I started Charles Dickens' "The Cricket on the Hearth" today. I've never read it and am looking forward to reading it in these days leading up to Christmas.
What struck me was the style of prose. Not the lofty, lengthy sentences Dickens was prone to write. I'm talking about the insertion of Dickens himself into the story. Or, rather, A Narrator. Exhibit A is the first paragraph:
The kettle began it! Don't tell me what Mrs. Peerybingle said. I know better. Mrs. Peery- bingle may leave it on record to the end of time that she couldn't say which of them began it; but, I say the kettle did. I ought to know, I hope! The kettle began it, full five minutes by the little waxy- faced Dutch clock in the corner, before the Cricket uttered a chirp.The Narrator knows the story and is telling the story. He has authorial asides but also knows the inner thoughts of the main characters.
Is there a term for this type of writing? My first thought was that it was third person omniscient, but, usually, the Omnipotent Author doesn't insert himself into the story. C. S. Lewis does this, too. Is this an English thing?
(NOTE: My writing at this blog has been pretty sparse in recent months. I plan on re-upping on my blog commitment starting in January. Thanks for reading.)