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As analepsis (from Greek ἀνάληψις analepsis , German , recovery, recovery ' ) even flashback , turning back or retrospective , in English flashback , is known in film and television productions as well as in the literature a narrative technique . Events that took place or should have taken place before what has been narrated so far are only narrated afterwards. Analepsis is a form of anachronic storytelling ; its counterpart is the prolepse .


The term turning back comes from the literary scholar Eberhard Lämmert , Gérard Genette speaks of analepse - but both terms mean the same thing. Lämmert defines two types of turning back:

  • Building reversal : After a direct, sudden entry, it is explained in retrospect how this situation came about. The constructive turning back is often used at the beginning of stories, one then speaks of an "open entry".
  • Resolving turning back : only after a longer narration is something reported that precedes this narration. As a result, what has been told so far appears in a new light. A famous example of this is Nathan the Wise by Gotthold Ephraim Lessing : Only at the end does it become apparent that some of the characters who actually belong to rival religions are related to one another but were separated from one another as children. The classic detective story is also a reversing reversal.


In order to make the flashback clear to the viewer in film productions, this is often optically set off by using black and white , a different color scheme, changing the sharpness or the exposure. The counterpart to the flashback is the flash forward .

Examples of cinematographic works that use flashbacks are:

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: flashback  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations