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Narrator Quotes

RELATED QUOTES

"Confession makes you a more trustworthy narrator." - Phillip Lopate

"I used to be a narrator for bad mimes." - Steven Wright

"I'm never a reliable narrator, unbiased or objective." - Anthony Bourdain

"I think every narrator is an unreliable narrator. In its classic definition - an unreliable narrator is one who reveals something they don't know themselves to be revealing. We all do that." - Rob Roberge

"The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator." - Charlotte Bronte

"***A Last note from your narrator*** I am haunted by humans." - Markus Zusak

"Everyone is interesting except the narrator in a first-person story." - William Kennedy

"As a writer I'm not an explainer, really. I'm a narrator. I mistrust explanation." - D. T. Max

"Nothing is as important as a likable narrator. Nothing holds a story together better." - Ethan Canin

"It is rare and almost impossible for a novel to have only one narrator." - Mario Vargas Llosa

"The third person narrator, instead of being omniscient, is like a constantly running surveillance tape." - Andrew Vachss

"In a thriller, the camera's an active narrator, or can be." - John Mctiernan

"My first job after my retirement from baseball was as a narrator for the Eastman Philharmonica." - Willie Stargell

"Using a first-person narrator is simply a matter of hearing the voice inside yourself." - James Lee Burke

"The universal narrator knows all and can enter a character's head any time he chooses." - Arthur Herzog

"I go straight from thinking about my narrator to being him." - S E Hinton

"The thing I love about Dickens is the omniscient, omnipotent narrator, and the great confidence of the narrator, which marks 19th-century novelists in general and Dickens in particular." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"When the reader and one narrator know something the other narrator does not, the opportunities for suspense and plot development and the shifting of reader sympathies get really interesting." - Sara Zarr

"I think every first-person narrator in a novel should be compromised. I prefer that word to unreliable." - Charles Palliser

"I wanted to do a collection where the narrator is constant throughout, so that there's a little unity." - Arthur Bradford

"I can't reasonably pretend to be a transparent and omniscient narrator who brings no personal perspective. That person doesn't exist." - Molly Crabapple

"I think every first-person narrator in a novel should be compromised. I prefer that word to 'unreliable.'" - Charles Palliser

"There's always a version of me who is the narrator. And I make myself look better than other people." - Pat Conroy

"When someone walks in and you say "a six-foot-tall man," you miss the opportunity to describe what a six-foot-tall man would look like to your narrator, because how the narrator describes a six-foot-tall man says more about the narrator than about the man." - Chuck Palahniuk

"Simply adored Timothy Schaffert's The Coffins of Little Hope: the voice of Essie, the narrator, is terrific & the last line blew me away." - Nancy Pearl

"A narrator should not supply interpretations of his work; otherwise he would have not written a novel, which is a machine for generating interpretations." - Umberto Eco

"Some report elsewhere whatever is told them; the measure of fiction always increases, and each fresh narrator adds something to what he has heard." - Ovid

"A miracle signifies nothing more than an event... the cause of which cannot be explained by another familiar instance, or.... which the narrator is unable to explain." - Baruch Spinoza

"If you have a single narrator, a person like an "I" - "'I' did this" and "'I' did that" - it automatically solves the most difficult problem in writing." - Truman Capote

"One naturally identifies to some extent with an "I" female narrator going through something that you recognize whether you've gone through it or not." - Ann Goldstein

"I very much like the idea of the unreliable narrator. Shaping my fictions as monologues - by introducing the "I" - allows me to be as unreliable as I like." - Norman Lock

"I really believe that readers are smart and sophisticated enough to realize that the author is not the narrator of his novels." - Bret Easton Ellis

"This is what you learned in college," the narrator tells you early on. "A man desires the satisfaction of his desire; a woman desires the condition of desiring." - Pam Muņoz Ryan

"Quite often my narrator or protagonist may be a man, but I'm not sure he's the more interesting character, or if the more complex character isn't the woman." - Ann Beattie

"I'm interested in getting deep into a person's consciousness and doing so in ways in which the narrator is secondary to the character's own thoughts." - Philipp Meyer

"The narrator of a documentary often comes in at the last minute and takes some of the glory they don't deserve." - Joel Edgerton

"Hitchcock makes it very clear to us. There's an objective and a subjective camera, like there's a third- and a first-person narrator in literature." - Manuel Puig

