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blue flowersbadgermirlacca wrote
on January 29th, 2011 at 12:29 am

In 1961, Wayne C. Booth wrote a marvelous book called The Rhetoric of Fiction, in which among other things he proposed the existence of the "second persona," that is, the image of the author which the author creates, consciously or not, in the mind of the reader. It's easiest to see in satire, for example something like Swift's "A Modest Proposal," where you get a very clear image of the sort of person you think would make a proposal about how to reduce the excess population of the Irish--and you also get an image of the sort of person who is angry enough to write such a thing.

The second persona, Booth says, is NOT the author, but it's who the reader thinks the author is.
So all of the fan pages and so on are for the second persona, not the person actually burning up the keyboard. (A problem arises when that person gets confused about this; the fans hardly ever figure it out, unfortunately.)

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