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Mercier’s Carriages: Time Travel’s Primal Scene

Mercier’s Carriages: Time Travel’s Primal Scene <p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>Recent histories of time-travel writing relegate Louis Sébastien Mercier’s L’An 2440 to the liminal status of precursor. But many of the now-paradigmatic elements of the time-travel story--including the conveyance and the inscription--are already as fully realized there as they will be in later works, from Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Moberley and Jourdain’s An Adventure. So naturalized are the Mercerian conventions that they appear, unforegrounded, even in works produced in present-day Turkey and Iran. Even so, it is possible to find examples of non-Mercerian time travel, including, for example, the work of the Egyptian novelist Khairy Shalaby. Yet works like Shalaby’s are readable precisely to the extent that they invert or eschew Mercier’s teleological model of time travel.</p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png The Eighteenth Century University of Pennsylvania Press

Mercier’s Carriages: Time Travel’s Primal Scene

The Eighteenth Century , Volume 60 (2) – Nov 19, 2019

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Publisher
University of Pennsylvania Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 University of Pennsylvania Press.
ISSN
1935-0201

Abstract

<p>ABSTRACT:</p><p>Recent histories of time-travel writing relegate Louis Sébastien Mercier’s L’An 2440 to the liminal status of precursor. But many of the now-paradigmatic elements of the time-travel story--including the conveyance and the inscription--are already as fully realized there as they will be in later works, from Bellamy’s Looking Backward to Moberley and Jourdain’s An Adventure. So naturalized are the Mercerian conventions that they appear, unforegrounded, even in works produced in present-day Turkey and Iran. Even so, it is possible to find examples of non-Mercerian time travel, including, for example, the work of the Egyptian novelist Khairy Shalaby. Yet works like Shalaby’s are readable precisely to the extent that they invert or eschew Mercier’s teleological model of time travel.</p>

Journal

The Eighteenth CenturyUniversity of Pennsylvania Press

Published: Nov 19, 2019

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