"There has always been this narrator in me - I loved ideas, and part of the great love affair I would have with ideas consisted of talking about them." - Jason Silva

"My preferred style is to write in first person, so I always have to play around with possible narrator voices until I find something that works." - Laurie Graham

"Almost all of the stories in The Matchmaker, the Apprentice, and the Football Fan are told in the first person, yet, depending on the angle and distance of the narrator, they exert different effects. The best are those in which the speaker never poses as an objective outsider. (...) Other stories are damaged by the urge to distance the narrator." - Yiyun Li

"Lauren Kirshner creates a first-person narrator you never stop rooting for. . . . [Where We Have to Go] highlights Kirshner as a new novelist to watch. A very strong, original debut." - Zoe Whittall

"September could see it. She did not know what is was she saw. That is the disadvantage of being a heroine, rather than a narrator. She knew only that a red light glowed and went dark, glowed and went dark." - Catherynne M Valente

"I am somebody who creates images, with my perspectives, fascinations and my instincts as a narrator. You have to activate the audience's imagination. If you are just giving them scientific results, they would forget the film in five minutes flat." - Werner Herzog

"Narrator: You had to give it to him: he had a plan. And it started to make sense, in a Tyler sort of way. No fear. No distractions. The ability to let that which does not matter truly slide." - Chuck Palahniuk

"She was like a heroine in a novel that she herself was writing the character kept protesting that she was too strong for love and yet the narrator went on describing her desire." - Anna Godbersen

"When the narrator feels like an octopus, when he says his limbs are starting to multiply, he means he has inklings of orders of perception beyond his individual body." - Ben Lerner

"I am voice actor Roger Craig Smith. You may know me as Batman, Captain America, Sonic the Hedgehog, Ezio from Assassin's Creed, Transformers: RID, or narrator of "Say Yes To the Dress" (among many other things). AMA!" - Roger Craig Smith

"A vivid portrait of a teenage girl and her family in disarray. Meredith is a wonderful narrator, witty, feisty, full of yearning, and the story she tells is as complicated as life itself. This is a richly satisfying novel." - Margot Livesey

"The only difference between the narrator of contemporary affairs and the ordinary historian is that moral judgments about the present provoke fiercer reactions and have more immediately practical implications than moral judgments about the past." - Geoffrey Barraclough

"In writing, the connection between storyteller and audience is just as important. By using some subtle devices, a narrator can reach out to the reader and say, 'We're in this together.'" - Constance Hale

"I think first-person narrators should be complex, because otherwise the first-person is too shallow and predictable. I like a first-person narrator who can't totally be trusted." - Rick Moody

"In writing, the connection between storyteller and audience is just as important. By using some subtle devices, a narrator can reach out to the reader and say, 'We"re in this together.'" - Constance Hale

"This makes his writing very pleasing to read: Joao Gilberto Noll pays attention to detail, but only to certain details. And it's never easy to foresee which details will send the narrator or the plot in an unsuspected direction." - Adam Morris

"Typically in my novels the narrator tells a story by remembering, and the memories are colored by this and colored by that. So the whole universe of the novel tends to be framed by the narrator's memories and thoughts." - Kazuo Ishiguro

"It is hard to create a first-person narrator that can be a child and yet is able to take in enough information for the narrative to be legible to the reader." - Akhil Sharma

"I chose the title Dogwalker because that describes me pretty well. I spend a lot of time walking around with my dogs. I'd say the narrator is me in an alternate universe." - Arthur Bradford

"But music doesn't sum up my approach to literature - even in Vain Art of the Fugue. To 'fugue' I had to invent 'trap-words,' or words that would force the narrator to turn around and start his path anew." - Dumitru Tepeneag

"I personally just want to do as many different things as I can do, whether it's comedy, drama, science fiction, horror, narrator... You've got a documentary, I've got a voice. Animated films. Big films, small films." - Colin Farrell

"It is vital that there is a narrator figure whom people believe. That's why I never do commercials. If I started saying that margarine was the same as motherhood, people would think I was a liar." - David Attenborough

"I was not aware of how much I loved 'Canoa' until I saw it after doing 'Y Tu Mama Tambien' and realized that my voice - over about the story's historical context - that narrator - came from 'Canoa'." - Alfonso Cuaron

