This article considers the problem of narration in a collection of works gathered around Chopin's Ballade in G Minor, op. 23: Guillermo del Toro's Crimson Peak, Poe's “The Raven,” Mickiewicz's Konrad Wallenrod, Dickens's The Chimes, and Władysław Szpilman's The Pianist along with its cinematic adaptation by Roman Polanski. Chopin's Ballade is featured prominently in the two movies under consideration, while the remaining works are either influential for the composer (Konrad Wallenrod) or develop themes common to the Ballade. Study of narration in these works reveals that the narrator can be just as unstable in literary texts as in musical ones. The problems of narration that have been imputed to music are problems of narration itself. Regarding the era of Chopin's Ballade, these problems also point to unstable models of subjectivity, which the logic of narrative glosses over.

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