In The Sword in the Stone, chapter three, Merlyn says:
“Now ordinary people are born forwards in Time, if you understand what I mean, and nearly everything in the world goes forward too. This makes it quite easy for the ordinary people to live, just as it would be easy to join those five dots into a W if you were allowed to look at them forwards, instead of backwards and inside out. But I unfortunately was born at the wrong end of time, and I have to live backwards from in front, while surrounded by a lot of people living forwards from behind. Some people call it having a second sight.”
“Have I told you this before?”
“You see, one gets confused with Time, when it is like that. All one’s tenses get muddled, for one thing. If you know what is going to happen to people, and not what has happened to them, it makes it difficult to prevent it happening, if you don’t want it to have happened, if you see what I mean? Like drawing in a mirror.”
In The Queen of Air and Darkness, chapter four, Merlyn mentions the Mafeking Night and the Boer War, which happened 1899-1902. Merlyn also mentions Victorian fox hunting and Henry the Third. King Arthur says, “I wish [Merlyn] had been born forwards like other people.”
How does T. H. White’s Merlyn experience time?
Does Merlyn age in reverse? Does he physically grow younger as time advances like Benjamin Button?
How does Merlyn experience memory? Does he see both the past, present, and future like an oracle or prophet? Or does he only see the present and future and not the past? The above passage makes me think that Merlyn "remembers" the future but does not remember the past.
How does Merlyn experience time? Does he live backwards literally (i.e. if I spoke a sentence to him, he would hear it backwards)? Or does he go to sleep every night and wake up on the previous day with knowledge of all following days (like a twist on Groundhog Day)?
I would be interested in any additional passages in T.H. White’s books or interviews given that explain this concept in clearer terms. I am only looking for sourced answers to this question.