Spellcoats ending (spoiler)

minnow at belfry.org.uk minnow at belfry.org.uk
Mon Jul 28 05:00:52 EDT 2003

Paul wrote:

>On Mon, 28 Jul 2003, Irina Rempt wrote:
>> On Monday 28 July 2003 08:58, Paul Andinach wrote:
>> > So 'The Spellcoats' is more in the tradition of stories where the
>> > reader only gets an unreliable account of what occurred, with or
>> > without guidance about which bits are actually true. And I'm sure
>> > there's a classic example of *that*, but it's not coming to mind...
>> If that's a real lapse of memory and not a joke, I'd suggest the
>> Gospels.
>Not a bad example, although I was thinking more of stories where it's
>a deliberate authorial device.
>(Like... like... bother. No, that was a real lapse of memory. The only
>books that are coming to mind are ones that I haven't actually read
>and which might not actually be good examples.)

*Wuthering Heights*?  Two narrative voices (Mr Lockwood and Nelly Dean)
neither of whom is necessarily reliable?  The reader has no idea whether to
believe what Nelly says happened, really.

*The Great Gatsby*?  We know that FSF deliberately took out bits of that,
which made what had happened "too obvious", and left the reader with no
certainty about all sorts of things including who was actually driving the
car, because we only have the assumption made by Nick Carraway (and agreed
to by Gatsby) and he was not an eye-witness and was obviously very biased
indeed... so that is authorial device rather than us as readers being dim.
Would that do?


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