Variations on and the Teleology of Unreliable Narration

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Latin American Studies Program, University of Delaware, Newark, DE
Three variations in narrational unreliability are discussed along with four proposals aimed at formulating a teleology of unreliable narrator. The variations include back-loading signals of unreliability, deploying partial awareness of self-incrimination, and using a limited first person narrator. Apropos teleology, we argue that unreliable narration helps to subvert the moral and or epistemological worldview of the narrator. Secondly, unreliable narration facilitates an effective examination of the strengths and weaknesses of unbridled imagination. In addition, unreliable narration permits a reconceptualization of our understanding of truth and falsehood. Finally, unreliable narrators who overindulge in imaginary flights provide one of the best sources of narrative humor. Reinaldo Arenas, José Donoso are Jorge Luis Borges provide the raw materials for this dual effort in design and purpose.
Unreliable narration, Default framework, Frame theory, Teleology, Unintentional self-incrimination, Interpretive strategies, Detective framework, Naturalization, Back-loading, Partial self-incrimination, Limited first person narrator, Spiritus vivicans, Unbridled imagination, Truth, Falsehood