Top Narrator Quotes

Browse top 68 famous quotes and sayings about Narrator by most favorite authors.

Favorite Narrator Quotes

1. "Yet the Narrator's quest is not only for his own identity and vocation. He seeks an understanding of art, sexuality and worldly and political affairs: he is a snoop and a voyeur; he comments and classifies; his taxonomic impulse makes the novel appear to be a vast compendium, replete with burrowing wasps and bedsteads, military strategies, stereoscopes, asparagus and aeroplanes."
Author: Adam A. Watt
2. "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."
Author: Al Pacino
3. "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'."
Author: Alfonso Cuaron
4. "In stories, when someone behaves uncharacteristically, we take it as a meaningful, even pivotal moment. If we are surprised again and again, we have to keep changing our minds, or give up and disbelieve the writer. In real life, if people think they know you well enough not only to say, 'It's Tuesday, Amy must be helping out at the library today,' but well enough to say to the librarian, after you've left the building, 'You know, Amy just loves reading to the four-year-olds, I think it's been such a comfort for her since her little boy died'—if they know you like that, you can do almost anything where they can't see you, and when they hear about it, they will, as we do, simply disbelieve the narrator."
Author: Amy Bloom
5. "The third person narrator, instead of being omniscient, is like a constantly running surveillance tape."
Author: Andrew Vachss
6. "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."
Author: Ann Beattie
7. "I'm starting to think my narrators' sentences are getting too big for them, and they are getting to sound a bit samey and, more disturbingly, a bit too much like me."
Author: Anne Enright
8. "Having a great narrator is like having a great friend whose company you love, whose mind you love to pick, whose running commentary totally holds your attention, who makes you laugh out loud, whose lines you always want to steal. When you have a friend like this, she can say, "Hey, I've got to drive up to the dump in Petaluma--wanna come along?" and you honestly can't think of anything in the world you'd rather do."
Author: Anne Lamott
9. "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."
Author: Anne Lamott
10. "Shall I tell her? Shall I be a kind and merciful narrator and take our girl aside? Shall I touch her new, red heart and make her understand that she is no longer one of the tribe of heartless children, nor even the owner of the wild and infant heart of thirteen-year-old girls and boys? Oh, September! Hearts, once you have them locked up in your chest, are a fantastic heap of tender and terrible wonders - but they must be trained. Beatrice could have told her all about it. A heart can learn ever so many tricks, and what sort of beast it becomes depends greatly upon whether it has been taught to sit up or to lie down, to speak or to beg, to roll over or to sound alarm, to guard or to attack, to find or to stay. But the trick most folk are so awfully fond of learning, the absolute second they've got hold of a heart, is to pretend they don't have one at all. It is the very first danger of the hearted. Shall I give fair warning, as neither you nor I was given?"
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
11. "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."
Author: Catherynne M. Valente
12. "The eagerness of a listener quickens the tongue of a narrator.""
Author: Charlotte Brontë
13. "I am a woman built on the wreckage of herself," Narrator"
Author: Chris Cleave
14. "In fiction, especially in texts that are framed by a storytelling situation, aporia is a favourite device of narrators to arouse curiosity in their audience, or to emphasize the extraordinary nature of the story they are telling. It is often combined with another figure of rhetoric, "aposiopesis", the incomplete sentence or unfinished utterance, usually indicated on the page by a trail of dots..."
Author: David Lodge
15. "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. Hurston understood that. But then she and I write out of despised cultures that on some level we feel we're defending."
Author: Dorothy Allison
16. "Six silent people in a room got me to thinking about the voice we hear in our heads when we read, the universal narrator's voice you may well be hearing right now. Whose voice *is* it you're hearing? It's not your own, is it? I didn't think so. It never is. So I posed the question out loud...""...When you read a book, whose voice is it you hear inside your head?" "It's certainly not my own", said Harj, and the others chimed in with the same claim."Then whose it?"
Author: Douglas Coupland
17. "My narrators tend to be women with low self-esteem, so I can send them to charm school."
Author: Elinor Lipman
18. "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."
Author: Eyvind Johnson
19. "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."
Author: F. Scott Fitzgerald
20. "I do not like postmodernism, postapocalyptic settings, postmortem narrators, or magic realism. I rarely respond to supposedly clever formal devices, multiple fonts, pictures where they shouldn't be—basically gimmicks of any kind. I find literary fiction about the Holocaust or any other major world tragedy to be distasteful. I do not like genre mash-ups a la the literary detective novel or the literary fantasy. Literary should be literary, and genre should be genre, and crossbreeding rarely results in anything satisfying. I do not like children's books, especially ones with orphans, and I prefer not to clutter my shelves with young adult. I do not like anything over four hundred pages or under one hundred fifty pages. I am repulsed by ghostwritten novels by reality television stars, celebrity picture books, sports memoirs, movie tie-in editions, novelty items, and -- I imagine this goes without saying -- vampires."
Author: Gabrielle Zevin
