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Time on the pulse : affective encounters with the wristwatch in the literature of modernism and the First World War

(2016) MODERNIST CULTURES. 11(2). p.161-178
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Abstract
Time is a constitutive feature of modernism, which developed in a period when the stability of the self was disintegrating. This paper considers the link between modernist temporality and affect by looking at the wristwatch, the first timepiece worn on the body. I focus on its emergence in World War One and go on to discuss two encounters with the timepiece in Siegfried Sassoon's 'Attack' (1918) and Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927). In these texts the figure of the conflation of wristwatch/ticking and wrist/pulse articulates a loss of individual mobility and agency in the modern world. The wristwatch symbolizes the way in which oppressive systems of time were lived and internalized. Situated at the crossroads of affect studies, object studies, and the study of modernist time, my argument posits that the object informed an understanding of temporality in corporeal terms. Because of that focus on affect, the wristwatch suggests how the First World War may be seen as a vital part of the modernist timescape.
Keywords
modernism, time, affect, Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sassoon

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MLA
Van Dijck, Cedric. “Time on the Pulse : Affective Encounters with the Wristwatch in the Literature of Modernism  and the First World War.” MODERNIST CULTURES, vol. 11, no. 2, 2016, pp. 161–78, doi:10.3366/mod.2016.0133.
APA
Van Dijck, C. (2016). Time on the pulse : affective encounters with the wristwatch in the literature of modernism  and the First World War. MODERNIST CULTURES, 11(2), 161–178. https://doi.org/10.3366/mod.2016.0133
Chicago author-date
Van Dijck, Cedric. 2016. “Time on the Pulse : Affective Encounters with the Wristwatch in the Literature of Modernism  and the First World War.” MODERNIST CULTURES 11 (2): 161–78. https://doi.org/10.3366/mod.2016.0133.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Van Dijck, Cedric. 2016. “Time on the Pulse : Affective Encounters with the Wristwatch in the Literature of Modernism  and the First World War.” MODERNIST CULTURES 11 (2): 161–178. doi:10.3366/mod.2016.0133.
Vancouver
1.
Van Dijck C. Time on the pulse : affective encounters with the wristwatch in the literature of modernism  and the First World War. MODERNIST CULTURES. 2016;11(2):161–78.
IEEE
[1]
C. Van Dijck, “Time on the pulse : affective encounters with the wristwatch in the literature of modernism  and the First World War,” MODERNIST CULTURES, vol. 11, no. 2, pp. 161–178, 2016.
@article{8551856,
  abstract     = {{Time is a constitutive feature of modernism, which developed in a period when the stability of the self was disintegrating. This paper considers the link between modernist temporality and affect by looking at the wristwatch, the first timepiece worn on the body. I focus on its emergence in World War One and go on to discuss two encounters with the timepiece in Siegfried Sassoon's 'Attack' (1918) and Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse (1927). In these texts the figure of the conflation of wristwatch/ticking and wrist/pulse articulates a loss of individual mobility and agency in the modern world. The wristwatch symbolizes the way in which oppressive systems of time were lived and internalized. Situated at the crossroads of affect studies, object studies, and the study of modernist time, my argument posits that the object informed an understanding of temporality in corporeal terms. Because of that focus on affect, the wristwatch suggests how the First World War may be seen as a vital part of the modernist timescape.}},
  author       = {{Van Dijck, Cedric}},
  issn         = {{2041-1022}},
  journal      = {{MODERNIST CULTURES}},
  keywords     = {{modernism,time,affect,Virginia Woolf,Siegfried Sassoon}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  number       = {{2}},
  pages        = {{161--178}},
  title        = {{Time on the pulse : affective encounters with the wristwatch in the literature of modernism  and the First World War}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/mod.2016.0133}},
  volume       = {{11}},
  year         = {{2016}},
}

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