It’s about time for untimely action




Untimeliness, Literature, Illness, Caring, Creativity


Illness, but also caring for the ill and mourning the dead, requires allowing oneself to experience a different time, an embodied untimeliness where different rhythms coexist, removed from the speedy tumult of those for whom health is no immediate concern. Rather than a chronological flow, it is a kairotic time, which is sensitive to the context, and allows wanderings and repetitions, hesitations, and changes in pace[1]. Caring and mourning demands “untimeliness and disadjustment of the contemporary[2].” In that sense, the intimate experience of illness is comparable to a form of creativity.


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(1) Biron C. Jardin radio. Montréal: Le Quartanier; 2022.

(2) Derrida J. Specters of Marx: the state of the debt, the work of mourning, and the New international. New York: Routledge; 1994.

(3) Pender K. “Kairos” and the Subject of Expressive Discourse. Composition Studies. 2003;31(2):91–106. Available from:

(4) Nietzsche F. Untimely meditations. Cambridge; New York: Cambridge University Press; 1997.

(5) Agamben G. What is the contemporary? In: Agamben G. What is an apparatus? and other essays. Stanford University Press; 2009. p. 39–54.

(6) Canguilhem G. The normal and the pathological. New York: Zone Books; 1989.

(7) Marin C. Hors de moi. Paris: Allia; 2008.

(8) Cooper A, Rodman A. AI and Medical Education — A 21st-Century Pandora’s Box. N Engl J Med. 2023 Aug 3;389(5):385–7.






How to Cite

It’s about time for untimely action. (2023). International Journal of Education and Health, 7, e5389.

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