21. "In his Preface to the 1892 edition of Tess of the d'Urbervilles Hardy warns the reader that ‘a novel is an impression, not an argument'. However, the text offers several explanations of Tess's tragedy; social, psychological, hereditary, and fatalistic, all of which proceed from the assumption that Hardy's text is in some sense determined, and that the character of Tess is somehow knowable. Indeed, the tragedy of Tess is in this sense overdetermined. But it should be remembered that the character of Tess is constructed in the text from many points of observation, including that of the ambivalent narrator; constructed that is from impressions."
Author: Geoffrey Harvey
22. "The first unanalysed impression that most readers receive from Jane Eyre is that it has a very violent atmosphere. If this were simply the effect of the plot and the imagined events then sensation novels like Walpole's The Castle of Otranto or Mrs Radcliffe's The Mystery of Udolpho ought to produce it even more powerfully.But they do not. Nor do they even arouse particularly strong reader responses. Novelists like Charlotte Brontë or D. H. Lawrence, on the other hand, are able quite quickly to provoke marked reactions of sympathy or hostility from readers. The reason, apparently, isthat the narrator's personality is communicating itself through the style with unusual directness."
Author: Ian Gregor
23. "I believe I essentially remain what I have always been--a narrator, but one with extremely pressing personal needs. I want to introduce, I want to describe, I want to distribute mementos, amulets, I want to break out my wallet and pass around snapshots, I want to follow my nose. In this mood I don't dare go anywhere near the shortstory form. It eats up little fat undetatched writers like me."
Author: J.D. Salinger
24. "Using a first-person narrator is simply a matter of hearing the voice inside yourself."
Author: James Lee Burke
25. "This "I" was the voice of no author in my house. This "I" was someone who notonly knew why Charlotte went to the airport but also knew someone called "Victor." Who was Victor? Who was this narrator? Why was this narrator telling me this story? Let me tell you one thing about why writers write: had I known the answer to any of these questions I would never have needed to write a novel."
Author: Joan Didion
26. "A song is not a tool for changing a human heart in the way that a wrench is a tool for changing a bolt, but it was the tool I had, and I was the tool the OSP had. The cansos in "Songs from Underneath" were not really as subtle as a wrench. Their primary trope was the ancient trick of making the viewpoint character a victim of oppression, because people identify passionately with a strong viewpoint character, and there is intense pleasure in identifying with the narrator of a sad story or song. In "Black Beauty" that trick had made people begin to think that beating horses was bad; it was the trope that make privileged white children burn with outrage at "Native Son" and prudes weep over prostitutes in "Elle frequentait la rue Pigalle" and "My Name is Not Bitch." They also received, at no extra cost, the delicious smug superiority of sympathizing with an underdog, unlike their less-enlightened neighbors.Their primary"
Author: John Barnes
27. "In a thriller, the camera's an active narrator, or can be."
Author: John McTiernan
28. "It's about the dream of second chances," he says finally. He hasn't raised his eyes from the paper on his desk and I feel him looking at me without looking when he uses his grandfather's words. "The narrator doesn't respect the beauty of life and the world around her, so it crushes her into the ground and once she's dead, she realizes everything she took for granted and didn't see right in front of her while she was alive. She's begging for another chance to live again so she can appreciate it this time.""And does she get that chance?" she asks Josh while I desperately focus on the poster of literary terms on the wall and wait for absolution. When it comes, I barely hear it."She does."
Author: Katja Millay
29. "How can it be described? How can any of it be described? The trip and the story of the trip are two different things. The narrator is the one who has stayed home, but then, afterward, presses her mouth upon the traveler's mouth, in order to make the mouth work, to make the mouth say, say, say. One cannot go to a place and speak of it; one cannot both see and say, not really. One can go, and upon returning make a lot of hand motions and indications with the arms. The mouth itself, working at the speed of light, at the eye's instructions, is necessarily struck still; so fast, so much to report, it hangs open and dumb as a gutted bell. All that unsayable life! That's where the narrator comes in. The narrator comes with her kisses and mimicry and tidying up. The narrator comes and makes a slow, fake song of the mouth's eager devastation."
Author: Lorrie Moore
30. "It is rare and almost impossible for a novel to have only one narrator."
Author: Mario Vargas Llosa
31. "And herein lies the key to the brilliance of Mark Haddon's choice of narrator: The most wrenching of emotional moments are chronicled by a boy who cannot fathom emotion. The effect is dazzling, making for a novel that is deeply funny, poignant, and fascinating in its portrayal of a person whose curse and blessing is a mind that perceives the world literally."
Author: Mark Haddon
32. "A LAST NOTE FROM YOUR NARRATORI am hunted by humans."
Author: Markus Zusak
33. "At a time when history made its way slowly, the few events were easily remembered and woven into a backdrop, known to everyone, before which private life unfolded the gripping show of its adventures. Nowadays, time moves forward at a rapid pace. Forgotten overnight, a historic event glistens the next day like the morning dew and thus is no longer the backdrop to a narrator's tale but rather an amazing adventure enacted against the background of the over-familiar banality of private life."
Author: Milan Kundera
34. "…Man's heart is a ditch full of blood. The loved ones who have died throw themselves down on the bank of this ditch to drink the blood and so come to life again; the dearer they are to you, the more of your blood they drink." - The Narrator."
Author: Nikos Kazantzakis
