third-person point of view

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In literary fiction, the most common mode of narration in which the narrator acts as a non-participating observer of the represented events. Often an omniscient point of view, though sometimes reflecting restricted knowledge (a limited point of view) and sometimes limited reliability; usually such narrators are self-effacing rather than intrusive commentators. In academic writing, third-person narration has traditionally been regarded as more ‘objective’ and ‘*transparent’ than first-person narration; contemporary critics note that this style obscures authorial agency—*facts and events appear to ‘speak for themselves’. Compare first-person point of view; objective camerawork; second-person point of view.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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