Cover of Centuries’ Ends, Narrative Means by Edited by Robert Newman
Centuries’ Ends, Narrative Means
Edited by Robert Newman


400 pages.

Hardcover ISBN: 9780804726498



This pathbreaking work uses the approaching conclusion of the second millennium as a context for discussing questions concerning temporal division and narrative continuity. It investigates assumptions about teleology and eschatology while exploring the ways in which temporal division affects the creation and production of cultural texts and, reciprocally, the ways in which narrative techniques, forms, and conventions shape, explain, and justify history.

Through this exploration, the volume examines how temporal thresholds tend simultaneously to reinforce and to disrupt conceptual boundaries. The sixteen essays use the significance typically invested in historical junctures marked by a centenary advance to investigate perceived paradigm shifts and the consequent reactions to these implicit and explicit transitions. By doing so, they also seek to illuminate the relations between narrative and history, and to enhance understanding of our present historical moment.

About the author

Robert Newman is Professor of English at the University of South Carolina. He is the author, most recently, of Transgressions of Reading.

“This book not only treats an inventive and exciting topic, the impact of centuries’ endings on a wide range of discourses and artifacts; it comprises a most exciting exploration of the medium of anthologies and collections itself. The editor receives my admiration and congratulations for the ingenuity of his selections (and his introduction of them), and for the compelling resonances that the very heterogeneous contributions set off for readers, who will discover how enticing criticism can be within the context of the right occasion and framework.”—Henry S. Sussman, State University of New York, Buffalo