35. "Oh, I almost forgot. In case that anyone besides big-headed Near or the deluded murderer is reading these notes, then I shall at least perform the basic courtesy of introducing myself, here at the end of the prologue, I am your narrator, your navigator, your storyteller. For anyone else but those two, my identity may be of no interest to you, but I am the world's runner-up, the best dresser that died like a dog, Mihael Keehl. I once called myself Mello and was addressed by that name, but that was a long time ago.Good memories and nightmares."
Author: NisiOisiN
36. "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."
Author: Pam Muñoz Ryan
37. "The narrator analyzes that the maturing, passing away boy within him, "had issued me a challenge as he passed the baton to the man in me: He had challenged me to have the courage to become a gentle, harmless man."
Author: Pat Conroy
38. "Narrative is an open-ended invitation to ethical and poetical responsiveness. Storytelling invites us to become not just agents of our own lives, but narrators and readers as well. It shows us that the untold life is not worth living. There will always be someone there to say, 'tell me a story', and someone there to respond. Were this not so, we would no longer be fully human."
Author: Richard Kearney
39. "Time passes, as the novelist says. The single most useful trick of fiction for our repair and refreshment: the defeat of time. A century of family saga and a ride up an escalator can take the same number of pages. Fiction sets any conversion rate, then changes it in a syllable. The narrator's mother carries her child up the stairs and the reader follows, for days. But World War I passes in a paragraph. I needed 125 pages to get from Labor Day to Christmas vacation. In six more words, here's spring."
Author: Richard Powers
40. "Be a good listener in the special way a story requires: note the manner of presentation; the development of plot, character; the addition of new dramatic sequences; the emphasis accorded to one figure or another in the recital; and the degree of enthusiam, of coherence, the narrator gives to his or her account."
Author: Robert Coles
41. "I'm not trying as a writer to be smart or to understand the inner workings of my narrator, I'm trying to survive the typing of this story."
Author: Ron Carlson
42. "Pearl introduces an original story, in a form which was to become one of the most frequent in mediaeval literature, the dream-vision. Authors like Chaucer and Langland use this form, in which the narrator describes another world - usually a heavenly paradise - which is compared with the earthly human world. In Pearl, the narrator sees his daughter who died in infancy, 'the ground of all my bliss'. She now has a kind of perfect knowledge, which her father can never comprehend. The whole poem underlines the divide between human comprehension and perfection; these lines show the gap between possible perfection and fallen humanity which, thematically, anticipate many literary examinations of man's fall, the most well known being Milton's late Renaissance epic, Paradise Lost."
Author: Ronald Carter
43. "It is the voice of everyday people, rather than of a self-conscious 'artist', that we hear in Caedmon's Hymn, and in such texts as Deor's Lament (also known simply as Deor) or The Seafarer. These reflect ordinary human experience and are told in the first person. They make the reader or hearer relate directly with the narratorial 'I', and frequently contain intertextual references to religious texts. Although they express a faith in God, only Caedmon's Hymn is an overtly religious piece. Already we can notice one or two conventions creeping in; ways of writing which will be found again and again in later works. One of these is the use of the first-person speaker who narrates his experience, inviting the reader or listener to identify with him and sympathise with his feelings."
Author: Ronald Carter
44. "But that's the trouble with moments—they end." ~Narrator"
Author: S.M. Boyce
45. "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!"
Author: Sara Shepard
46. "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."
Author: Siegfried Sassoon
47. "The underlying and more ominous question is whether the story of our species — the greater human narrative — has simply become too enormous, too confused and terrifying, for us to grapple with. This might explain why so many of us now rely on a cacophony of unreliable narrators to shape our view of the world and ourselves . . . these voices deal in the same commodity: a fraudulent folklore whose central aim is insulate us from the true nature of our predicament, to manipulate our anxieties, to goad us into empty consumption or snag us in cycles of grievance and panic."
Author: Steve Almond
48. "[W]hen I put Jorge in the library I did not yet know he was the murderer. He acted on his own, so to speak. And it must not be thought that this is an 'idealistic' position, as if I were saying that the characters have an autonomous life and the author, in a kind of trance, makes them behave as they themselves direct him. That kind of nonsense belongs in term papers. The fact is that the characters are obliged to act according to the laws of the world in which they live. In other words, the narrator is the prisoner of his own premises."
Author: Umberto Eco
49. "In Gilead, the narrator's friend's son describes himself not as an atheist but in "state of categorical unbelief." He says, "I don't even believe God doesn't exist, if you see what I mean." I pointed this passage out to Mom and said it closely matched my own views--I just didn't think about religion."
Author: Will Schwalbe
50. "The narrator finds that as a maturing character grows in stature before her friends that she sees less stature while evaluating herself."
Author: Zane Grey

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Classical tragedy was the war between good and evil. We wanted evil to be defeated and good to be victorious. But the battle in modern tragedy is between good and good. And no matter which side wins, we'll still be heartbroken."
Author: Asghar Farhadi

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