Martin Amis, Time's Arrow

Jan Alber (Universität Freiburg)
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Martin Amis’s novel

Time’s Arrow

can be defined, at one level, as an “unnatural narrative” (Alber 2009) because intradiegetic time (time within the story) moves backwards. Many narratives confront us with retrogressive temporalities (Richardson 2002: 49-50), among which one can mention Elizabeth Jane Howard’s novel

The Long View

(1956), Charles Hubert Sisson’s novel

Christopher Homm

(1965), Tom Stoppard’s play

Artist Descending a Staircase

(1972), Don DeLillo’s novel


(1997) and Christopher Nolan’s film


(2001). In most of these cases of reversed time the narrative discourse represents a chronological sequence of events in such a way that we gradually move backwards in time, while the individual sections themselves preserve a regular chronology, i.e.…

2431 words

Citation: Alber, Jan. "Time's Arrow". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 04 January 2010 [, accessed 13 June 2024.]

8356 Time's Arrow 3 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

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