Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Author-Narrator-Character Merge

From the article by Frederick Reiken (The Writer's Chronicle 37:4):
At its simplest [the author-narrator-character merge] may be thought of as a narrative structure that occurs when an author, for reasons ranging from naivete to authorial narcissism (which often go hand in hand), fails to invent and/or reinvent--i.e. in the case of autobiographical novels--the main character, both visually and in relation to some external context. What is happening, unconsciously, is that the author has not separated himself or herself imaginatively from the character being written. He has not conceived the fictional construct as an other, and hence inhabits that character from the vantage point of being stuck inside the character, usually right behind the character's eyes. What typically results is a narrative in which there is virtually no distance between the story's narrator and the story's character, on result of which may be a sense that the main character is really nothing more than a narrating device and hence not much of a character at all.

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