"Try as I might, Agatha Christie is unique. The actual writing style can't be exactly the same, so instead of trying to replicate it exactly, the way I got around it was by inventing a new narrator." - Sophie Hannah

"By definition, memoir demands a certain degree of introspection and self-disclosure: In order to fully engage a reader, the narrator has to make herself known, has to allow her own self-awareness to inform the events she describes." - Caroline Knapp

"Lionel Essrog, the twitching, barking, gabbling narrator of Jonathan Lethem's new novel, 'Motherless Brooklyn,' is no movie-of-the-week novelty grafted onto a noir mystery. Maybe his Tourette's is a gimmick, but it's a gimmick with depth, with soul." - Gary Krist

"One of the strategies for doing first-person is to make the narrator very knowing, so that the reader is with somebody who has a take on everything they observe." - Rachel Kushner

"I've always felt that the traditional novel doesn't give you enough information about the narrator, and I think it's important to know the point of view from which these tales are told: the moral makeup of the teller." - W G Sebald

"I didn't know how to kill off a character unless I was able, as a narrator, to get really complicated. Because it was a big deal. I'd never killed a character before." - Rick Moody

"Using a dog as a narrator has limitations and it has advantages. The limitations are that a dog cannot speak. A dog has no thumbs. A dog can't communicate his thoughts except with gestures." - Garth Stein

"I almost always use first person voice in my novels. It has its limitations, but it gives a sense of immediacy that's hard to create with an anonymous, all-seeing narrator." - Laurie Graham

"When I was writing 'You Suck,' in 2006, I constructed the diction of the book's narrator, perky Goth girl Abby Normal, from what I read on Goth blog sites." - Christopher Moore

"A poet or prose narrator usually looks back on what he has achieved against a backdrop of the years that have passed, generally finding that some of these achievements are acceptable, while others are less so." - Eyvind Johnson

"If someone tells you that George Bush is not the 43rd president of the United States, they might be engaged in wishful thinking, or denial, but if they make that claim, it's either true or false! And you can assess that, regardless of whether there's an omniscient narrator, or an unreliable narrator, or it's shot in verite, or it's manipulated, it's agitprop, whatever! It makes no difference! It's a style!" - Errol Morris

"Ezra clapped his hands. "all right," he said. "In addition to the books we're reading as a class, I want to do an extra side project on unreliable narrators." Devon Arliss raised her hand. "what does that mean?" Ezra strode around the room. "well, the narrator tells us the story in the book, right? But what if... the narrator isn't telling us the truth? Maybe he's telling us his skewed version of the story to get you on his side. Or to scare you. Or maybe he's crazy!" - Sara Shepard

"If you just go get one of these little fine arts degrees or writing program degrees, it never forces you to confront your responsibility as narrator, whereas any of the social sciences make you at look the interaction between the storyteller and story." - Dorothy Allison

"The Polar Express was the easiest of my picture book manuscripts to write... Once I realized the train was going to the North Pole, finding the story seemed less like a creative effort than an act of recollection. I felt, like the storys narrator, that I was remembering something, not making it up." - Chris Van Allsburg

"I have no policy, for or against: only a personal style. Which is to say, I use them when I think it's appropriate to; for example, an internal monologue by a locquacious and verbose narrator is more likely to be larded with adverbs than an exchange of instant messages between cops at a crime scene." - Charles Stross

"So a lot of what you see in the Baroque Cycle is me wanting to be one of those guys. In the case of Anathem, I needed something that was more formal, less flashy, as if it had been translated from the classical language of another planet, but enlivened with slang terms that a teenage narrator would enjoy throwing around." - Neal Stephenson

"The narrator blames the birds. And you want to blame the birds as well. I blamed the birds for a long time. But in this story everyone is hungry, even the birds. And at this point in the story so many things have gone wrong, so many bad decisions made, that it's a wonder anyone would want to continue reading." - Richard Siken

"And it [Fight Club novel] was written so general that my father thought I was writing about his father, and my boss thought I was writing about his boss. People really put themselves, you know, in the shoes of the narrator." - Chuck Palahniuk

"Sometimes I can better describe a person by another person's reaction. In a story in my first book, I couldn't think of a way to sufficiently describe the charisma of a certain boy, so the narrator says, "I knew girls who saved his gum."" - Amy Hempel

"It's a rare memoir that can tell a story that seems brand new, but Nina Here Nor There does it. This one-of-a-kind narrator undertakes a quest that is unmistakably timely. But in its yearning for awareness and connection, this book feels timeless." - K. M. Soehnlein

