The UVic Writer's Guide


The narrator is the character who is telling the story, or is assumed to be speaking in a poem or novel. The narrator is to be distinguished from the author of the work -- even if it is assumed to be autobiographical. Thus it is possible for the author to create an ironical distance from the narrator, who may be naive or fallible.

A distinction is sometimes made also between the narrator, the author, and the implied author; the implied author is a presence inferred by the reader as the guiding personality behind the work, not necessarily synonymous with the actual author, who may have written other books with different implied authors.

For a discussion of the different kinds of narrator, see point of view.

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Copyright, The Department of English, University of Victoria, 1995
This page updated May 15,1995