by Aidan Higgins
Publication Date: 06/01/2005
Opening with a quote from Richard Brautigan--"I've been examining half-scraps of my childhood. They are pieces of distant life that have no form or meaning"--Scenes from a Receding Past constructs the adolescence and early adulthood of Dan Ruttle out of a variety of scenes and reminiscences about his life in Ireland, his time in a Catholic school, his first sexual experiences, and his brother's mental breakdown. The second half of the book centers around his relationship with his future wife Olivia, her past, and her former lovers. Calling to mind Joyce's Portrait of an Artist as a Young Man for Dan Ruttle's love-hate relationship with Ireland and the stylistic innovations employed by Higgins, Scenes from a Receding Past is a masterpiece from one of Ireland's greatest contemporary writers.