Henri, Villanelle

1504 Words7 Pages
There are stories everywhere, but it’s how and where it’s told that makes it significant to the reader. Throughout Jeannette Winterson’s The Passion, the line “I’m telling you stories. Trust me.” (Winterson 5, 13, 69, 160) is repeated multiple times. It is seen twice in “The Emperor”, once in “The Queen of Spades”, and once in “The Rock”. At first glance, one would assume that the “stories” Henri, Villanelle, and to an extent Winterson are referring to aren’t real and therefore neither should be considered as trustworthy narrators. But after closer analysis, these statements are actually a symbol of what ties these four chapters together. Each time these statement are mentioned, the narrators are trying to give their point of view of their…show more content…
Trust Me” shows up very early in the book (Winterson 5). In its first itineration, it is placed immediately after Henri’s description of his surroundings, with “words like devastation, rape, slaughter, carnage, starvation are lock and key words to keep the pain at bay” (Winterson 5). Right after the placement of “trust me” (Winterson 5), the reader would be prompted to believe that Henri is not lying about his account of how he described his setting. This could be seen with Winterson’s reference of “Napoleon” Bonaparte as “the Emperor” (Winterson 3) and also through Henri’s choice of “words” prior to “I’m telling you stories. Trust Me” (Winterson 5). And going back to the reference, the “words” that Henri mentions were “words about war that are easy on the eye” (Winterson 5). Based on these examples, Winterson is showing what metafiction is. According to an article from the International Journal of Applied Linguistics & English Literature, Hatice Eşberk defines postmodern historiographic metafiction as a type of fiction where “the meaning and shapes are not in the events, but in the systems which makes those past ‘events’ into present historical ‘facts’” (Eşberk) In each of these excerpts from Henri, it is his point of view that is showing the reader what he thinks is historically correct, but instead, it could be his “passion” for Bonaparte that is leading to him saying
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