Elusive narrators in literature and film

Philosophical Studies 135 (1):73 - 88 (2007)
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It is widely held in theories of narrative that all works of literary narrative fiction include a narrator who fictionally tells the story. However, it is also granted that the personal qualities of a narrator may be more or less radically effaced. Recently, philosophers and film theorists have debated whether movies similarly involve implicit audio-visual narrators. Those who answer affirmatively allow that these cinematic narrators will be radically effaced. Their opponents deny that audio-visual narrators figure in the ontology of movies at all, and many have argued that the ‘effaced’ literary narrator is an illusion as well. In this paper, I attempt to sort out the central issues that arise in these debates, defending the existence of effaced narrators in both literature and film.



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George Wilson
Cranfield University

References found in this work

Mimesis as Make-Believe: On the Foundations of the Representational Arts.Kendall L. Walton - 1990 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 49 (2):161-166.
Against the ubiquity of fictional narrators.Andrew Kania - 2005 - Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 63 (1):47–54.
Film Music and Narrative Agency.Jerrold Levinson - 1996 - In David Bordwell Noel Carroll (ed.), Post-Theory: Reconstructing Film Studies. U Wisconsin Press.

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