The narrator reveals the source for Garp's short story "Vigilance" by relating in the chapter entitled "The Eternal Husband" how Garp, suffering from writer's block, chases cars on his street.
The final piece of Garp's fiction reproduced by the narrator is the first chapter of The World According to Bensenhaver.
In the narrator's text as biography, one finds another incorporated genre, the critical reviews of Garp's fiction.
In addition to quoting his sources, the biographer discusses Garp's thoughts about writing and provides an informed summary of Garp's aesthetic ideas.
Irving's narrator, using the language of the biographer, quotes written records as evidence for his claims about Garp's life and discusses his aesthetic philosophy.
Rather than simply retelling events as they occurred, a method Garp as fiction writer tries to avoid, but a method the biographer would not normally avoid, the narrator uses the fictional methods of foreshadowing and withholding information.
The chapter "Second Love, Second Children," for instance, opens with a comic description of Walt's name that as a writer Garp would surely envy: "He was simply a t at the end of a wall.
Seeming to forget his role as biographer, the narrator allows his voice to invade the text in a manner befitting the narrator in one of Garp's own novels.
Not unlike Garp's voice as we know it from his fiction, the narrator's voice is often comic and satiric.
Ralph," he breaks most profoundly from the biography he began and adopts not only the voice of Garp's fiction but also its tense.
So we find that he returns to Garp as "the marriage counselor" (206), the "marriage-counsel man" (205).
Once Garp is shot, the narrator as biographer would have to depend on the words of those close to Garp to complete his life story.