When we read a story, we surrender ourselves to the one who tells it. Yet, what happens if we discover that the narrating voice does not tell us the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? How do we negotiate and process such texts and how do we arrive at the “true' version of events? This volume began as an attempt to answer these questions.
It has a double aim: on the one hand, to approach the technique from various theoretical angles (cognitive poetics, the theory of possible worlds and pragmatics), and, on the other hand, to use these approaches on the works of a writer who has turned unreliability into his literary signature. Amidst the wealth of more or less reliable first-person narratives in contemporary British fiction, Kazuo Ishiguro's works stand out because of their sustained exploration of the possibilities and limits of the single narrative voice. His novels are each narrated by autodiegetic narrators who have something to hide, from themselves no less than from their readers. However, they all claim to be offering their narratees accurate reconstructions of their past when, in fact, they try to conceal as much as possible. Behind the veil of their unreliable discourse, the narrative implies the existence of the “factual' version of the story, which the readers are invited to reconstruct.