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Varieties of Temporal Experience : Travels in Philosophical, Historical, and Ethnographic Time

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What does it mean to live in time, between the unforeseeable and the irreversible? In The Varieties of Temporal Experience, Michael Jackson demonstrates the significance of a phenomenology of time for ethnography, philosophy, and history through a multifaceted consideration of the gap between our cultural representations of temporality and the bewildering multiplicity of our experience of being-in-time.Jackson explores temporality in a subjective mode as a form of literary anthropology. The first part of the book tells the story of John Joseph Pawelka, whose 1910 escape from prison and subsequent disappearance became one of New Zealand’s great unsolved mysteries, discussing what it reveals about the interplay of popular stories, hidden histories, and media narratives in constructing allegories of national and moral identity. In the second, Jackson reflects on journeys up and down the islands of New Zealand, touching on the ways that personal stories are interwoven with social and historical events. Throughout this groundbreaking book, Jackson juxtaposes philosophy, history, and ethnography in an attempt to do justice to the extraordinary variety of temporal experience, at the same time exploring the ethical and existential quandaries that arise from the complexity of lived time.

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