implied author

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A term coined by Wayne C. Booth in The Rhetoric of Fiction (1961) to designate that source of a work's design and meaning which is inferred by readers from the text, and imagined as a personality standing behind the work. As an imaginary entity, it is to be distinguished clearly from the real author, who may well have written other works implying a different kind of persona or implied author behind them. The implied author is also to be distinguished from the narrator, since the implied author stands at a remove from the narrative voice, as the personage assumed to be responsible for deciding what kind of narrator will be presented to the reader; in many works this distinction produces an effect of irony at the narrator's expense.

Subjects: Literature.

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