I haven't read a book that dramatises the dissolution of identity along with the dissolution of time (though Wittgenstein's Mistress by David Markson toys with something that comes close). There are novels which partially dissolve - or elongate - time (Ulysses, The Mezzanine by Nicholson Barker, various works by Virginia Woolf), and many more which describe the disintegration of identity to varying degrees (Rachel Cusk's trilogy, for instance), but not both together.

     Without time there can be no identity, which depends upon a continuum of consciousness. I would like to read a timeless novel. The challenge is that the novel, unlike other art forms, such as a painting, for instance, requires time to exist, to be consumed. Still, I think it might be interesting if someone were to try to write a 'timeless' novel - which, I imagine, would simultaneously mean an 'identity-less' protagonist.

     Maybe, the way fiction is going now, the dissolution will take place in auto-fiction.


                   Note 1:

Time, Identity and Fiction

stories and things



leaving the text alone

Beckett and mysticism

why real directors are writers

Dr Seuss and Tom McCarthy

why the novelist's job is harder than God's

the thing about autobiographical fiction

how to write a successful novel

George Herbert and Judith McPherson

the value of not doing

thoughts on TLOD

don't judge a book

things I was thinking when writing TLOD

time, words, are the enemy

the master's voice


why I didn't want to write anymore

the value of not knowing

when do you give up on a book?


what makes a book great

divine fancy


time, identity and fiction

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