sábado, abril 08, 2017

Unreliability in Fiction: "Blue and Gold" by K. J. Parker

“The two predominant factors that make me up, philosophy and criminality, when combined, when combined together on the block of ice hat serves me for a personality go to make up alchemy.”

In “Blue and Gold” by K. J. Parker


Beep… -cking answering machines! Kevin… Kevin… Kevin, I know you’re there. With her probably, whoever she is – stupid cow. Listen Kevin, you actually love me really. You’re jus’ confuuuused, and I don’t blame you. But you better not do anything you’ll regret – and if you’re doing it now I will hunt you down and… and cut your goolies off… You see the thing is… the thing is… God, iss really ridiculous communicating like this. We’re human beings. Why don'sh you just pick up the phone and we’ll talk like grown-up adults. Hmm? Hmm KEVIN, PICK UP THE BLOODY PHO… Beep.


“Do you remember a bar where we met? It was one of those bars like you used to see in The Sweeney. Only that was London in the 70s. All fag-ends, strippers and sticky carpet. Lively. This place looked the same, but the mood was different. Unemployed gas fitters at the bar snacked on scampi fries and planned what they would do when they won the lottery when you tried successfully to hit on me. I still remember what you said, “Great big tits, like.” “And a nice little flat for yer gran.” We laughed into our pints of bitter and gave the barmaid an unrequited smile. Even then it wasn’t our boozer any more. Too much had changed. Or stayed the same.”


“Do you remember that one time, 1 a.m. Saturday night? In the bar next door, raging hormones were laying the groundwork for love stories that might last forever. But in the sweet shop all was quiet - just the odd rustle of the newspaper on his endless vigil. He works the graveyard shift. Alone. Sweets, fancy chocolate, bouquets of bad flowers, greeting cards, fruit. Everything is like something you would bring someone in hospital. But he himself looked like he’d never want to visit a hospital ever again. Sagging skin, ashen pallor, wrinkles like lines in a song. A blues number, ‘My baby done gone.’ Remember??”


She perched on the cold, hard edge, taut fingers gripping. It had to end. No more waiting, no more hurting, no more shame and pain and hoping in vain.
She dared to glance down. A pink line for positive. The End. And the beginning.

“Shit. It’s her again…Not even in the toilette does she leave me alone”. As he said this, the brown monster leapt from the cave into the waters below with a deafening splash. He had done a big poo.

NB: I just wanted to write something like an unreliable narrator the way K. J. Parker did. What is true, what is false? “Meloves” liars in fiction…

2 comentários:

Book Stooge disse...

My first real exposure to the unreliable narrator was either Catch-22 or Lolita. Either way, I didn't care for it and I don't like the idea itself. If someone mentions "unreliable narrator" about a book/series/author, I wait for several reviews to see if I might like the book.

I don't like being lied to. It's bad enough in real life, but to have my books lie to me? That is like watching a herd of cows go through the drive-through of a McDonalds and order 100 double cheeseburgers. There is just something "off" about the experience.

Manuel Antão disse...

Parker does something with unreliable fiction that appeals to me. He does not exactly lie to you. He just uses narrative in a metafictionally way.