I lied to you today. Although you should know by now to expect that kind of behavior from me.

We’re not going to talk about Oulipo next week. We’re going to talk about time; specifically, virtual time and space and narrative time and space. I’d like to bounce off of Sharon’s texts about Second Life to examine why virtual time appears to be absolute while narrative time appears flexible (or not) and see how our ability to understand representations of time differs from or dictates our experience of virtual worlds.

Your homework for the week is to watch movies and read comics, with one little bit of more serious reading stuck in to make sure you don’t just think this is all for fun. 😉

Please read Chapter 50 in the New Media Reader, “Time Frames” by Scott McCloud, pages 711-735.

Once you’ve read the McCloud piece, look at the attached pdf excerpt from Magasin Général (6 pages). This is a chunk from a French comic, and there’s no translation. However, you don’t need to understand the words to see how the authors work back and forth between the foreground action and the background action to create a clear sense of time across multiple, sequential spaces.

Please watch as well this short clip on Youtube about cross-cutting, with an interesting artefact from “You’ve Got Mail”:

Finally, I’m also attaching an English translation of two short excerpts by Metz and Genette (total = 11 pages) on time and narrative. This is a lot of discrete pieces of material, but I think that the total reading time is still relatively short, and I’m hoping these will provide for an interesting discussion to follow up on Second Life.