Narrative and Self-Deception in La Symphonie Pastorale
Is it possible to develop a personal narrative that is not fictitious or self-deceptive? In this essay, I will look at the way that personal narratives contribute to self-deception. In so doing, I will consider the narrative that the narrator or pastor of André Gide’s Pastoral Symphonie develops while reflecting upon his romantic relationship with his blind adopted “daughter”, Gertrude. Although the pastor’s narrative is largely self-deceptive, we need not fear that all narratives are equally delusional. When a narrative is not self-deceptive, it can make a positive contribution to self-knowledge and moral understanding.
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