“More Reassuring Noise in This Quiet World”: Narrative Intimacy and the Acousmatic Voice of Night Vale
Being an acousmatic presence—a disembodied voice—Cecil lends himself to an unusual relationship with the listener as often the only voice illustrating the goings-on of the odd desert town of Night Vale. And as this narrator, several things play into his distance from the listener: in-world he is a reporter, but is also an opinionated fallible person; as a narrative device there is audio’s natural and unusual intimacy; and in between those two spheres there is the fact that very little distinction is made between the character Cecil Palmer and his actor Cecil Baldwin. All of these forces shift his narrative distance, and it is through this lens that I illustrate how that distance affects the story and the listener, particularly in the events of Welcome to Night Vale’s second year’s Strex arc.
KeywordsDistance Proximity Sound Voice
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