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Time Is Finite

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Chapter Summary

Every narrative includes a beginning and an end; on this, there is general agreement. Surprisingly, however, when texts such as the Fourth Gospel become the subject of questions regarding narrative beginnings and endings, the only agreement often reached is that the Gospel in fact has a beginning and an end. This chapter starts with the most basic elements of narrative structure-the beginning and ending-and work to overturn points of confusion and contradiction by considering their temporal mechanics. Both time and narrative have points of beginning and ending; time is bounded by singularities while narrative is bounded by prologues and epilogues, introductions and conclusions. This chapter explores the principal temporal boundary points of the Fourth Gospel, and introduces the idea of temporal apertures and closures within all narrative texts. In the process, it considers the function of temporality as it enters and exits this particular Gospel text.

Keywords:Fourth Gospel; narrative beginnings; narrative endings; temporal mechanics; time



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