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From: "Robert Borski" <rborski@coredcs.com>
Subject: (urth) Backwardsness
Date: Wed, 2 Sep 1998 20:34:13 

mantis having written earlier:

"I understand that Merlin is said to be living backwards in time.  And this
device has since been used by writers. So I don't know . . . it is
certainly possible, but I think it usually manifests in certain
quirky elements--people knowing their future/past but not the past/future
which shaped them (I'm thinking maybe of THE ARROW OF TIME here, which I
only read of in reviews, but the hero has these mysterious scars and as he
gets younger he ends up in a concentration camp where the scars are
inflicted/removed), etc."

Actually, I think you mean TIME'S ARROW by Martin Amis. And it's a powerful
book, well worth seeking out, not only for its time-lived-backwards
execution (Tod Friendly is "born" at the end of his life and "dies" when he
is born), but also the concentration camp tie-in, which still blows me
away. (You think the Holocaust is horrible enough already, wait'll you
experience it in reverse.)

Comic-book-writer Alan Moore's "The Reversible Man" explores similar

As for Gene Wolfe, "In Looking Glass Castle" is a shorter work of his where
a character lives life backwards and thus remembers the future--clearly
modeled here on Lewis Carroll's White Queen, who does the same. In this
case, however, it's Daisy McKane, who, although she's naturally confused,
remembers her own drowning.

I also believe there is some support for the notion that the Merlin
characters in CASTLEVIEW--Mercedes and her mother--may be experiencing life

Robert Borski

*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.urth.net/urth/

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