Are there any examples of books or stories where the protagonist is sort of kept in the dark? Like their motivations, their name, they sort of exist as a mystery within the story? I'm writing something where the main character's purpose isn't defined at all and I'd like to know whether I'm breaking a cardinal rule of fiction.
Pic unrelated, but it's my dog
Can you tell us anything else about your story, OP, or are you still in early stages?
The Road and another book whose title eludes me didn't give their main characters names, so they are just "man", "son", etc. I enjoyed these aspects because I didn't need their names to become close to them.
I have always thought the concept interesting, and I like that you're going even further.
Is there an all-knowing narrator, or is the MC the narrator? There has to be a word for that, but it doesn't come to me.
I think the author - Archimbold or something - in 2666, but I only read the first chapter of that book, so I do not know how it unfolds.
In Heart of Darkness, Kurtz only appears towards the ending, and during most of the book he exists only as a hovering myth.
In Kafka's two great novels Klamm and the count, in the Castle, and the people responsible for the trial, in The Trial, are also always hidden, although they are not the protagonists.
Not quite what you mean, but I always felt like Winston in 1984 was written in an interesting way. The book is written first person as though Winston wrote it, and yet his actions and speech seems quite different to what he claims. At times it feels like an unreliable narration.