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Title: Myths of reversal: Backwards narratives, normative schizophrenia and the culture of causal agnosticism
Authors: Goh, R.B.H. 
Keywords: Causal agnosticism
Cultural schizophrenia
Reverse narratives
Time's arrow
Issue Date: Mar-2008
Citation: Goh, R.B.H. (2008-03). Myths of reversal: Backwards narratives, normative schizophrenia and the culture of causal agnosticism. Social Semiotics 18 (1) : 61-77. ScholarBank@NUS Repository.
Abstract: There have been a variety of cultural texts that have demonstrated their license to treat time and causal order differently from the common linear conception, and this has been particularly true in a late industrial, late capitalist and digital era. From modernist texts that attenuate the subjective narrative point of view far beyond common experiences of time and space, to playfully schizoid texts that celebrate their narrative power over everyday order, to speculative fictions that focus on space-time disruptions and inversions, and a variety of other texts in between, there has been a marked proliferation of narratives that revise older assumptions about linear time and causality. These proliferating texts offer a narratological mediation of reality-the interpellation of the reader-viewer into non-linear, disruptive, schizoid conceptions and experiences of space-time and causal relations-which move us towards a schizophrenic consciousness that has become normative in contemporary culture. This is nowhere as significant, and as complex, as in the reverse narratives of a well-known novel like Martin Amis's Time's Arrow, and films like Christopher Nolan's Memento and Gaspar Noe's Irreversible. Seemingly thought-provoking revisions of social traumas (genocide, urban decay, endemic violence and xenophobia) that might at one level place causality and social consequences under greater scrutiny, at another level they exhibit what has increasingly emerged as an ideology of "causal agnosticism", rehearsing various forms of abrogation of ethical consciousness and social responsibility. © 2008 Taylor & Francis.
Source Title: Social Semiotics
ISSN: 10350330
DOI: 10.1080/10350330701838910
Appears in Collections:Staff Publications

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