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Against the Ubiquity of Fictional Narrators
The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism
  • Andrew Kania, Trinity University
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In this paper I argue against the theory – popular among theorists of narrative artworks – that we must posit a fictional narrative agent in every narrative artwork in order to explain our imaginative engagement with such works. I accept that every narrative must have a narrator, but I argue that in some central literary cases the narrator is not a fictional agent, but rather the actual author of the work. My criticisms focus on the strongest argument for the ubiquity of fictional narrators, Jerrold Levinson’s ontological-gap argument. Finally, I outline an alternative “minimal theory” of narrators, and some consequences thereof.
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Kania, A. (2005). Against the ubiquity of fictional narrators. The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism, 63, 47-54. doi: 10.1111/j.0021-8529.2005.00180.x