Temporal Poetics in Thomson and Craighead’s The Time Machine in Alphabetical Order

  • Andrew Prior University of Plymouth


This paper considers The Time Machine in Alphabetical Order (2010) by Thomson and Craighead as an exploration of contemporary media technologies and their problematisation of time. After a brief hermeneutic reading of the work’s narrative, aesthetic and semiotic registers, the paper undertakes an analysis at the level of materiality and processuality. This approach concludes by drawing out some connections between hermeneutic and material/processual characteristics of the work as an exploration of mediality. Key to Thomson and Craighead’s approach is the simultaneous foregrounding and manipulation of both these levels of meaning, for example through their technological and mediatised take on Oulipo’s constrained writing techniques. Finally, these findings are brought to bear on wider understandings of time and temporality, as well as their significance for contemporaneity.


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