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What Is the Present? : a History of the Here and Now.

Author: Michael North
Publisher: Princeton : Princeton University Press, 2018.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
A provocative new look at concepts of the present, their connection to ideas about time, and their effect on literature, art, and cultureThe problem of the present--what it is and what it means--is one that has vexed generations of thinkers and artists. Because modernity places so much value on the present, many critics argue that people today spend far too much time in the here and now--but how can we tell without  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Electronic books
Additional Physical Format: Print version:
North, Michael.
What Is the Present? : A History of the Here and Now.
Princeton : Princeton University Press, ©2018
Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Michael North
ISBN: 9781400890439 1400890438
OCLC Number: 1031968127
Description: 1 online resource (219 pages)
Contents: Cover; Title; Copyright; CONTENTS; Introduction; PART ONE; 1 This Point in Time; 2 The Search for the Experiential Present; 3 The Longest Now: A History of the Historical Present; PART TWO; 4 The Present in Pictures; 5 Narrative and the "Unexplained Instant"; 6 The Cinematic Present from Intolerance to Interstellar; Conclusion: Here and Now; Notes; Index.
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Abstract:

A provocative new look at concepts of the present, their connection to ideas about time, and their effect on literature, art, and cultureThe problem of the present--what it is and what it means--is one that has vexed generations of thinkers and artists. Because modernity places so much value on the present, many critics argue that people today spend far too much time in the here and now--but how can we tell without first knowing what the here and now actually is? What Is the Present? takes a provocative new look at this moment in time that remains a mystery even though it is always with us. Michael North tackles puzzles that have preoccupied philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, history, and aesthetic theory and examines the complex role of the present in painting, fiction, and film. He engages with a range of thinkers, from Aristotle and Augustine to William James and Henri Bergson. He draws illuminating examples from artists such as Fra Angelico and Richard McGuire, filmmakers like D.W. Griffith and Christopher Nolan, and novelists such as Elizabeth Bowen and Willa Cather. North offers a critical analysis of previous models of the present, from the experiential present to the historical period we call the contemporary. He argues that the present is not a cosmological or experiential fact but a metaphor, a figurative relationship with the whole of time. Presenting an entirely new conception of the temporal mystery Georg Lukács called the "unexplained instant," What Is the Present? explores how the arts have traditionally represented the present--and also how artists have offered radical alternatives to that tradition.

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"A bracing, expansive, and consistently surprising meditation on the notion of the present. In an authoritative yet lucid style, Michael North animates with great panache some of the most profound Read more...

 
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