Monday, March 30, 2009

Time to confer...

I recently returned from Orlando, Florida, where I presented at the International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts. The conference theme was "Time and the Fantastic", and my paper was on Ray Bradbury's use of time.

Before writing the paper, I doodled a spider diagram containing as many Bradbury stories I could think of which had a significant, fantastical use of time. Every couple of days I would remember another story with a time theme and add to my arachnid scrawl.

From the doodle, I eventually chose to focus on four major recurring uses of time in Bradbury stories:

  • SF-style time travel (as in "A Sound of Thunder" and "The Fox in the Forest"
  • Time travel in service of wish-fulfillment (as in "The Kilimanjaro Device")
  • Fantastic evocation of the past (as in "A Scent of Sarsaparilla")
  • Encounters with the younger or older self (as in "A Touch of Petulance", and the stage play of Dandelion Wine
Of course, by choosing this topic I was opening one enormous can of worms...nearly every Bradbury story makes use of time in some fantastical way. However, it has given me plenty of material for future study and has already suggested further papers.

Speaking of which, I have another paper to present at "SF Across Media", a conference to be held at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium. Fortunately, the conference is in English - my Flemish isn't up to much!

In this paper, I will be looking at adaptations of "A Sound of Thunder" in various media.


Laura said...

Congratulations. Sounds great. Will you post your paper some time or publish it?

Phil said...

Hi Laura,

I will probably do some further work on it and then submit it to a journal.