FIND in
<--prev V12 next-->

From: Adam Stephanides <adamsteph@earthlink.net>
Subject: (whorl) The Narrator's mistakes
Date: Thu, 21 Jun 2001 23:24:34 

While thumbing through RttW, I came across a passage in which Narr notes he
has made a mistake, but says he won't correct it, for various reasons,
concluding, "No, there really are such things as honest mistakes; this
account is full of them, and I intend to leave it that way." (184)  This
passage raises several interesting points.

1) In correcting Narr's "obvious errors," the editors are going against
Narr's own policy.

2) Narr says that "I cannot correct all or even most of them [his mistakes]
without tearing the whole account to shreds and starting again."  If Narr is
not just being humble, his original manuscript had a lot of mistakes.  We
may wonder how many of them the editors caught (there's no reason to think
they were in a position to recognize all the mistakes) and how many of them
the editors missed and we are also unable to catch.

3) Narr goes on to say "My new account, moreover, would be bound to be worse
than this, since I could not prevent myself from attributing to myself
knowledge and opinions I did not have at the time the events I recorded
occurred."  But of course, everything in his original account dealing with
Horn's experiences in his own body was written down after a similar or
greater delay.

We've already lost the third-person sections of RttW as a reliable source;
it appears that Narr's manuscript is not as solid as it seems.

One other point about this passage: Narr's statement that "there really are
such things as honest mistakes."  It's odd that Narr should throw this in,
because nowhere in the preceding paragraph (or anywhere else that I can
recall) is it suggested that there aren't.  Does this remark reflect Narr's
subconscious awareness that his entire account is based upon a "dishonest
mistake," that he is fully Horn?


*This is WHORL, for discussion of Gene Wolfe's Book of the Long Sun.
*More Wolfe info & archive of this list at http://www.moonmilk.com/whorl/
*To leave the list, send "unsubscribe" to whorl-request@lists.best.com
*If it's Wolfe but not Long Sun, please use the URTH list: urth@lists.best.com

<--prev V12 next-->