"The narrator blames the birds. And you want to blame the birds as well. I blamed the birds for a long time. But in this story everyone is hungry, even the birds. And at this point in the story so many things have gone wrong, so many bad decisions made, that it's a wonder anyone would want to continue reading." - Richard Siken

"It is such a secret place, the land of tears. That is what the narrator ofThe Little Prince says after the little prince argues with him the first time about matters of consequence. And he was right. My land of tears had been a secret for a very long time." - Megan Hart

"I just respect audiences to understand that that's what goes on in movies. I just try to make movies that respect the intelligence of the audience. Respect that they understand that the narrator is always unreliable and respect that they understand that the medium can do whatever it wants." - Guy Maddin

"It's a challenge of to write a narrator who is doing something that is really unlikeable and morally questionable. A lot of times, you read a book because you like the character, you are cheering for the character; you want the best for the character." - Alissa Nutting

"Even while I was working on the novel I would also write short stories as relief, just to be in a wieldier world that could negotiated more easily and more quickly. In the novel, I even changed the narrator from a man to a woman." - Leni Zumas

"Consider the different narrative styles within the story, and the glee with which the "moralistic narrator" celebrates Aschenbach's fall - maybe, then, this is a hostile verdict and the international fame is warranted after all (given that Mann modeled his protagonist so closely on himself, it would be quite odd if he had intended Aschenbach's literary inferiority to be a fixed part of the interpretation)." - Philip Kitcher

"The moment in which the narrator, reaching for his boots, becomes vividly and lastingly aware of the finality of his grandmother's death is another such moment. It would be interesting to explore Proust's great novel from the perspective of seeing how stable synthetic complexes are formed and modified." - Philip Kitcher

"I'm really shocked when critics get morally outraged at my fiction because they think I'm condoning what's going on. I never come in as the author and say, "Hey, okay. I'm interrupting the narrator here. I'm Bret Easton Ellis, and I'm the author."" - Bret Easton Ellis

"I have never done anything except write, but I don't possess the vocation or talents of a narrator, have no knowledge at all of the laws of dramatic composition, and if I have embarked upon this enterprise it is because I trust in the light shed by how much I have read in my life." - Gabriel Garcia Marquez

"You could tell 'The Handmaid's Tale' from a male point of view. People have mistakenly felt that the women are oppressed, but power tends to organise itself in a pyramid. I could pick a male narrator from somewhere in that pyramid. It would interesting." - Margaret Atwood

"I am interested in levels of brain discourse. How articulate are the voices in your head? You know, there's a different voice for the phone, and a different voice if you're talking in bed. When you're starting off with a narrator, it's interesting to think, where is their voice coming from, what part of their brain?" - Anne Enright

"Francis Ford Coppola did this early on. You tape a movie, like a radio show, and you have the narrator read all the stage directions. And then you go back like a few days later and then you listen to the movie. And it sort of plays in your mind like a film, like a first rough cut of a movie." - Al Pacino

"If you feel that there's the author and then the character, then the book is not working. People have a habit of identifying the author with the narrator, and you can't, obviously, be all of the narrators in all of your books, or else you'd be a very strange person indeed." - Margaret Atwood

"When you pick up a book, everyone knows it's imaginary. You don't have to pretend it's not a book. We don't have to pretend that people don't write books. That omniscient third-person narration isn't the only way to do it. Once you're writing in the first person, then the narrator is a writer." - Paul Auster

"I always have to remember that I am the narrator, but it doesn't have to be about me. A lot of songwriting is about trying to use what part of me is valid in telling the story. I don't want to overcook it, you know? Sometimes it seems that's really where the work is." - Ryan Adams

"Choosing the narrator for a first-person story like 'Downriver' is a crucial decision because the voice has to be one the reader wants to listen to, and the voice has to be a match for the emotion you want the story to carry." - Will Hobbs

"If somebody from the past doesn't rise up from the grave and start talking to me, I haven't got a book. I have to hear that voice, the voice of the narrator. How she sounds will tell me who she is, and who she is will tell me how she will act - and that starts the plot in motion." - Geraldine Brooks

"I had this story from one who had no business to tell it to me, or to any other. I may credit the seductive influence of an old vintage upon the narrator for the beginning of it, and my own skeptical incredulity during the days that followed for the balance of the strange tale." - Edgar Rice Burroughs

