On the semantic role of unreliable narration

The article contains descriptions of some key questions related to unreliability in fiction. Unreliable narration is described as a complex of authorial markers that create discrepancy between the authorial and the narratorial levels and are used to construct the reader’s journey through the text. The article touches upon the issue of possible classifications of types of unreliability based either on the functions of narrator or on the semantic functions of unreliability. The article shows how unreliability can be used to create both “open” texts with intradiegetic narration, such as short stories by R. Akutagawa, and “closed” texts with extradiegetic narration, such as novels by J. Austen.

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