Who is the narrator of "Rip Van Winkle" by Washington Irving?

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Washington Irving is having fun with his audience by telling his audience that the story of Rip Van Winkle by creating several layers of doubt as to the “unquestionable authority” of the story.

Even though the only one who could know what happened on the mountain is Rip himself, he is not the narrator. Knickerbocker says he heard the story from Rip himself, and he though he believes it, he is not the narrator. Since the story comes from the The Sketch Book of Geoffrey Crayon, Gent., the narrator of “Rip Van Winkle” is Geoffrey Crayon, even though Crayon says he got the story from papers left behind by Knickerbocker.

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Washington Irving had a genius for inventing comic fictional narrators.  In fact, he did not sign his real name to his work until he was over fifty.  He had two narrators, Jonathan Oldstyle, Gent., a caricature of the British writers who could not accept the simple values of the new nation, and Diedrich Knickerbocker, a Dutchman. He it is who leaves the tale of Rip van Winkle, and the story is framed by an unknown writer.

Irving writes,

The following tale was found among the papers of the late Diedrich Knickerbocker; an old gentleman of New York, who was very curious in the Dutch history of the province, and the manners of the descendants from its primitive settlers.

Because Knickerbocker was known for his "scrupulous accuracy," the unknown writer states, the tale of Rip van Winkle should be taken as entirely accurate.

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