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Colm Toibin, on a common narrative device.

"We are living in the most terrible age. I know people are worried about Brexit and I know people worry about Donald Trump. But I worry about the flashback. You can’t read any book now – any book – without suddenly, on chapter 2, [the writer] taking you back to where everybody was 20 years ago. How their parents met, how their grandparents met.”

Without having ever read Toibin, I'll just have to guess that he's used flashback in the past. Which would make his current adamancy completely invalid. As is his bemoaning that every book written by kids nowadays - get off my lawn! - abuses flashback.

May 30, 2017 in Books | Permalink


I just finished reading Toibin's short story collection The Empty Family, and every story contained flashbacks. In some the flashback was the point of the story!

Posted by: Paul at Jun 9, 2017 9:19:16 AM

Doctor, heal thyself!

Posted by: Pete at Jun 10, 2017 2:07:54 PM