Posted by RachelE on June 28, 2011
According to Jahn, textual or intratextual voices are those of the narrator, whereas the extratextual voice is that of the author. One normally considers the author’s voice in two scenarios only: (a) when one has reason to believe that it is more or less identical to that of the narrator, or (b) when the author’s and the narrator’s voices are likely to be significantly different — in other words, when one assumes that the author intentionally uses a narrative voice distinct from his or her own (N3.1.7). In The Lamentable Journey of Omaha Bigelow into the Impenetrable Loisaida Jungle by Edgardo Vega Yunqué, the reader has reason to believe that the voice of the author is identical to that of the narrator. Vega Yunqué, who plays the role of author and narrator simultaneously, makes it obvious in the text of the story that he is both author and narrator. While it is obvious there is a narrator to the story, Vega Yunqué throws in lines, such as “I won’t reveal the ending yet because it wouldn’t be fair” (Vega Yunqué 209), and “When I asked Lady Liberty what she meant by the message on her T-shirt, she simply said: ‘Vega, sometimes you are such a schmuck” (Vega Yunqué 116). Quotes such as these make it obvious to the reader that not only did Vega Yunqué create a narrator for his novel, he decided to play the role himself and becomes part of the story.