Not as a rule. Does it ever happen? Of course it does. With novels, it would be if I find myself stuck half way through and doubting whether I’ll find it worth while to struggle on. Then I might have a peek at the end – or some place nearer to the end – to see if that helps to encourage me to read on.
The question makes me think of Moominland Winter by Swedish-speaking Finnish novelist and artist Tove Jansson. Moomins are usually in hibernation from November to April (I always kind of envied them!) but one winter, the young Moomin troll wakes up and just can’t go back to sleep. While his whole family continues to snooze, he sets out to explore the winter. In one place in this book, peeking forward is actually encouraged…
On page 44 (out of 131), something sad occurs. A squirrel dies. Too-ticki (friend of Moomin’s) tries to explain. Since I only have the book in Swedish, the following quotes are my own translation:
‘If you are dead, you are dead,’ said Too-ticki in a kind voice. ‘This squirrel will eventually turn to earth. And later, from that earth, trees will grow, in which new squirrels will be jumping around. Now, is that so sad?’ *
The asterisk leads to a footnote at the bottom of the page:
* If the reader starts crying, take a quick look at page 120. (Author’s note.)
On page 120, in early spring… Moomin again sees a squirrel:
‘Are you called the squirrel with the beautiful tail?’ Moomin asked slowly.
’Of course,’ said the squirrel.
’Is it you!’ exclaimed Moomin. ‘Is it really you? Who met the Ice Woman?’
’I don’t remember,’ said the squirrel. ‘You know, I forget easily…’
… … …
PS. This is my second blog post today.
Scroll down or click the link if you
also want to take a peek and find out who is
“Getting Younger And Younger”.