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Encyclopedia > Narrator

The Narrator is the entity within a story that tells the story to the reader. It is one of three entities responsible for story-telling of any kind. The others are the Author and the Reader (or Audience). The Author and the Reader both inhabit the real world. It is the Author's function to create the alternate world, people, and events within the story. It is the Reader's function to understand and interpret the story. The Narrator exists within the world of the story (and only there—although in non-fiction the narrator and the author can share the same persona, since the real world and the world of the story are the same) and presents it in a way the Reader can comprehend. An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article or the like. ... A reader might be several different things, depending on the context: there are several cities in the United States named Reader a reader is a minor member of the clergy in some Christian churches a reader is a book of different pieces of writing, often by many authors, collected for... An audience is a group of people who participate in an experience or encounter a work of art, literature, theatre, music or academics in any medium. ...


The concept of the unreliable narrator (as opposed to Author) became more important with the rise of the novel in the 19th Century. Until the late 1800s, literary criticism as an academic exercise dealt solely with poetry (including epic poems like The Iliad and Paradise Lost, and poetic drama like Shakespeare). Most poems did not have a narrator distinct from the author. But novels, with their immersive fictional worlds, created a problem, especially when the narrator's views differed significantly from that of the author. In literature and film, an unreliable narrator (a term coined by Wayne C. Booth in his 1961 book The Rhetoric of Fiction[1]) is a literary device in which the credibility of the narrator is seriously compromised. ... Literature of the nineteenth century is, for the purpose of this article, literature written from (roughly) 1799 to 1900. ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... The Chinese poem Quatrain on Heavenly Mountain by Emperor Gaozong (Song Dynasty) Poetry (from the Greek , poiesis, making or creating) is a form of art in which language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or in lieu of, its ostensible meaning. ... In mathematics, see epic morphism. ... The Iliad is, with The Odyssey, one of the two major Greek epic poems traditionally attributed to Homer, a blind Ionian poet. ... Title page of the first edition (1667) Paradise Lost is an epic poem in blank verse by the 17th-century English poet John Milton. ... Shakespeare redirects here. ... Poetry (ancient Greek: poieo = create) is an art form in which human language is used for its aesthetic qualities in addition to, or instead of, its notional and semantic content. ... A novel (from French nouvelle Italian novella, new) is an extended, generally fictional narrative, typically in prose. ...

Contents

Types of narrator

A writer's choice of narrator is crucial for the way a work of fiction is perceived by the reader. Generally, a first-person narrator brings greater focus on the feelings, opinions, and perceptions of a particular character in a story, and on how that character views the world and the views of other characters. If the writer's intention is to get inside the world of a character, then it is a good choice, although a third-person limited narrator is an alternative that doesn't require the writer to reveal all that a first-person character would know. By contrast, a third-person omniscient narrator gives a panoramic view of the world of the story, looking into many characters and into the broader background of a story. For stories in which the context and the views of many characters are important, a third-person narrator is a better choice. However, a third person narrator need not be an omnipresent guide, but instead may merely the protagonist referring to themself in the third person. First-person narrative is a literary technique in which the story is narrated by one character, who explicitly refers to him or herself in the first person, that is, I. the narrator is a fool putting his nose into the storytelling exercise. ... The third person limited omniscient is a narrative mode. ... Grammatical person, in linguistics, is used for the grammatical categories a language uses to describe the relationship between the speaker and the persons or things she is talking about. ...


Multiple narrators

A writer may choose to let several narrators tell the story from a little different points of view. Then it is up to the reader to decide which narrator seems most reliable for each part of the story. See for instance the works of Louise Erdrich. Karen Louise Erdrich (born June 7, 1954) is a Native American (Chippewa) author of novels, poetry, and childrens books. ...


