Irreal Temporality: André Aciman and a New Theory of Time

Broad Street Humanities Review 1 (5):1-15 (2021)
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Abstract

This article argues that we can construct a complex interpretation of the nature of time by linking Aciman’s gnostic thread to aspects of twentieth century theory, from philosophy and psychoanalysis. In brief, it attempts to demonstrate the roles of dislocation, deferral, and Otherness in constituting human temporality. The essay begins by surmising the conceptual history of time, touching on key ideas put forward by Augustine and Bergson. The second section takes a psychoanalytic turn after exploring Homo Irrealis to describe the significance of desire and fantasy. Thirdly, we develop a unique and temporal application of difference and deferral, building off of Deleuze and Derrida. The fourth section will consider how the psychoanalytic concept of the Other is inhered within time. We conclude that an Acimanic analysis of time is the means by which we can understand existence not as a series of moments, but a rich progression of dissimilitude and Otherness defined moreso by its lack of cohesion and directness of being than by a unified and self-identifying subject.

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Oliver Iskandar Banks
Oxford University

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