This volume deals with the occurrence and development of unreliable first-person narration in twentieth century Western literature. The different articles in this collection approach this topic both from the angle of literary theory and through a detailed reading of literary texts. By addressing questions concerning the functions, characteristics and types of unreliability, this collection contributes to the current theoretical debate about unreliable narration. At the same time, the collection highlights the different uses to which unreliability has been put in different contexts, poetical traditions and literary movements. It does so by tracing the unreliable first-person narrator in a variety of texts from Dutch, German, American, British, French, Italian, Polish, Danish and Argentinean literature. In this way, this volume significantly extends the traditional ‘canon’ of narrative unreliability. This collection combines essays from some of the foremost theoreticians of unreliability (James Phelan, Ansgar Nünning) with essays from experts in different national traditions. The result is a collection that approaches the ‘case’ of narrative unreliability from a new and more varied perspective.
Elke D’hoker,Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium; Gunther Martens, Universiteit Gent, Belgium.