Nabokov's character Van Veen, in his novel Ada, was "an amateur of Time, an epicure of duration." It is Nabokov's own exploration of the texture of time, not as the mechanical splicing of clocks, or the linear movement that gives us the then of the past and takes away the now of the present, but the experience of time in time, "in its stuff and spread, in the fall of its folds, in the very impalpability of its grayish gauze, in the coolness of its continuum."
Nabokov said of his character, "Van's greatest discovery is his perception of Time as the dim hollow between two rhythmic beats, the narrow and bottomless silence between the beats, not the beats themselves, which only embar Time."
Christian Marclay's The Clock, a 24 hour video artwork, explores a strange formulation of both the gauze and the tick, the hollow and the beat. It is made of thousands of excerpts of films that work by both parading in the present minute as an accurate yet unconventional timepiece and spasming through filmic eras and genres that embody a rather different experience of time. Filmic cuts and sound give us the flow, tell us how to experience the story. We linger just as long as we are allowed and are flashed back and pushed forward at someone else's will, not our own. Marclay's work is a cataloguing both historical and mechanical, but also an experience of the experience of time, an epicurism of the automated that begs an entirely different question.