author vs. narrator

Discussion in 'English Only' started by chinsafer, Aug 27, 2009.

  1. chinsafer New Member

    English - American
    Can anyone tell me what the difference between the author and the narrator is? Can I assume that the author dictates the style of the text and the narrator determines the message? Or is it the other way around, or something completely different?

  2. pickarooney

    pickarooney Senior Member

    Provence, France
    English (Ireland)
    An author is anyone who writes a book. A narrator can be someone who reads a story aloud or a character who tells the story within the book.
  3. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Apart from pickarooney's answer, there is also the case where an 'author' writes a book which features a central character through whom the narrative is driven (told). He is called the 'narrator'.
    PS. welcome to the forum chinsafer.
  4. chinsafer New Member

    English - American
    Thank you!
    I think I'm making this too complicated. I'll just remember that the narrator is the one telling the story and not worry so much about intent.

  5. LV4-26

    LV4-26 Senior Member

    In a novel, you sometimes have a character who says "I". That's the narrator.
    Some novels do not have a narrator, i.e. there are only hes, shes, or theys -- except in dialogues, that is.
  6. shawnee

    shawnee Senior Member

    English - Australian
    Your confusion is justified chinsafer. It is in fact a fine literary point and as such a little subtle. I'm not sure what you were leading to with regards to ' intent.' However, a point of difference between author/narrator that may make it more explicit is where the voice in the story is, on the one hand, the same as the voice of the author(because he/she created it) but the author is also free to give the voice/narrator views and values that he/she does not believe. For instance the narrator could be an uneducated manual labourer while the author is in fact a highly educated person. Feel free to inquire further.
  7. gioJB New Member

    I know that sometimes author and narrator can be the same person when the author is a character and he/she tells the story 'cause he lived it . Often the author isn't a character and one of these tells the story.

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