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The idea of a poetics in contrast with an aesthetics of time is intended to focus on the creative possibilities of imagination in configurations of time. An aesthetics of time focusing on sensuous experience is a certainly a basic resource of creative imagination in literature. But the concept of a poetics of time, taken from the root meaning of poiesis in classical Greek thought—to make, or to bring forth—enables an inquiry into conceptions of human life and thought brought forth in various creative configurations of time in literature. This essay will analyze some of the ways in which poetic imagination opens and structures time and space to extend the possibilities of human experience and understanding.

Aristotle investigated three different kinds of human intelligence which he designated in terms of poiesis, productive intelligence concerned with the possibilities of imagination; praxis, practical intelligence concerned with predictive action; and theoria, theoretical intelligence concerned with exact explanation. It is useful at the outset to point out that each of these modalities of human intelligence makes a legitimate claim to a configuration of time: all are true in the context of their appeal to a different need of human life and culture. Our focus on a poetics of time, then, is an attempt to see the range of creative possibilities open to imagination in the configuration of time.

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Analecta Husserliana

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