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Narrative Voices and Unreliable Narrator in a History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters by Julian Barnes
Heteroglossia, unreliability of the narrator, the shift of narrative voices – these all are traits characteristic to post-modernism represented also by the English author Julian Barnes, whose novel A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters serves as an example of this style of writing. Sometimes, authors present narrators so that it is difficult for a reader to decide, whether to believe in the narrated events or not. For this reason, the aim of the paper is to describe the elements that help to the readers to notice the elements pointing out to the potential unreliability of a narrator. After some theoretical background introducing to such terms as ‘narrative voice’ and ‘voice markers’, the major attention will be paid to the analysis of the narrators in the chapter titled “The Survivor”. Such selection of the subject of the research is substantiated by the fact that a shift of narrators serves as a device reflecting the diversity of narrative perspectives within the story.
Julian Barnes tackles a wide range of issues in his novel. A History of the World in 10 ½ Chapters really consists of ten chapters and Parenthesis between the eighth and the ninth chapter. Each chapter is written in the form of a completed short story with its own plot, yet the collection may be called ‘novel’ owing to the themes and motifs from the history repeating themselves in different times and places beginning from the Great Flood up to the travels to the Moon in the modern times. …
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