Monday, January 30, 2012

Reading Backwards

Recently, while he and I were traveling together, my son Miles (12) came up with an experiment: he read a book backwards, just to see what it was like. (The book he chose was Ivy and Bean and the Ghost That Had To Go, by Annie Barrows, which I had bought for his sister Luisa.)

His conclusion: if you read a book forwards, it is like looking out a window and seeing something happen. But if you read a book backwards, it is like looking at the window itself.


Tom Atkins said...

Now you have me curious. I think I will have to try it myself!

Dominic Rivron said...

Did he read the words backwards, the sentences or the chapters (if you know what I mean)?

His brilliant conclusion sounds like the sort of thing French Postmodernists came up with!

There's always Martin Amis' Time's Arrow. It would be interesting to read that backwards. :)

Andrew Shields said...

He read the chapters backwards. When I correct translations, sometimes I read the paragraphs backwards.

Your question, Dominic, reminds me of this post on Language Log recently, which also discussed various senses of what "saying something backwards" might mean: