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“The present for a reader in a fictional narrative is not really the present at all but the past. It is somebody else’s present related to us in the past tense. Though it seems like the present, because it is new to us, it is tensed as the past, in what the French called the preterite, a tense otherwise known as the past perfect or the past historic. We are narrated to in the preterite, but we experience the past tense in the present. But because it is the past tense we know that there is a future present, in relation to which the present of the narrative is past” (Mark Currie, About Time)