Unreliable narrator

An unreliable narrator is a force behind the power of first person narratives, and provides the only unbiased clues about the character of the narrator. To some extent all narrators are unreliable, varying in degree from trust-worthy Ishmael in Moby Dick to the severely retarded Benjy in The Sound and the Fury and the criminal Humbert Humbert in Lolita. Other notable examples of unreliable narrators include the butler Stevens in The Remains of the Day, Nick Carraway in The Great Gatsby, Holden Caulfield in The Catcher in the Rye and Verbal Kint in the film The Usual Suspects. All of Henry James's fiction is based on the narrator's point of view and the limitations of their narrations and the motivation behind what they reveal. In literature and film, an unreliable narrator (a term coined by Wayne C. Booth in his 1961 book The Rhetoric of Fiction[1]) is a literary device in which the credibility of the narrator is seriously compromised. ... Moby-Dick[1] is an 1851 novel by Herman Melville. ... The Sound and the Fury is a Southern Gothic novel written by American author William Faulkner, which makes use of the stream of consciousness narrative technique pioneered by European authors such as James Joyce and Virginia Woolf. ... Lolita (1955) is a novel by Vladimir Nabokov. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... The Great Gatsby is a novel by the American author F. Scott Fitzgerald. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... The Catcher in the Rye is a novel by J.D. Salinger. ... The Usual Suspects, a 1995 American movie, stars Kevin Spacey, Gabriel Byrne, Stephen Baldwin, Benicio Del Toro and Kevin Pollak. ... The Usual Suspects is a 1995 British/American movie written by Christopher McQuarrie (who earned an Oscar for the screenplay) and directed by Bryan Singer. ... For other uses of this name, see Henry James (disambiguation). ...


Unreliable narrators aren't limited to fiction. Memoirs, autobiographies and autobiographical fiction have the author as narrator and character. Sometimes the author purposely makes his narrator persona unreliable such as Jim Carroll in The Basketball Diaries. A memoir, as a literary genre, forms a sub-class of autobiography. ... For music albums named Autobiography, see Greek eauton = self, bios = life and graphein = write) is a form of biography, the writing of a life story. ... It has been suggested that Semi-autobiographical novel be merged into this article or section. ... An author is the person who creates a written work, such as a book, story, article or the like. ... Persona literally means mask , although it does not usually refer to a literal mask but to the social masks all humans supposedly wear. ... Jim Carroll (born August 1, 1950 in New York City) is an author, poet, autobiographer, and punk musician. ... The Basketball Diaries is a 1978 book written by American author Jim Carroll, in which he chronicles the decline of a promising young, white basketball player in New York City in the 1960s. ...


See also

Film theory debates the essence of the cinema and provides conceptual frameworks for analyzing, among other things, the film image, narrative structure, the function of film artists, the relationship of film to reality, and the film spectators position in the cinematic experience. ... Literary criticism is the study, discussion, evaluation, and interpretation of literature. ... Literary theory is the theory (or the philosophy) of the interpretation of literature and literary criticism. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... In literature and storytelling, a point of view is the related experience of the narrator — not that of the author. ... A voice-over is a narration that is played on top of a video segment, usually with the audio for that segment muted or lowered. ...

External reference

  • Net Author Reference Site for Writers

  Results from FactBites:
 
Narrator at AllExperts (1966 words)
This type of narrator is usually noticeable for its ubiquitous use of the first-person pronoun, "I".
In this case, the narrator is supposedly the reader, and refers to itself with the second person pronoun, 'You.' This is the rarest of the points of view because, though theoretically possible, it does not work very well.
This style of narrator is similar to the first person narrator, except for the notable use of the third person pronouns, he, she and it.
Narrator - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (651 words)
The concept of the unreliable narrator (as opposed to Author) became more important with the rise of the novel in the 19th Century.
An unreliable narrator is a force behind the power of first person narratives, and provides the only unbiased clues about the character of the narrator.
To some extent all narrators are unreliable, varying in degree from trust-worthy Ishmael in Moby Dick to the severely retarded Benjy in The Sound and the Fury and the criminal Humbert Humbert in Lolita.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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