For a long time I had the idea of writing a post titled “Flannery and the Flashbacks”, or something like that, as a token of my admiration for the way Flannery O’Connor uses –what is technically called analepsis– so naturally and smoothly. However, reading The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie I discovered Muriel Spark has also a great time-management ability, but this time with flash-forwards which are more rare, probably because they are more difficult to use.
The most simple flash forward is to give some information about the future, for example the famous opening lines of Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel García Márquez:
On the day they were going to kill him, Santiago Nasar woke up at five-thirty in the morning to wait for the boat the bishop was coming on. Continue reading
Following the advise of a good friend −and very well read one− I took advantage of a brief stay in Madrid to get The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie of Muriel Spark. Thanks to Google I found a bookshop specialized in foreign languages. That’s a polite way of putting it; a more accurate one would be: I found the bookshop where all non-Spanish readers living in Madrid are systematically ripped off… In any case, every euro I paid was worth it. The book is one of those you just can’t leave aside, and that created no little difficulties as I was attending a course in Spain where I was supposed to study Latin besides other topics, which did not include reading novels, of course. After some very brief negotiations I arranged a truce with my conscience: I would finish the book quickly and then move on to the Latin with no further distraction. Thanks God I have a very un-Kantian conscience that is easily persuaded. Continue reading