Time, Narrative and Imagination: essays on Paul Auster (one volume collection of essays in English)

full name / name of organization: 
dr Arkadiusz Misztal, English Institute, Gdansk University, Poland
contact email: 

In his introduction to Conversations with Paul Auster James M. Hutchinson observes that Auster's love of experimentation and eagerness to test new boundaries often confound critics' expectations and make his narratives problematic in terms of generic categorization. Moreover, Auster's work "at times seems so implausibly imaginative that critics sometimes tend to discount the seriousness of his art" (xviii). If there is anything like a common thread that runs through all of his stories, it is perhaps Auster's persistent and determined blurring of the line between the real and the imagined. As August Brill, a retired literary critic in Man in the Dark puts it, "the real and the imagined are one". The present volume seeks to explore this intertwining in Auster's fiction in the context of broadly defined problematics of time and narrative. We are looking for contributions that will approach various works by Auster, his novels, screenplays, essays, and memoirs from specifically temporal perspective. By doing so, we hope to reveal and critically examine Austerian articulation of temporality and his creative involvement with the contemporary culture of space and time.
You are invited to discuss, in English or Polish, questions and issues connected with (but not limited to) the following problems:

• Auster's meditation on transience and mortality
• Narratives of traumatic temporality
• Memory discourses
• Auster's timescapes
• Chronotopoetics
• Dialogic interactions between the past and the present
• Interplay of freedom and chance, of chance and coincidence
• Post-apocalyptic themes
• Crisis time
• Alternative (hi)stories
• Temporal experimentation with narrative form (e.g. weaving together memoir and invented material, cascading narratives–stories that generate other stories)
• any other that you consider relevant

Publishing Information

This collection is under contract with Gdańsk University Press. All submissions will be reviewed by the collection's editor and the editorial board for the "between.pomiędzy" series. Each contributor will receive a free copy of the collection upon its publication. The volume will be published in English

Composition guidelines:
• Essays should be between 6000 and a maximum of 10,000 word including documentation. Please submit your text double-spaced with standard margins. (Word documents preferred.)
• Please include a brief (up to 200 words) abstract and short list of key words at the beginning of your essay.
• Please ensure that all references, notes, and bibliography are formatted according to the most recent MLA style (www.mla.org)
• Authors will be responsible for requested revisions in a timely manner, for checking the copy-edited version and proofs, and for supplying a list of index terms.

Submission and Deadlines
If you are interested in contributing to this collection, please contact me at amisztal@ug.edu.pl by February 28, 2014. Please include a copy of your cv and a brief description of your academic and publishing credentials. Please also indicate which essay/topic you are interested in writing about. Initial proposals will be due March 10, 2014, first drafts of essays by June 1, 2014 and revised drafts and translations of essays by August 1, 2014.

We look forward to hearing from you!