"I write almost always in the third person, and I don't think the narrator is male or female anyway. They're both, and young and old, and wise and silly, and sceptical and credulous, and innocent and experienced, all at once. Narrators are not even human - they're sprites." - Philip Pullman

"Grading creative writing is always an ethical dilemma. But what you brought up about grading personal stories versus the research paper is of course a truly volatile issue in teaching memoir or the personal essay, because there's no pretense that the narrator is a character." - Debra Monroe

"I'm asking the reader to suspend reality with me and entertain the idea that the person writing is not me. In order to do that well, I think, one needs to point out the artifice of the narrative. Somehow if the narrator is self-aware then it's almost more humanizing and more relatable." - Ottessa Moshfegh

"For me, it's always difficult when a historical film claims to depict or represent a reality that none of us can know, that is always different. It's always the case. We never know what happened then. So my approach with the narrator is to question that, to leave that open, to underline the fact that this is uncertain." - Michael Haneke

"I feel like if you aren't honest and if you don't let go and ease up off of the narrator, then the story doesn't take up a life of its own, and the characters can't take up a life of their own. You handicap the story when you try to protect your characters." - Jesmyn Ward

"Every Day Is for the Thief is a vivid, episodic evocation of the truism that you can't go home again; but that doesn't mean you're not free to try. A return to his native Nigeria plunges Cole's charming narrator into a tempest of chaos, contradiction, and kinship in a place both endearingly familiar and unnervingly strange. The result is a tale that engages and disturbs." - Billy Collins

"We want a sense that an important character, like a narrator, is reliable. We want to believe that a character is not playing ages or being coy or being manipulative, but is telling the truth to the best of his or her ability...We do not wish to be crudely manipulated...We want to be massaged by a masseur, not whapped by a carpet beater." - Anne Lamott

"You can do everything differently in a novel. Hero narrates the novel; we're in his head. You're hearing all his thought processes and you're hearing him call himself out on his bad behavior. You don't have the benefit of that narrator in a movie. What you see a character do, very often, becomes that much more important because you don't have him editorializing it for you." - Jonathan Tropper

"Early on, I settled on the first-person strategy as a way to deal with exposition and world-description issues. As long as the book is, it could have been far longer had I gone with an omniscient third-person narrator, or multiple point-of-view characters, since either of those would have enabled me to impart much more detailed information about the history and geography of the world." - Neal Stephenson

"For it is humanly certain that most of us remember very little of what we have read. To open almost any book a second time is to be reminded that we had forgotten well-nigh everything that the writer told us. Parting from the narrator and his narrative, we retain only a fading impression; and he, as it were, takes the book away from us and tucks it under his arm." - Siegfried Sassoon

"I didn't set out to write a book with no real male characters, but men were not important to my narrator, who was much more interested in maternal and pseudo-maternal love, so they were unimportant to me. I didn't even notice the lack of men in the story until I finished it. But once I did notice it, I was kind of delighted. Apparently, my subconscious is totally sexist." - Janice Erlbaum

"I don't really think of my narrator in terms of gender. I think of them much more in basic emotional terms. As an author, you either love yer peeps or you don't. There's no such thing as a "masculine voice" or a "feminine voice". Men and women think and speak and act in, like, a zillion different ways. Also, as a gross generalization: women tend to live closer to their feelings than men." - Steve Almond

"I don't know if you've ever seen this film called Elite Squad, which, actually Wagner [Moura] is the one narrating that. Jose Padilha, one of creators of our show, that's where the style comes from. It has a heavy narrator. But I thought about it a lot. You [the viewers] have to work for the show, unless you're bilingual. It's a really aggressive type of filming, it's engaging, you've got to read." - Boyd Holbrook

"Nostalgia for people, cultures, everything. There's an ability to use these marks to note things that are erased, deleted. Traces are a species of history, of evidence. It's a way for the way the narrator to construct a semblance of self, even though all of this creates a deception, a way to think of one's traces as a real way to define oneself. The trace is fallible, impermanent. It's one of the motives I had in mind throughout the text." - Sergio Chejfec

"Once I got interested in organized crime, and, specifically, Jewish organized crime, I got very interested in it. I have learned that, like my narrator Hannah, I'm a crime writer in my own peculiar way. Crime with a capital "C" is the subject that I'm stuck with - even Sway is about "crime" in a certain way. The nice thing about crime is that it enables you to deal with some big questioO" - Zachary Lazar

