In a recent entry,
09:56 am - Unreliable Narrators
As a reader, I love the "unreliable narrator" - you know, the guy who says that he's all good, and then he turns out to be the Devil Himself, that sort of thing. My enjoyment of this device flavors my own first-person books - my characters are never one-hundred-percent accurate describers of themselves.
How many actual people -- not characters in a story -- are 100% reliable on how they describe themselves?
Does it depend on who you're talking to, what time of day, etc.?
How to DEFINE "reliable"? Objective?
Now that's just being silly -- one cannot, by definition, be totally objective about hirself. CAN sie?
have absolutely no
illusions/delusions about hirself?
Get two or more people together who've known me the same length of time, and who've spent time with me in similar circumstances -- I'm betting that with my 4 classmates from Orler, you'd not recognize they were talking about the same person if you asked them separately the same set of questions and we spent 3 - 5 days together, 8 hours per day, in the same small classroom for 5 and a half months.
Ask me to describe myself as objectively and as honestly as I can on two different days and you'll get two wildly different answers, because my perception will have changed.
And most likely, it won't be an "honest" assessment, because there are things about me I don't want you to know, but those will be different things than what I might hide from someone else. It may be because I want you to think of me in a certain way and that information would skew your opinion, or it may be that I don't wish to burden you with something beyond your control. And I may not even realize I'm doing it.
If I don't realize I'm doing it, does that in itself make me dishonest? Less-than-honest? Lower-than-the-low, a scum-sucking-whatever?
*Shrug* "I yam what I yam," as the sage Popeye says.
Another situation dealing with perception and perspective:
I worked for some time with several people with whom I had little or nothing in common. We worked in the same room, doing the same jobs, and we were human and ate food and drank liquids and breathed air.
Some of these folk I was totally apathetic toward, some I actively disliked for one reason (or non-reason) or another. To this day, three of these people -- two of the apathy-reaction, one of the get-FAR-away-from-me-you-ignorant-jerk-
reaction -- are absolutely certain that I am their bestest friend ever, simply because I was able to hide my disdain and work with them.
Did I lie? Did I have the obligation to SAY "I don't like you, you're a whiner and a slug and willfully ignorant to boot"?
I never said "Oh, JennieLouise, you're such a darling!" or invited them over for tea, never showed interest in their brag books and actively ignored the babble about soap operas.
There are perhaps three of the 30+ I worked with that I'd be glad to see again; two that I'd cross the street to avoid. The rest are practical nonentities to me because we had no common ground to base a possible friendship on. Heck, those three, there's very LITTLE in common. Does the fact that I was able to set aside my personal outlook make me a hypocrite or a "good worker-bee"?