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Potomac Books


The Imagined Moment, The Imagined Moment, 0803229771, 0-8032-2977-1, 978-0-8032-2977-8, 9780803229778, Inderjeet Mani, Frontiers of Narrative, The Imagined Moment, 0803230427, 0-8032-3042-7, 978-0-8032-3042-2, 9780803230422, Inderjeet Mani, Frontiers of Narrativ

The Imagined Moment
Time, Narrative, and Computation
Inderjeet Mani

2010. 264 pp.
34 illustrations, 4 tables, 1 glossary
$50.00 s

Time is a key aspect of narrative. It can advance a story, illuminate its role in our daily lives, and help us understand how events unfold. In this groundbreaking interdisciplinary work, Inderjeet Mani uses recent developments in linguistics and computer science to analyze the use of time in narrative form.
The Imagined Moment outlines directions for an emerging discipline of “corpus narratology,” an approach involving the computer analysis and interpretation of multimillion-word collections of narrative text. This approach, Mani explains, could alter the very foundations of narrative theory. Accordingly, he develops a computer representation for timelines and applies it to a variety of literary works. Among these are such classics as One Hundred Years of Solitude, “A Hunger Artist,” Swann’s Way, Jealousy, Candide, and “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber.” Along the way, Mani considers stories embedded in temporal cycles; the cognitive processes involved in the construal of events in time; the modeling of narrative progression in terms of changes in readers’ evaluation of characters; the study of variations of tempo in fiction; and time in computer-mediated forms of storytelling.

Inderjeet Mani is a visiting scholar in the Department of Computer Science at Brandeis University, and senior principal scientist at the MITRE Corporation in Bedford, Massachusetts. He has also been a visiting fellow of the Computer Laboratory at the University of Cambridge, and an associate professor of linguistics at Georgetown University. He is the author or coeditor of several books, including The Language of Time and Automatic Summarization.

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