"Any story has a beginning, middle, and end, of course, but the question is, where do you start it exactly? It's about a guy who is murdered in a fistfight, but how does it evolve and what does it mean? That's what I discovered scene by scene, and this innovation of coming in as a first-person narrator was a complete surprise to me. It just happened." - T.C. Boyle

"Kerouac's books portray a hero and narrator free and easy, confident, sure of his rebellion against the American system. In reality, Jack was torn between Catholicism, Buddhism, and his own demon-driven pursuit of kicks, between spirit and flesh, between mom's house and the Beat coffeehouse, patriotism and subversion, men and women, society and solitude, carousing and meditation, sacred and profane, secular and divine. It's a miracle he survived as long as he did." - Gerald Nicosia

"These types of films that are psychologically sort of dark at times, I find extremely exciting to do because there's always something to think about. There's nothing more boring than to show up on set and say a line and know that your character means exactly what they say. It's interesting to have an unreliable narrator in a film and that's what both of those films have been." - Leonardo Dicaprio

"In general, in all my films, I choose to create a certain mistrust, rather than claiming that what I'm showing onscreen is an accurate reproduction of reality. I want people to question what they are seeing onscreen. In the same way as I used the narrator, I also used black and white, because it creates a distance toward what's being seen. I see the film as an artifact rather than a reliable reconstruction of a reality that we cannot know." - Michael Haneke

"There's a writer for you," he said. "Knows everything and at the same time he knows nothing." [narrator]It was my first inkling that he was a writer. And while I like writers-because if you ask a writer anything you usually get an answer-still it belittled him in my eyes. Writers aren't people exactly. Or, if they're any good, they're a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. It's like actors, who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors. Who lean backward trying-only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers." - F Scott Fitzgerald

"There's a writer for you," he said. "Knows everything and at the same time he knows nothing." [narrator]It was my first inkling that he was a writer. And while I like writers-because if you ask a writer anything you usually get an answer-still it belittled him in my eyes. Writers are' people exactly. Or, if they"re any good, they"re a whole lot of people trying so hard to be one person. It's like actors, who try so pathetically not to look in mirrors. Who lean backward trying-only to see their faces in the reflecting chandeliers." - F Scott Fitzgerald

"The truth of the matter is that for all the drive-in movie references, what Weston Ochse has really created in Multiplex Fandango is a travelogue. Acting as narrator and guide, Weston takes you on a trip to places familiar and obscure-New Orleans, the Sonoran desert, Mexico's Pacific coast, and the dark, impenetrable reaches of the soul. He shows off sights that chill the blood, and as with any good trip, the things seen and experienced along the way will stay with you for a lifetime." - Jeff Mariotte

"Originally the structure was . . . a modern narrator who would appear intermittently and talk about his memories of his grandmother, which would then be juxtaposed against scenes from the past. But the stories from the past were always more interesting that the things in the present. I find this almost endemic to modern plays that veer between past and present. . . . So as we've gone on developing GOLDEN CHILD, the scenes from the past have become more dominant, and all that remains of the present are these two little bookends that frame the action." - David Henry Hwang

"The text moves like a small crustacean with compound eye and complex nervous system; throbbing, involuted, it becomes a parasite on a different body, animal, using 'filiform protrusions through which it sucks the vital juices of its host.' Parasite or creature in mutation on the shore, torrid / delirium: mordant mortality, systematic competition the narrator against the I, leaking gas, a lapse of memory against a promise, an inset in a book. A muscular, involuntary bulging in the breast, circling all its inner surface: mesoblast: visceral." - Nicole Brossard

"The 'I' character in journalism is almost pure invention. Unlike the 'I' of autobiography, who is meant to be seen as a representation of the writer, the 'I' of journalism is connected to the writer only in a tenuous way-the way, say, that Superman is connected to Clark Kent. The journalistic 'I' is an overreliable narrator, a functionary to whom crucial tasks of narration and argument and tone have been entrusted, an ad hoc creation, like the chorus of Greek tragedy. He is an emblematic figure, an embodiment of the idea of the dispassionate observer of life." - Janet Malcolm

