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Narratives and NarratorsA Philosophy of Stories$
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Gregory Currie

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780199282609

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199282609.001.0001

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Authors and Narrators

Authors and Narrators

(p.65) 4 Authors and Narrators
Narratives and Narrators

Gregory Currie (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

Narratives have authors; theorists of narrative, however, have concentrated mostly on the narrator, a role which they distinguish from that of author. The claim of this chapter is that this is a mistake. In virtually all cases, the arguments that identify some or other persona as a narrator, real or imagined, identify that same person as an author. But we do need to distinguish (at least) two kinds of narrator/authors: the real one responsible for the story and — sometimes — an internal one who lives within the story itself and who may or may not be reliable. There is also a distinction to be made between the case where one narrative is embedded within another, and where one narrative extends another. Arguments have been given for thinking that we either always need to postulate an internal narrator, or that the assumption that there is one is the default position. A number of arguments in favour of either or both these propositions are considered and rejected.

Keywords:   author, embedding, extension, external, internal, narrator, unreliability

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