good reflections on narrative

good reflections on narrative

This might be helpful for my lit classes. This stuff can be hard to explain to students.
Dealing with the differences between author, narrator, implied author, implied audience, etc. Good clear definitions. I’ve never seen it explained quite like this before. Very clear and concise.

from an essay on Apocalypse :

We are long accustomed to the distinction between the author and the narrator, understanding the narrator to be only the voice used to tell the story.  As the invention of the author, the narrator may be like the author or may bear no resemblance to the author.  Male authors may use female narrators; female authors may speak through males.  The narrator may even prove an unreliable guide.[3] The narrator is not the author.  Nor is the more shadowy figure that critics call the implied author.  This is the author that can be posited from the text; it is the view of the author that the author chooses to show in the text.  It may be a close likeness; or it may be highly selective, even misleading.

These three �teller� roles correspond exactly to three �hearer� roles: the narratee, the implied audience and the actual audience.  It is common to set forth these relationships thus:

Author� [ implied author �narrator � narratee � implied audience ] � Audience

[  the brackets represent the boundaries of the text   ]

The narratee is the audience to which the narrator tells the story; sometimes the narratee is a clearly defined character in the text (the caliph in Arabian Nights); more often the narratee is undefined, uncharacterized.  The implied audience is the sum total we can reconstruct of the audience from the statements in the text.  This is the author�s picture of the audience.  Like the image of the implied author it may be a close likeness to the actual audience, or it may be highly selective, even misleading.  At the very least it is a fictional creation of the author.

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