Writing Techniques in The White Hotel

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The White Hotel is a Chinese-box narrative whose successive sections present progressively more revealing perspectives upon its protagonist.

There are two principles at work here that operate so as to attract and intensify the reader's attention. The first, familiar from tales of mystery and suspense, involves the gradual revelation of truth over the course of time: As each piece of the puzzle falls into place, readers may begin to anticipate the climax by speculating as to the most likely conclusion. The second, of which the opening passages of William Faulkner's The Sound and the Fury offer perhaps the best-known example, speaks to readers in the voice of an unreliable narrator, who is either incapable of or averse to being truthful.

Although the first of these is to some extent a component of almost any compelling story — the question of "What truths lie beneath the surface of appearances...

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This section contains 370 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The White Hotel Study Guide
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