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thinking about time and #watchread

August 14, 2015

#watchread is about many things, and time (because of watches and us watching time) is one of them.

In Richard 2, William Shakespeare writes

I wasted time, and now doth time waste me;
For now hath time made me his numbering clock:
My thoughts are minutes; and with sighs they jar
Their watches on unto mine eyes, the outward watch,
Whereto my finger, like a dial’s point,
Is pointing still, in cleansing them from tears.
Now sir, the sound that tells what hour it is
Are clamorous groans, which strike upon my heart,
Which is the bell: so sighs and tears and groans
Show minutes, times, and hours: but my time
Runs posting on in Bolingbroke’s proud joy,

Time is critical in many of Shakepeare’s plays.  If timing had been different in Romeo and Juliet, it would have been a comedy, or Macbeth could have had a happier ending. This thinking also means that, with different timing, A midsummer night’s dream, may have been a nightmare.

This is the same feeling shown by many characters in action novels and films, as countdowns form part of the tension.  Many novels by Matthew Reilly involve countdowns (often multiple ones) to help build the tension as we read, while feeling the time speeding away in the novels.

Science, can also provide us with this tension, as demonstrated through the twitter account of NASA.

Recipes are other reading (and watching) which involve time (and so are #watchread options), as often time is critical so that something is cooked enough and not over cooked.  Depending on what you are making, time can be critical.  If you are making saurkraut, time is the difference between raw cabbage and the fermented end product.

Ellen Forsyth

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