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Cervantes as Narrator of Don Quijote - H-Net

Cervantes as Narrator of Don Quijote - H-Net

Cervantes as Narrator of Don Quijote -

From: Cervantes: Bulletin of the Cervantes Society of America, 23.1 (2003): 117-40. Copyright © 2003, The Cervantes Society of America. Cervantes as Narrator of Don Quijote HOWARD MANCING For Jay Allen I. The Author. In this essay I would like to take a look at some questions often contemplated by literary scholars and casual readers alike: What is the relationship of the author to his or her text? Is the author or, at least, the author’s voice, to be found in the text and, if so, where? Who tells the story; who is the narrator? As we try to identify the disembodied narrative voice that speaks to us from within the text, we might recall the image used by the Victor Talking Machine company, later RCA Victor, in the early days of sound recordings: Nipper the dog, sitting with head cocked, listening curiously to the bell-shaped speaker of a phonograph, as though wondering where his master is. 1 As has often been noted, it seems that when we read a novel we want to have the experience of communicating with another human being, with the author. 2 1 Nipper, a Jack Russell terrier whose image appeared on the labels of all RCA Victor recordings and in most of its advertisements, is the most famous dog who ever lived, if one takes as criterion the number of times his likeness has been reproduced. For an introduction, http://www.nipperhead.com/nipper.htm and http://www.tvacres.com/adanimals_nipperrca.htm (6 March 2003). 2 This observation is often made merely in passing, but it is effectively 117

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