"I was taken in the Spirit to the burning bush on Mount Horeb, Moses' "first ascension," and allowed to witness the encounter he had with the Lord there. Throughout the visitation, I was enabled to know and feel the thoughts and emotions of Moses' inner being. ... There was a Holy Narrator beside me who helped me understand what I saw and heard, and he made references to relevant passages of Scripture. There were other Biblical figures also present - Joshua, Samuel, David, and even the Lord Jesus were there." - Bob Hartley

"The "I" character in journalism is almost pure invention. Unlike the "I" of autobiography, who is meant to be seen as a representation of the writer, the "I" of journalism is connected to the writer only in a tenuous way-the way, say, that Superman is connected to Clark Kent. The journalistic "I" is an overreliable narrator, a functionary to whom crucial tasks of narration and argument and tone have been entrusted, an ad hoc creation, like the chorus of Greek tragedy. He is an emblematic figure, an embodiment of the idea of the dispassionate observer of life." - Janet Malcolm

"The text moves like a small crustacean with compound eye and complex nervous system; throbbing, involuted, it becomes a parasite on a different body, animal, using "filiform protrusions through which it sucks the vital juices of its host." Parasite or creature in mutation on the shore, torrid / delirium: mordant mortality, systematic competition the narrator against the I, leaking gas, a lapse of memory against a promise, an inset in a book. A muscular, involuntary bulging in the breast, circling all its inner surface: mesoblast: visceral." - Nicole Brossard

"When I read to children, I try to become the characters. It's great if you can make a separate voice for each character. Sometimes you can lower your voice with excitement or get more intimate about it: you can lean forward and engage the children as a narrator or as a reader. It's particularly important that you find the voice that you want to use for each character, because then children can imagine that person as you're reading aloud. And of course, the illustrations help enormously." - Julie Andrews

"In fiction the narrator is a performance of voice, and it can be any style of voice, but I'm interested in the ways that a voice that knows it's telling a story is actually telling a different story than it intends to. In the way that I can sit here and tell you what I had for breakfast, but I'm really telling you that I'm having an affair, something like that. And I don't think my writing is plain, but I think a lot of my characters are just talking. There is vulnerability there, in that we can start to see through them, we can start to see where they're deceiving themselves." - Ottessa Moshfegh

"Faithfulness to the truth of history involves far more than a research, however patient and scrupulous, into special facts. Such facts may be detailed with the most minute exactness, and yet the narrative, taken as a whole, may be unmeaning or untrue. The narrator must seek to imbue himself with the life and spirit of the time. He must study events in their bearings near and remote; in the character, habits, and manners of those who took part in them. He must himself be, as it were, a sharer or a spectator of the action he describes." - Francis Parkman

"The text moves like a small crustacean with compound eye and complex nervous system; throbbing, involuted, it becomes a parasite on a different body, animal, using 'filiform protrusions through which it sucks the vital juices of its host.' Parasite or creature in mutation on the shore, torrid / delirium: mordant mortality, systematic competition the narrator against the I, leaking gas, a lapse of memory against a promise, an inset in a book. A muscular, involuntary bulging in the breast, circling all its inner surface: mesoblast: visceral." - Nicole Brossard

"I'm surprised how often I'm asked about being a man with a woman narrator. I'm not the first, nor will I be the last. It's been done forever, but we seem to forget that. The whole notion of "write what you know" is not just boring, but wrong. Lately it seems like every novel has to be a memoir. I'm a boring person, but I'm a writer with a relatively vivid imagination. And when people ask me about how I find the voice of a woman, I tell them that my life is run by women." - Rabih Alameddine

"I came to nonfiction through journalism. My first book was journalism, and it was so frustrating to me, while I was writing it, that I wasn't capturing the moments the way they were when I lived them; I was filtering and re-filtering. I had to come to terms with the fact that I couldn't and shouldn't claim authenticity. Then, when the book was published and I gave readings, I'd hear myself read and it was like I was eavesdropping on a dream - even with myself as the narrator. I knew that guy but couldn't exactly recognize him." - Lucas Mann

"I came to the realization that I had failed in some respects because I had been more of a benevolent narrator than the world I saw reflected around me, and in the lives of the people in my community, and in my family. There was no benevolent God sparing us pain and loss and grief and struggle. If I was going to continue to write about the place where I am from, and the kind of people who live in my community and who are in my family, I owed it to them to be honest with what our lives are like." - Jesmyn Ward



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