narrator. One who tells, or is assumed to be telling, the story in a given narrative. In modern analysis of fictional narratives, the narrator is the imagined 'voice' transmitting the story, and is distinguished both from the real author (who may have written other tales with very different narrators) and from the implied author (who does not recount the story, but is inferred as the authority responsible for selecting it and inventing a narrator for it). Narrators vary according to their degree of participation in the story: in first-person narratives they are involved either as witnesses or as participants in the events of the story, whereas in third-person narratives they stand outside those events: an omniscient narrator stands outside the events but has special privileges such as access to characters' unspoken thoughts, and knowledge of events happening simultaneously in different places. Narrators also differ in the degree of their overtness: some are given noticeable characteristics and personalities (as in first-person narratives and in some third-person narratives: see intrusive narrator), whereas 'covert' narrators are identified by no more than a 'voice' (as in most third-person narratives). Further distinctions are made between reliable narrators, whose accounts of events we are obliged to trust, and unreliable narrators, whose accounts may be partial, ill-informed, or otherwise misleading: most third-person narrators are reliable, but some first-person narrators are unreliable. In a dramatic work, a narrator is a performer who recounts directly to the audience a summary of events preceding or during a scene or act. [from: Baldick, 1990]