The Time Sea

Publication Type:

Journal Article


Wasafiri, Volume 36, Number 2, p.13–21 (2021)



In conversation with Sarah Nuttall's earlier essay ‘Pluvial Time/Wet Form’ and drawing on Isabel Hofmeyr's concept of hydrocolonialism and the works of, among others, Julia Kristeva and Robert Macfarlane, this essay juxtaposes readings of J G Ballard's 1962 novel The Drowned World and Pitchaya Sudbanthad's 2019 novel Bangkok Wakes to Rain to offer a meditative analysis of sea, rivers, and rain as complex temporal and narrative forms. Moving from Ballard's flooded science-fictional London, to Sudbanthad's flooding Bangkok, the essay considers ‘wet form’ as it reflects on ecological disorder, and considers the ways in which water has been vividly and imaginatively rendered in fiction, inhabiting our sense of memory and time, and generating forms of feeling, knowing, and inhabiting that are colonising, decolonising, and full of fears and fantasies and the growing realities of wet submergence.


Publisher: Routledge _eprint: