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Narrative Cracks: Reconsidering Intentionality in Unreliable Narration in The Remains of the Day and The Moonstone

Year 2024, Issue: Special Issue: Wilkie Collins, 42 - 56, 28.01.2024
https://doi.org/10.47777/cankujhss.1418446

Abstract

Since Wayne Booth’s coinage of the term “unreliable narrator,” much critical ink has been spilled over the instances where the reliability of a narrator’s account is compromised, though without exploring the effects of the narrator’s intentional agency on unreliability. This study introduces the narratorial intent across the three levels of unreliable narration offered by Olson as a factor designating the disposition of a narrator and the gap between the implied reader and the narrator. With a rhetorical narratological approach that is in dialogue with cognitivist/constructivist approaches, the butler-narrators Stevens and Betteredge, from Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day (1989) and from Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone (1868) respectively, will be analyzed in terms of how the difference in their narratorial intent pertains to their being diametrically opposed unreliable narrators. It is claimed that the lack of intrinsic motivation distances Betteredge from the implied reader and makes him an untrustworthy narrator while strong narratorial intent and agency bonds Stevens’s audience to his narration and shows him as an unreliable, yet fallible, narrator.

References

  • Booth, W. C. (1983). The rhetoric of fiction. University of Chicago Press.
  • Chatman, S. B. (1990). Coming to terms: The rhetoric of narrative in fiction and film. Cornell University Press.
  • Collins, W. (2020). The Moonstone. Platanus Cultural Publishing.
  • Eliot, T. S. (1915). The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Poetry, 6(3), 130–135. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20570428.
  • Fonioková, Z. (2008). The butler’s suspicious dignity: Unreliable narration in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Brno Studies in English, 32(1), 87-98.
  • Gruner, E. R. (1993). Family secrets and the mysteries of The Moonstone. Victorian Literature and Culture, 21, 127-145.
  • Halpern, F. (2018). Closeness through unreliability: Sympathy, empathy, and ethics in narrative communication. Narrative, 26(2), 125-145. https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2018.0008.
  • Hunnewell, S. (2008). Kazuo Ishiguro, The Art of Fiction No. 196. The Paris Review. https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5829/the-art-of-fiction-no-196-kazuo-Ishiguro.
  • Ishiguro, K. (1989). The remains of the day. Faber and Faber.
  • Lanser, S. S. (1981). The narrative act: Point of view in prose fiction. Princeton University Press.
  • Nünning, A. F. (2005). Reconceptualizing unreliable narration: Synthesizing cognitive and rhetorical approaches. In J. Phelan & P. J. Rabinowitz (Eds.), A companion to narrative theory (pp. 89-107). Blackwell.
  • Olson, G. (2003). Reconsidering Unreliability: Fallible and Untrustworthy Narrators. Narrative, 11(1), 93–109. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20107302.
  • Öztabak-Avcı, E. (2013). An “Ideological Servant”?: A Study of the Servant Figure in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Interactions, 22(1-2), 93-104.
  • Öztabak-Avcı, E. (2015). ‘You never know who you’re addressing’: A study of the inscribed ‘you’ in The Remains of the Day. In C. F. Wong and H. Yıldız (Eds.), Kazuo Ishiguro in a Global Context (pp. 49-58). Routledge.
  • Pettersson, B. (2015). Kinds of unreliability in fiction: Narratorial, Focal, Expositional and Combined. In V. Nünning (Ed.), Unreliable narration and trustworthiness: Intermedial and interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 109-130). De Gruyter.
  • Phelan, J. (2005). Living to tell about it: A rhetoric and ethics of character narration. Cornell University Press.
  • Phelan, J. (2007). Estranging Unreliability, Bonding Unreliability, and the Ethics of “Lolita.” Narrative, 15(2), 222-238. http://www.jstor.org/stable/30219252.
  • Phelan, J. and Martin, M. P. (1999). The lessons of “Weymouth”: Homodiegesis, unreliability, ethics, and The Remains of the Day. In D. Herman (Ed.), Narratologies: New perspectives on narrative analysis (pp. 88-109). Ohio State University Press.
  • Shen, D. (2013). Unreliability. In P. Hühn et al. (Eds.), living handbook of narratology. De Gruyter. https://www-archiv.fdm.uni-hamburg.de/lhn/node/66.html.
  • Teo, Y. (2014). Kazuo Ishiguro and memory. Palgrave Macmillan UK.
  • Toprak Sakız, E. (2022). Peripheries of narration and spatial poetics in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 32(2), 553-571. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1056402.
  • Wall, K. (1994). The Remains of the Day and its challenges to theories of unreliable narration. The Journal of Narrative Technique, 24(1), 18-42.
  • Warhol, R. R. (1989). Gendered interventions: Narrative discourse in the Victorian novel. Rutgers University Press.
  • Westerman, M. (2004). Is the butler home? Narrative and the split subject in The Remains of the Day. Mosaic, 37(3), 157-170. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44030052.
  • Winterson, J. (1987). The Passion. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Zerweck, B. (2001). Historicizing unreliable narration: Unreliability and cultural discourse in narrative fiction.” Style, 35(1), 151-176. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.35.1.151.

Anlatı Çatlakları: Günden Kalanlar ve Aytaşı Romanlarının Güvenilmez Anlatılarında Kasıtlılığın Yeniden Düşünülmesi

Year 2024, Issue: Special Issue: Wilkie Collins, 42 - 56, 28.01.2024
https://doi.org/10.47777/cankujhss.1418446

Abstract

Wayne Booth’un “güvenilmez anlatıcı” terimini ortaya atışından bu yana birçok çalışma bir anlatıcının güvenilirliğinden taviz verdiği durumlara odaklansa da anlatıcının anlatıya başlamadaki niyetinin güvenilirliğine olan etkisi pek araştırılmamıştır. Bu çalışma, Olson’un öne sürdüğü ve üç seviyeden oluşan güvenilmez anlatıcı çerçevesi kapsamında anlatıcı niyetini, anlatıcı özellikleri ve anlatıcının ima edilen okuyucu ile ilişkisi üzerinde belirleyici bir etmen olarak ele alır. Anlatıbilimin retorik yaklaşımlarının bilişsel/yapılandırmacı yaklaşımlarla kurduğu diyalog üzerinden, Kazuo Ishiguro’nun Günden Kalanlar (1989) ve Wilkie Collins’in Aytaşı (1868) romanlarının uşak-anlatıcıları Stevens ve Betteredge, anlatıcı niyetinde yaşadıkları ayrışmanın taban tabana zıt güvenilmez anlatıcılar olarak ortaya çıkmalarındaki etkisi açısından incelenecektir. İçsel motivasyon eksikliği Betteredge’i ima edilen okuyucudan uzaklaştırıp güvenmeye değmez bir anlatıcı konumuna yerleştirirken kuvvetli bir anlatıcı niyeti ve etkinliği, Stevens’ı ima edilen okuyucusuna yaklaştırır ve güvenilmez fakat yanılabilir bir anlatıcı olarak konumlandırır.

