False Autobiography YKTTW Discussion

False Autobiography
(permanent link) added: 2012-06-30 00:50:43 sponsor: MorganWick (last reply: 2012-11-22 05:06:44)

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May Need A Better Title, because while it's perfectly descriptive this is at heart a twist on the Literary Agent Hypothesis.

This is when a work of fiction is written in first person, from the perspective of a narrator who is The Danza: he has the same name as the author. This provides the illusion that the author is the same as the character in the story, and is relating events that really happened to him.

This seems to be especially common in kids' books, perhaps because kids are supposed to fall for it more easily.

In these cases, the narrator is generally an Author Avatar.


  • Weirdly, I have two different examples that are both set in the West during The Gay Nineties: the Great Brain books (written and narrated by a John D. Fitzgerald) and the works of Robert Newton Peck. (The former worked on me: when I first read them I wondered why the publisher of my copies had classified them as "fiction".)

I need rulings on these to help define the trope better:

  • Borderline example, as it's not a first-person narrator: the Wayside School books by Louis Sachar include a janitor named Louis, who is explicitly stated to be the author of the books.
  • Even more borderline, as it's basically an in-universe Literary Agent Hypothesis: Stan Lee and Jack Kirby would occasionally appear in early Marvel Comics, the notion apparently being that they were writing comics based on the superheroes' actual adventures.
  • In my opinion, Andrew Hussie's Author Avatar in Homestuck is on the other side of the borderline, that is, he shouldn't be an example, mostly because it's apparent he doesn't exactly exist in our world, and it's not clear how he's writing the story...
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