsch, I want to initiate a brief exploration of what his subtitle calls "the science of parallel universes and its implications" as a metaphor for thinking about the representation of time and the structure of physical reality in literary narrative. Deutsch's statement suggests that time, and consequently the universe to which that time refers, may be far different than the way one can subjectively experience it or adequately express this experience in a literary narrative. Given the radical implications of Deutsch's notion of parallel universes for thinking about physical reality, it is prudent to consider quantum theorist Werner Heisenberg's statement, "that what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" as a good credo for literary criticism, as well as for physical science (58). Literary realism, http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Comparatist University of North Carolina Press

Time, Narrative, and the Multiverse: Post-Newtonian Narrative in Borges's "The Garden of the Forking Paths" and Blake's Vala or The Four Zoas

The Comparatist , Volume 27 (1) – Oct 3, 2003

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Publisher
University of North Carolina Press
Copyright
Copyright © Southern Comparative Literature Association.
ISSN
1559-0887
Publisher site
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Abstract

TIME, NARRATTVE, AND THE MULTIVERSE: POST-NEWTONIAN NARRATIVE IN BORGES'S "THE GARDEN OF THE FORKING PATHS" AND BLAKE'S VALA OR THE FOUR ZOAS David M. Baulch I. The Multiverse and Literary Theory Time does not flow. Other times are just special cases of other universes. (David Deutsch 288) In taking as an epigraph this initially baffling statement about time from a recent book by Oxford physicist David Deutsch, I want to initiate a brief exploration of what his subtitle calls "the science of parallel universes and its implications" as a metaphor for thinking about the representation of time and the structure of physical reality in literary narrative. Deutsch's statement suggests that time, and consequently the universe to which that time refers, may be far different than the way one can subjectively experience it or adequately express this experience in a literary narrative. Given the radical implications of Deutsch's notion of parallel universes for thinking about physical reality, it is prudent to consider quantum theorist Werner Heisenberg's statement, "that what we observe is not nature itself, but nature exposed to our method of questioning" as a good credo for literary criticism, as well as for physical science (58). Literary realism,

Journal

The ComparatistUniversity of North Carolina Press

Published: Oct 3, 2003

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