LNH: Untold Tales of the Looniverse #2

Jesse Willey cabbagewielder at yahoo.com
Mon Sep 25 03:50:36 PDT 2006

> Another thing: first person FORCES you to stick to
> one point of view.
> You couldn't possibly switch to another point of
> view, not unless the
> narrator were able to see through other people's
> eyes.  So it can be a
> bit limiting.  Also, because you're only getting one
> point of view you
> don't know if what you are getting is the truth: the
> narrator could be
> LYING.  One thing I DID like about Nostalgics, in
> fact, is that the
> narrator has a very good reason to lie: he's trying
> to justify, or at
> least explain, his killing of another human being. 
> So I figured there
> was a very good chance he WAS lying.  But how to do
> show that a first
> person narrator is lying through prose alone?  It
> would be difficult:
> TV, movies and comics allows for the juxtiposition
> of a lying narrator
> with the objective truth of the pictures we see. 
> With prose, first
> person narration only provides us with one point of
> view and you
> basically have to accept what you are told.  Or so I
> imagine.  If you
> can think of a good way to show through first person
> narration that the
> narrator himself is being untruthful then I'd be
> very impressed. :)

  This is just the type of thing I've been trying to
do with Adventures Beyond Comprehension.  Most people
think Dalton is mentally unstable-- and maybe to a
certain extent he is-- so why should we believe him? 
He will make stuff up if he thinks nobody would
believe what really happened to him.  (Probably true.)
Only I know which stories are real and which are
bullshit.  I'm not every going to tell anyone.  I
think most of you are smart enough to figure it out on
your own.
  Electra is an admittedly, a manipultive sociopath,
what makes her credible?   Absolutely nothing.  Why do
people take her story as 'truth'?  
   Every single character I've used as a narrator to
date has had every reason to either lie or at least
withhold the truth.  Some don't lie per se, but rather
give us the truth as they perceive it.  Which may not
be the actual state of affairs. 
   Tom and I have major disagreements about the Bryan
Singer film 'The Usual Suspects'. 

   Spoiler Warning




   Tom thinks the ending where the whole thing turns
out to be a bullshit story Verbal tells to get out of
going to jail is a cop out.  I think it's a great
film.  Why?  If you pay attention during the movie
(particularly scenes in the interogation room) all the
clues are there.  You just have to pay attention or
watch the film several times.  Upon second and third
viewings I've caught more than 30 things where I go
'how did I miss that?'  Kasier Soze is supposed to me
a manipulative son of a bitch and Kevin Spacey's
performance sells it.  The story he tells is so
interesting and much more interesting than what
'actually' happened to the characters that the truth
becomes irrelevent.  
   I think you can learn just as much about a
character not by what they do but by the kinds of lies
they tell.  People lie for different reasons.  To
protect themselves, to protect others, to make
themself look better, revenge or sheer entertainment
of duping someone. Different types of lies imply
different things.  Every first person narrator has
reasons to lie as does every person.  The question is
what part of their story is a lie and why do they lie. 

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