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Perpetrator Studies Network


Amis, Martin. Time’s Arrow

Time’s Arrow, written by Martin Amis, follows the life of a man, but in reverse chronological order. The reader thus follows the protagonist Todd’s life from death to birth. This narrative technique works alongside that of another, the narrator is apparently separate from the consciousness of Todd Friendly. However, the narrator has no access to the protagonist’s memories and thus can only assume that this man has a dark past based on the series of events in the novel. It comes to light that the protagonist had at one point been a Nazi doctor in a concentration camp. The author uses this narrative technique to illustrate how warped this character’s perception of what he was doing was at the time of the Holocaust, illustrating the impact of Nazi ideology and how post generations cannot make sense of what occurred, leaving the reader with some difficult questions surrounding evil, guilt, morality, and responsibility

Amis, Martin. Time’s Arrow: or, The Nature of the Offence. Jonathan Cape. 1991. Print