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    'Looking Down Time's Telescope at Myself': reincarnation and global futures in David Mitchell's fictional worlds (Winner of the ISST New Scholar's Prize)

    Harris-Birtill, Rose (2019) 'Looking Down Time's Telescope at Myself': reincarnation and global futures in David Mitchell's fictional worlds (Winner of the ISST New Scholar's Prize). In: Montemayor, C. and Daniel, R. (eds.) Time's Urgency. The Study of Time 16. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, pp. 16-34. ISBN 9789004408241.

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    Abstract

    This essay explores the trope of reincarnation across the works of British author David Mitchell (b. 1969) as an alternative approach to linear temporality, whose spiralling cyclicality warns of the dangers of seeing past actions as separate from future consequences and whose focus on human interconnection demonstrates the importance of collective, intergenerational action in the face of ecological crises. Drawing on the Buddhist philosophy of samsara, or the cycle of life, death, and rebirth, this paper identifies links between the author’s interest in reincarnation and its secular manifestation in the treatment of time in his fictions. These works draw on reincarnation in their structures and characterization as part of an ethical approach to the Anthropocene, using the temporal model of “reincarnation time” as a narrative strategy to demonstrate that a greater understanding of generational interdependence is urgently needed in order to challenge the linear “end of history” narrative of global capitalism.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Book Section
    Additional Information: This essay also appears in KronoScope: Journal for the Study of Time 17.2 (2017): 163-81, and is reprinted here courtesy of Brill as the prizewinning essay for the International Society for the Study of Time's New Scholar Prize.; The 16th Triennial Conference of the International Society for the Study of Time (ISST) ; Conference date: 26-06-2016 Through 02-07-2016
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): time, reincarnation, David Mitchell, Globalisation, Anthropocene, Bodhisattva
    School: School of Arts > English, Theatre and Creative Writing
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 10 Sep 2021 13:57
    Last Modified: 10 Sep 2021 13:57
    URI: https://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/45794

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