Towards Framing Unreliable Narration: A Rudimentary Cognitive Model


Tarbiat Modares University, Tehran, Iran


This article is aimed at introducing unreliable narration in a cognitive framework. To reach that aim, a brief history of the term, its origin, its definitions and redefinitions is given. Then, different views about the term across a variety of frameworks such as formalism, structuralism, and cognitive approach are discussed and compared. Adapting the cognitive approach as the more adequate one, we draw on Minsky’s frame theory, Albaladejo Mayordomo’s possible world theory, Sternberg’s idea of narrative as a removed quotation and Yacobi’s integration strategies to describe the cognitive processes and interpretive strategies involved in recognizing and responding to a narrative as unreliable. Reaching this description would lead us to a working cognitive paradigm for reading and teaching unreliable narration and other literary texts. The strength of this paradigm lies in the fact that it relies mostly on process-conscious and active engagement of the reader in the reading experience.