“The study of time has led the human species out into the universe, down into the heart of the atom, and is the basis of much of the theory concerning the nature of the physical world.”– Edward T. Hall, The Dance of Life
A few years ago I read an interesting essay entitled “The Tyranny of the Clock” by George Woodstock (see: http://www.spunk.org/library/writers/woodcock/sp001734.html). Edward T. Hall expands upon this essay in many ways. This book is about the fascinating topic of time. The kinds of time in existence are presented, as well as how different cultures perceive time. It’s very eye-opening.
For a book with an academic focus, this was a very easy read. An interesting one too, and one that can help in our understanding of other cultures. There’s even a reference to time in literature:
“Clearly, the novelist must comes to grips with time, and how he or she handles it is a good index to mastery of his craft.”
Writers such as Proust, Virginia Woolf, James Joyce and Kafka were who he mentioned.
Edward T. Hall focused much of his research on the Hopi Indians, comparing their concept of time to American and European cultures. I got a lot out of his definitions of monochronic (M-Time) and Polychronic (P-Time) time. Although I come from a P-Time culture (and live in an M-Time culture), I had never really thought about what that actually meant until I read this book. Very highly recommended.