Abstract

Building upon Pierre Bayard’s analysis of the deceptive first-person narrator in Who Killed Roger Ackroyd? (1998), this article deploys the conventions and expectations of detective fiction as critical tools in re-examining Natsume Sōseki’s Wagahai wa neko de aru (1905). By casting the feline protagonist as a parodic incarnation of the classic literary detective and as an untrustworthy first-person narrator, we can question the supposed “honesty” of the cat’s narrative—especially in describing his own death—and challenge the view that the cat died accidentally. Interpreting this story through such a critical lens not only helps us reconsider the question of “whodunit,” but also allows us to re-evaluate notions of genre convention, narrative reliability and authorial intention.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-1464
Print ISSN
0022-281X
Pages
pp. 1-20
Launched on MUSE
2010-10-02
Open Access
No
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