Reading ‘Definition and Theory of the Flashback’ in Maureen Turim’s Flashbacks in Film: Memory and History (1989), whilst troubled by a version of the past…

maureen turim

‘The flashback is a privileged moment in unfolding that that juxtaposes different moments of temporal reference.’ p. 1

a way of slicing through a privileged moment in unfolding moments of temporal reference a juncture is wrought memory and history the image in the present dissolves to an image in the past intertitles that mark anteriority through language the past that intervenes within the present memory surges forth repeats and haunts subjective interiorised telling-in-language play of difference the subject’s relation to telling her past two levels of remembering the double sense of the rendering character in the fiction the viewer of the film the play of different voices certain departures and divisions engender a representation the questioning of the reconstruction form image voice memory history the relativity of spatio-temporal relationships a brief interval of light the brief and violent consequences a kind of misfiring so highly charged a quick glance the figuration of memory instances of light and of the change the quality of the glance a return a revival anti-chronological to cut to another space and time interpolated a reverie a confession the flash transformative and jarring a memory image a trauma a logic of linearity and causality the ordering of time the inscription of events according to different cues a device a construct that complicates patterning the textual object memories dreams the complex weave portraying thought circuitous investigations this weave of motivations expansion of meanings and concentrated junctures parallel montage masked autobiographical memory temporal shifts spatial shifts metaphoric montage to accentuate another history being presented as a complex fragment slicing through a single narrative mimetic representation of memory dreams or confession circuitous investigations of enigmas this weave of motivations asynchronous reprise their internal coding to deliver missing narration the cutting from one pace to another omniscience of verb tenses an invisible act of language crucial differential treatment of temporal modalities the ordering analepse and prolepse a narrative present a disjunct future the opposition interior/exterior to a time period prior to the moment of the beginning the portée of the analepse years decades days hours just a few moments amplitude of the past duration a few moments of the flashback not only precise implied in these terms ellipses periods of time left out of the narration withholding the revelation the climax to relate the past paradigmatically the dimensions of the flashback a reference to a day in time restricted extensive what is at stake in temporal analyses the typology the temporality the speculations what is at stake for narrative abstractive the temporal from its naturalised embedding the narrators voice density in time voice subjective experience a filmic treatment of narrative time a doubly temporal sequence to create one time in another time is the figure of duality adequate bifurcation multiple splitting multiply inscribed from phrase to phrase the lexias coded dispersed a spread out universe meaning entangled multiple temporality the logic of time and space the proairetic code the abstract logic of a hypothetical time the code of enigmas the frame tale the quest for the answer certain connotations semic subjectivising of history between past and present charged individuated the past an object of desire sealed off knowing and forgetting a configuration a questioning force double energy parapraxis shifting energies divided and multiplied discrete and duration differentially the camera and projector unfolding words the view of the world the design of the map having been there verbal auditory non-diegetic the struggle to code invisible pictoral the artifice expressive suspended between manipulations repetitions reinscriptions making and telling an accomplice in the form listening to the flashback on another level which are to be understood as memories associative manifest representation eidetic memory impossible allow the vantages to shift

Text fragments drawn from: Turim, Maureen, Flashback in Film: memory and history, London and New York: Routledge, 1989