Memory Studies 14 (6):1401-1413 (2021)

Siobhan Kattago
University of Tartu
Since the first lockdown in March 2020, time seems to have slowed to a continuous present tense. The Greek language has three words to express different experiences of time: aion, chronos and kairos. If aion is the boundless and limbo-like time of eternity, chronos represents chronological, sequential, and linear time. Kairos, however, signifies the rupture of ordinary time with the opportune moment, epiphany and redemption, revolution, and most broadly, crisis and emergency. This paper argues that the pandemic is impacting how individuals perceive time in two ways: first, as a distortion of time in which individuals are caught between linear time (chronos) and rupture (kairos) invoking the state of emergency and second, as an extended present that blurs the passing of chronological time with its seeming eternity (aion). As a result of the perceived suspension of ordinary time, temporal understandings of the future are postponed, while the past hovers like a ghost over the present.
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Risk Society: Towards a New Modernity.Ulrich Beck, Mark Ritter & Jennifer Brown - 1993 - Environmental Values 2 (4):367-368.

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