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Title Authorities in Question Unusual Narrators in Tales by Edgar Allan Poe Contents 1 Introduction1 2 Literary Reference1 31 Dreamer and Visionary2 32 The Impossible Narrator4 33 The Narrator - A Liar 6 4 Conclusion8 Bibliography11 1 Introduction There is no doubt that Edgar Allan Poe was one of the most influential American writers of the 19th century His impact can be measured by tracing the literary influence he had on succeeding generations of writers as well as by regarding the responses to his work Whether plots and topics characters or narrative structures are concerned it was Poe who put up high standards for each of them This is also true for the construction of narrators In some of his tales Poe introduces narrators who seem to fit in the scheme of ordinary first-person narrators at first sight but who turn out not to be quite as trustworthy as the reader may expect It is the topic of this essay to examine Poes tendency to play with the readers idea of narrators For this purpose it will be necessary both to have a look at the views of scholars dealing with Poes narrative strategies and to deal with some of his tales in detail 2 Literary Reference During the preparations for this essay I came across numerous publications that deal with the narrators in certain tales by Poe Most of them focus on certain aspects of Poes narrative strategy and some emphasize his use of unpredictable and unreliable narrators Some scholars point out the mediatory quality of some of Poes narrators and argue that they bear resemblance to dreamers and visionaries in texts by ETA Hoffmann and others Dreamers however cannot be considered fully responsible for the factual truth of their narrative and thus
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