What if, in the encounter between the subject and the city, it is the buildings, the streets, the rooms that are moving and the human beings who are at a standstill? Inspired by the efforts of literary scholars and human geographers to apply a unified understanding of space and time to the study of the (fictional) city, this article employs an analysis centered on the figure of the elevator to explore how literary narratives can help expand our understanding of space-time as an intuitive and quotidian fact of existence. In a comparative study of Taiwanese author Wu Mingyi's short story “The Ninety-Ninth Floor” and Hong Kong writer Dorothy Tse's “Mute Doors,” this article proposes the term time-space as a suitable concept for dealing with discrete sections of space-time in literature and goes on to explore the elevator as a prime example of such an explicitly temporal, and spatially confined, time-space.

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