Afterward: Critical Mediterranean Times

  • Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
Part of the Mediterranean Perspectives book series (MEPERS)


A companion piece to the volume’s introduction, this epilogue expands the reflection on the complex interrelation between crisis and multiple Mediterranean times in the timeframe of modernity. Starting from a reading of Maylis de Kerangal’s à ce stade de la nuit, it delineates an alternative model of history where resurgent memories can develop at an angle to national forms and ascriptions. The heuristics it proposes requires lending a voice to singular, posttraumatic forms of cultural memory to formulate a form of historicity lying beyond the fractures and limitations imposed by moments of crisis and violent dissolution. This project entails restoring the thwarted dimension of the future to Mediterranean subjects’ sense of time, in order to nurture a possible praxis to come. In keeping with Ernst Bloch’s paradigm, this involves rekindling a “principle of hope” in subjective experiences of historicity bereft of any form of forward-looking yearning. Borrowing from the reflections of historians François Hartog and Reinhart Koselleck, it turns the spotlight onto the human element of temporal dwellings and restores the subject to the core of a critical process focused on contingent experiences of time. The model proposed in this epilogue intersects with the mandates intrinsic to a Mediterranean critique of time. Building on Hartog’s concept of “regimes of historicity,” it downplays rigid taxonomies anchored to the sequential time of modernity. In their place it lays emphasis on fluctuating, singular, and cross-sectional knottings of time to herald the foundational contingency of the Mediterranean critical category that this volume outlines.


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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Edwige Tamalet Talbayev
    • 1
  1. 1.Tulane UniversityNew OrleansUSA

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