Monday, December 14, 2009

It's to You

Warning: Post includes spoilers. Text spoiled: Le Mur (The Wall) by Sartre.

So, lately I've been reading some criticism of Le Mur by Sartre -- trust me, the reason why is not interesting -- and I have now read about five times , "Well, since the narrator is telling the story, he obviously didn't die."

Okay, maybe it's just me, but I DIDN'T SEE THAT COMING. True, I didn't spend a ton of time thinking of what the end of the story would be, but even if I had, I doubt my thoughts would have included the words, "Oh, well, he's narrating, so he's obviously got to live through this." My mind just doesn't work this way.

On the other hand, I can't fault the logic there either. After all, someone had to be telling the story.

So, my question is, and I'm very interested in the varieties of answers you guys come up with, can there be posthumous narration?


  1. Interesting question. I'd say there could be. I've read books that are being narrated by dead people, but you know right from the beginning that they are dead. I wonder if it's different if they die sometime during the story.

  2. Susan -- Yes, I think in most cases you do know in advance that the narrator is dead, if they are narrating from beyond the grave.

  3. Absolutely. I once read a book, that I actually put down after 3 chapters because it was narrated by a ghost in a newel post. It was kind of a stupid book too.

    If they can write books with dogs as narrators, why not dead people.

  4. Piedmont -- Ah, that side never occurred to me, but it's a fair point. If animals can narrate, the dead should be able to as well.