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'never trust the teller, trust the tale' in relation to english literature? watch

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    what do you take this to mean in relation to novels?
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    Hmm... I suppose that the 'never trust the teller' may refer to the unreliabilities associated with any kind of narrative technique: the fragility of memory, the implications of bias and invested interest, the effects of external forces (eg. fear, pain, love, hate) on the speaker.
    One must, of course, question who the 'teller' is - the speaker or the author - the author is often the one trying to 'tell' us something, but because their words come through a filter, the speaker, this narrative voice may be rendered inadequate for conveying that which the author wishes to say. ... Does that make sense? So basically, because novels don't have the 'confessional' nature of poetry, the author must use the speaker as a filter of their words, and this filter can often adulterate the meaning.
    "Trust the tale" may refer to the idea of "actions speaking louder than words" - so the characters' actions in the novel are a better demonstration of any 'message' that the author seeks to convey than the words themselves - as D.H. Lawrence says in Women In Love, "Words themselves do not convey meaning ... they a but a gesture we make, a dumb show like any other."

    Is that any good? A little long-winded I know...
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    Yeah, basically that you can never completely trust the narrator as they'll always have their own view. This is why it gets complicated when you have to try and work out what the author wants to say, as it's through someone else's view.
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    (Original post by ormaybeitsjustnarcissism)
    Yeah, basically that you can never completely trust the narrator as they'll always have their own view. This is why it gets complicated when you have to try and work out what the author wants to say, as it's through someone else's view.
    Heheh yes that would have been a simpler way for me to explain it... I think I was still going through the thought process bit by bit when I replied. :p:
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    (Original post by Aaymee)
    Heheh yes that would have been a simpler way for me to explain it... I think I was still going through the thought process bit by bit when I replied. :p:
    Haha nah, yours is miles better. What looks like a short summary is actually just the lumpy remains of lectures that haven't quite dribbled out of my brain yet :p: I would have put more if I knew how to say it.
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    (Original post by ormaybeitsjustnarcissism)
    Haha nah, yours is miles better. What looks like a short summary is actually just the lumpy remains of lectures that haven't quite dribbled out of my brain yet :p: I would have put more if I knew how to say it.
    lol. I can see my brain doing this when I'm at uni. :P:
 
 
 
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Updated: January 20, 2010

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