(urth) Introduction and Breath

James Wynn crushtv at gmail.com
Tue Apr 19 13:00:18 PDT 2011

Ah okay. Then I do not believe the *strong* version to be a true 
definition of an Unreliable Narrator. Verbal is merely making up most of 
the story. He is "unreliable" only in the sense that he has incorporated 
real people into his fabrication and possibly real events.

An unreliable narrator generally attempts to speak the truth, but you 
can't RELY on him to do so. He's wrong, misinformed, covers up 
inadequacies, or has a screwed up moral code/worldview through which he 
interprets events.

Wolfean unreliable narrators:

Weer, because he excludes his culpability
VRT, because he is motivated by nature to completely disappear into Marsch
Severian, because anyone who says "I am mad" is as untrustworthy as a 
guy who says "I always lie".
Latro, because of his brain damage he cannot even say himself whether 
anything in his diary is true even to the question of whether HE wrote 
it. Nor can he know if he was rational at the times when he converses 
with gods.
Bax, because he is a con-artist whom we know forged some of his letters 
and he has reason to lie to his sister-in-law and probably his brother.

On 4/19/2011 2:24 PM, Brian Short wrote:
> Verbal from The Usual Suspects would be a strongly unreliable narrator
> by this definition.
> Thanks,
> -Brian
> On Tue, Apr 19, 2011 at 3:18 PM, James Wynn<crushtv at gmail.com>  wrote:
> What then would be an example in literature of a 'strongly unreliable'
> narrator?
> J
>> On 4/17/2011 5:31 PM, Gerry Quinn wrote:
>>> For me, the term 'unreliable narator' implies that the author is telling
>>> us another, different story disguised behind the overt story the narrator is
>>> telling is; either the narrator is lying or he doesn't understand what's
>>> going on.  I really don't think that either is the case with Severian.
>>> A narrator who simply makes mistakes or who doesn't know everything isn't
>>> unreliable in this strong sense.  Maybe we could define 'weakly unreliable'
>>> and 'strongly unreliable'

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