Kudiyattam plays, always based on classical Sanskrit texts, many of them composed in Kerala, invariably include a long nirvahanam or “retrospective” in which a character reveals, mostly by the silent language of hand- and eye-gestures, abhinaya, the long process that has brought him or her to the present moment in the play.
In retrospect it always seems as if everything had to develop just the way it did. I call this view the fallacy of retrospective determinismwhich looks at the modern world as a victory of the children of light over the children of darkness if we approve of the development, and of darkness over light if we condemn it.
I want to argue that the “sudden” appearance of species in the fossil record and our failure to note subsequent evolutionary change within them is the proper prediction of evolutionary theory as we understand it. […] Evolutionary “sequences” are not rungs on a ladder, but our retrospective reconstruction of a circuitous path running like a labyrinth, branch to branch, from the base of the bush to a lineage now surviving at its top.stephen jay gould
I know every numbskull will babble on about "black man," "maneater," "chance," and "retrospective interpretation," in order to banish something terribly inconvenient that might sully the familiar picture of childhood innocence. Ah, these good, efficient, healthy-minded people, they always remind me of those optimistic tadpoles who bask in a puddle in the sun, in the shallowest of waters, crowding together and amiably wriggling their tails, totally unaware that the next morning the puddle will have dried up and left them stranded.carl jung
I greatly doubt whether the men who become pirate chiefs are those who are filled with retrospective terror of their fathers, or whether Napoleon, at Austerlitz, really felt that he was getting even with Madame Mère. I know nothing of the mother of Attila, but I rather suspect that she spoilt the little darling, who subsequently found the world irritating because it sometimes resisted his whims.bertrand russell