Time and Time Again

by Don Miller

xii + 182 pp
Published: May 2020
178 x 127 mm

£11.99; $15.99; €14.99
ISBN: 978-1-8380137-0-7


Don Miller worries away at our concepts and shapes for time, the political, social, sporting and philosophical reach of metaphors into a temporality that is more than clocks. The chapters here illustrate different angles on the shifting of time, wearing away at the edifice of fixed time to show how fluid and fantastic our language of time can be.

Barbara Adam has called the book a deeply reflexive and exhilarating study; Michael Dutton notes how the book hones in on the ethereal and the everyday quotidian yet paradoxically political character of timing; Scott McQuire knows how the texts style pushes readers to think in new ways; while Nikos Papastergiadis sees in this book nothing short of a whole new vision of time; Ida Sabelis stresses the ethical corrective to the tricks of control; while Richard Tanter acknowledges the myriad facets, surprising play and the illumination of the gifts of timing. The book does not demand that you find time to read it, but time will fly when you do. It addresses our contemporary moment with the long durée of perspective and political nuance, so that sociologists and political economists will need to dwell in it as much as philosophers and realists will want to track and adjust their schedules. For the implied reader of this book the pace and timing of reading is critical, the student of life can find an up to the minute guide to thinking, but which minute, and how many minutes at the same time can there be? It is high time you read this book, since Don Miller has, once again, run on ahead.

In praise of Time and Time Again

“The chapters in this book are written with the confidence of a socio-political theorist who can look back on a long career of engaging with the temporality of every-day life. Drawing us into the wondrous subtleties of time across the domains of contemporary life, Don Miller’s widely informed and deeply reflective studies provide the reader with an exhilarating intellectual experience.”

Barbara Adam, Emerita Professor Cardiff University and Associate Scholar IASS Potsdam

“In his own inimitable, commanding and thoughtful way, Don Miller takes us on a journey through the myriad ways in which time and timing matter. From games of tennis, to cooking, from  politics in Australia and the world, through to economic battles, global and local, Miller hones in on the role of time and timing.  He turns descriptions of the everyday into a means of demonstrating the paradoxical, fluid and arbitrary quality of that ethereal concept called time.  To reflect on time through such everyday reflections situates the bigger questions of life in the heart of the quotidian and no one does this quite like Miller.”

Michael Dutton, Professor of Politics, Goldsmith, University of London

“Miller uses words and ideas to make the reader reconsider not only the ‘facts’ but their own assumptions, including how to think.  These essays draw on a wide range of sources, enrolling them in a game that is never predictable; and whose motive forces seems to be curiosity and contingency.  He spans domains from sport to art to politics and beyond. The result is fascinating and illuminating; frequently provocative, but never linear and certainly never boring.”

Scott McQuire, Professor, Media and Commmunication, Melbourne University of Melbourne

“Time is such a basic feature of everyday life that we often overlook how complex and mysterious it actually is. We think we can measure time with a clock, and map out the progression of our past and future by reference to a specific point we call the present. It is not that simple. In this book, filled with brilliant insight and stretched by a wondrous imagination, Don Miller opens up a new vision of time.”

Nikos Papastergiadis, Professor, Director of Research Unit of Public Cultures, University of Melbourne

“Timing, politics and ethics – those three are dominant in Don Miller’s work. Almost playfully, he seduces me as a reader to think through, and through again into what drives us most, and how drivers of current (western) society fool us into thinking that we ‘manage’ life via the multiple and arrogant attempts to control the times of our lives. Whereas chance, patience and, perhaps laissez-faire, would help us more in living life to the full. Via Nietsche and Freud, Heidegger and Foucault, Don Miller proves to be one of those rare thinkers who walk their talk by weaving the fabric of insight and reflection as a support to re-think current societal doings and shaking the Western fundament of plannability.”

Ida Sabelis, Associate Professor of Organization Sciences, VU Amsterdam

“Don Miller plays with our notions of time – and even better, timing – as an elegant master of that earliest and most important mode of learning – play time. In illuminating the play of time and timing in tennis, politics, business, love, and more, Miller teases out myriad surprising and salient moral and political facets of the gift of timing – and its absence.”

Richard Tanter, Senior Research Associate, Nautilus Institute; Professor of International Relations, University of Melbourne