References

  • Booth, W. C. (1983). The rhetoric of fiction. University of Chicago Press.
  • Chatman, S. B. (1990). Coming to terms: The rhetoric of narrative in fiction and film. Cornell University Press.
  • Collins, W. (2020). The Moonstone. Platanus Cultural Publishing.
  • Eliot, T. S. (1915). The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock. Poetry, 6(3), 130–135. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20570428.
  • Fonioková, Z. (2008). The butler’s suspicious dignity: Unreliable narration in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Brno Studies in English, 32(1), 87-98.
  • Gruner, E. R. (1993). Family secrets and the mysteries of The Moonstone. Victorian Literature and Culture, 21, 127-145.
  • Halpern, F. (2018). Closeness through unreliability: Sympathy, empathy, and ethics in narrative communication. Narrative, 26(2), 125-145. https://doi.org/10.1353/nar.2018.0008.
  • Hunnewell, S. (2008). Kazuo Ishiguro, The Art of Fiction No. 196. The Paris Review. https://www.theparisreview.org/interviews/5829/the-art-of-fiction-no-196-kazuo-Ishiguro.
  • Ishiguro, K. (1989). The remains of the day. Faber and Faber.
  • Lanser, S. S. (1981). The narrative act: Point of view in prose fiction. Princeton University Press.
  • Nünning, A. F. (2005). Reconceptualizing unreliable narration: Synthesizing cognitive and rhetorical approaches. In J. Phelan & P. J. Rabinowitz (Eds.), A companion to narrative theory (pp. 89-107). Blackwell.
  • Olson, G. (2003). Reconsidering Unreliability: Fallible and Untrustworthy Narrators. Narrative, 11(1), 93–109. http://www.jstor.org/stable/20107302.
  • Öztabak-Avcı, E. (2013). An “Ideological Servant”?: A Study of the Servant Figure in Kazuo Ishiguro’s The Remains of the Day. Interactions, 22(1-2), 93-104.
  • Öztabak-Avcı, E. (2015). ‘You never know who you’re addressing’: A study of the inscribed ‘you’ in The Remains of the Day. In C. F. Wong and H. Yıldız (Eds.), Kazuo Ishiguro in a Global Context (pp. 49-58). Routledge.
  • Pettersson, B. (2015). Kinds of unreliability in fiction: Narratorial, Focal, Expositional and Combined. In V. Nünning (Ed.), Unreliable narration and trustworthiness: Intermedial and interdisciplinary perspectives (pp. 109-130). De Gruyter.
  • Phelan, J. (2005). Living to tell about it: A rhetoric and ethics of character narration. Cornell University Press.
  • Phelan, J. (2007). Estranging Unreliability, Bonding Unreliability, and the Ethics of “Lolita.” Narrative, 15(2), 222-238. http://www.jstor.org/stable/30219252.
  • Phelan, J. and Martin, M. P. (1999). The lessons of “Weymouth”: Homodiegesis, unreliability, ethics, and The Remains of the Day. In D. Herman (Ed.), Narratologies: New perspectives on narrative analysis (pp. 88-109). Ohio State University Press.
  • Shen, D. (2013). Unreliability. In P. Hühn et al. (Eds.), living handbook of narratology. De Gruyter. https://www-archiv.fdm.uni-hamburg.de/lhn/node/66.html.
  • Teo, Y. (2014). Kazuo Ishiguro and memory. Palgrave Macmillan UK.
  • Toprak Sakız, E. (2022). Peripheries of narration and spatial poetics in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. Litera: Journal of Language, Literature and Culture Studies, 32(2), 553-571. https://doi.org/10.26650/LITERA2022-1056402.
  • Wall, K. (1994). The Remains of the Day and its challenges to theories of unreliable narration. The Journal of Narrative Technique, 24(1), 18-42.
  • Warhol, R. R. (1989). Gendered interventions: Narrative discourse in the Victorian novel. Rutgers University Press.
  • Westerman, M. (2004). Is the butler home? Narrative and the split subject in The Remains of the Day. Mosaic, 37(3), 157-170. http://www.jstor.org/stable/44030052.
  • Winterson, J. (1987). The Passion. Bloomsbury Publishing.
  • Zerweck, B. (2001). Historicizing unreliable narration: Unreliability and cultural discourse in narrative fiction.” Style, 35(1), 151-176. https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.5325/style.35.1.151.

Details

Primary Language English
Subjects British and Irish Language, Literature and Culture, Literary Theory
Journal Section Articles
Authors

Sinem ORUÇ

Early Pub Date January 22, 2024
Publication Date January 28, 2024
Submission Date November 9, 2023
Acceptance Date January 1, 2024
Published in Issue Year 2024 Issue: Special Issue: Wilkie Collins

Cite

APA ORUÇ, S. (2024). Narrative Cracks: Reconsidering Intentionality in Unreliable Narration in The Remains of the Day and The Moonstone. Cankaya University Journal of Humanities and Social Sciences(Special Issue: Wilkie Collins), 42-56. https://doi.org/10.47777/cankujhss.1418446

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