“Love Rages”: Emotion, Agency, and the Superpositioning of Narrative in Tours of the Black Clock
thesisposted on 22.05.2021, 11:46 by Jillian Jenevieve Derby
[Para. 1] History, like all narratives, has a variety of possible outcomes. While feasible, their prediction is unlikely; we know too few of the variables and understand too little of how circumstances interact. What at first seems insignificant can cause catastrophe; human action is fundamentally erratic with potentially far-reaching and unforeseeable consequences. To process and assuage this profound uncertainty, we treat history as a story, and a postmodern view of history illuminates this instinct to narrativize events. Historicism claims that these narratives are essentially perspectives, based in their spatiotemporal context and lacking in objective truth. Still, at some point, we assume a particular narrative ends; World War II was devastating, Western history textbooks say, but finite. While the war’s effects reverberate forward in time, we latently accept that the narrative of the war, proper, is contained within temporal parameters: 1939 to 1945. That is, once Japan officially surrendered in September 1945, the war ended. Steve Erickson, in his 1989 novel Tours of the Black Clock, shatters this assumption.