Time is the one dimension of experience we cannot elude. But the nature of lived time is changing dramatically. We are living ever longer, but we suffer from endemic shortages of time. For many, in the inversion of the old motto, time has become a more valuable commodity than money. Middle age and old age have been moved back, with a numerical adjustment of at least a decade, and women in their sixties are defying biological clocks with IVF treatment. But we are also working longer hours, and collapsing distinctions between labour and leisure. Technology is compressing time into ever-briefer units, shortening the span of our patience and attention. Other advances mean that we now exist in several time-zones at once; and in the virtual time of no place at all. In recent years we have seen announcements of the end of nature, history, and the human. In this bold, thought-provoking book, spanning fields from psychoanalysis and neuroscience to biology and technology, Eva Hoffman asks: are we also coming to the end of time as we know it?
'One of our most lucid thinkers... What makes this book so original is the way Hoffman uses the tools of contemporary science... Her description of our subjective inner world is most arresting... As we go on, it becomes clear that the true subject of this intriguing and highly readable book is the nature of being alive', Elaine Feinstein, Independent
'Beautifully written and eloquent', Financial Times
'A topical study that should elicit a moment of pause among those of us in a real hurry', Sunday Business Post
'A much-needed reminder that how we experience time is a cultural phenomenon', Amy Jenkins, Independent
'Written with a nicely leisured elegance, and contains many intriguing parts... eye-opening', Steven Poole, Guardian.
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Profile Books Ltd.
July 08, 2010
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