Postmodern or Most-Modern Time
Opening with Jameson’s suggestion that postmodernism has involved a “waning” of the “high-modernist thematics of time and temporality”, this chapter explores the treatment of the topic of time in modern, postmodern and contemporary culture. The shift imputed to “postmodern” times was perhaps already noticeable in “high-modernist” times. The chapter is divided into two parts: “Modernist Times” and “More Recent Times”. Works referred to in the first part include Mann’s Buddenbrooks, Conrad’s The Secret Agent, Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Joyce’s Ulysses. The second part investigates whether the “postmodern” and contemporary sense of time is fundamentally new and different or part of longstanding trends associated with modernity and capitalist time. The human sense of time is perhaps now being altered fundamentally with increasing awareness of the troubled time of the planet.