We currently have a tag narrator that as of today has 21 questions associated with it. The tag wiki excerpt says:
Questions related to the concept of "narrator" in literature, i.e. the "voice" that appears to speak or tell a story. The narrator can usually not simply be equated with the author. There are various types of narrators, e.g. the omniscient narrator and the unreliable narrator.
I would propose replacing this tag with point-of-view. While "narrator" seems narrowly focused on who is telling a particular story, "point of view" is a broader concept, as it covers situations that narrator seem unsuited for:
- The voice or persona of lyric poetry, such as the Duke of Ferrara in Robert Browning's "My Last Duchess"
- Narration as an aspect of drama, where there is a point of view but no explicit narrator
- A work that has multiple narrators, such as an epistolary novel
- A work that employs the stream of consciousness technique, which appears to give the reader access to a character's unmediated experience of the phenomenal world.
The last two examples highlights the difference of emphasis between narrator and point-of-view. The former appears to focus on the character telling the story, the latter on the technique of presentation. The term "point of view" refers to the relationship between the narrator and the narrative, or the speaker and the poem. As Burkhard Niederhoff explains in The Living Handbook of Narratology:
Perspective in narrative may be defined as the way the representation of the story is influenced by the position, personality and values of the narrator, the characters and, possibly, other, more hypothetical entities in the storyworld. The more common term in Anglo-American criticism, which will be treated as equivalent here, is “point of view.”
Here is a (very rough) draft of the tag wiki excerpt for point-of-view:
Questions related to the narrator(s) or speaker(s) of a literary work. Point of view refers to the relationship between the narrator and the narrative, or the speaker and the poem. In prose fiction, it encompasses terms such as first-person narrator, omniscient narrator, etc. In lyric poetry, the corresponding terms are persona or voice. The narrator or speaker usually should not be equated with the writer.
Of the 21 questions currently tagged narrator, nineteen can be retagged point-of-view without raising any issues. The remaining two do not meet the criteria for narrator to begin with:
- Skloot's The Immortal Life of Henrietta Abstraction Analysis is off-topic, as the question asked ("How did the scientific community and the media treat Henrietta and her family as abstractions?") is not a matter of literary analysis.
- What is the earliest book where bad spelling is primarily for humor value? isn't about narrators either. A character other than the narrator could be the target of such humor.
To sum up: I propose that we replace narrator with point-of-view; we retain the former tag as a synonym for the latter; and we create persona, poetic-speaker, and voice as additional synonyms.
personabecause that's the equivalent in lyric poetry of
point-of-viewand we have at least two questions tagged
narratorthat should have
personainstead, unless we switch them both to