Thackeray draws attention to the "I" as a conventional force, a representation of a symbol of a self. He showed himself fully aware of the difference in authority and intimacy depending upon the choice of narratorial pronoun.2 Inaugurating William Ainsworth's Ainsworth's Magazine in 1842, Thackeray in his persona of Michael Angelo Titmarsh rejected the "editorial we" because "that simple right line I, which often seems egotistical and presuming is, I fancy, less affected and pert than 'we' often is. T is merely an individual; whereas 'we,' is clearly somebody - 'I,' merely expresses an opinion; whereas 'we,' at once lays down the law".3 This distinction derives from how readers respond to "we" and "I". While "I" supposedly has less ex cathedra authority, it creates another kind
of authority in its seemingly intimate connection between individual writer and reader that suggests an empathetic identity between the writer and reader. As Bulwer Lytton wrote, "to make me feel, you must seem yourself to feel".4 The writer creates a voice that at least "seems" to feel deeply about his subject; in turn, this genuine feeling invites a like response in the audience. The depth of the audience's response depends upon how closely they identify with the voice, and often the readers identify this voice with the author of the text. Arguably, the strong personal voice of the Eliot narrator, or Dickens' alter-ego voices of David Copperfield and Pip as well as Thackeray's playful personae of Titmarsh and Manager and his later second-self, Pendennis, were crucial marketing devices. People returned week after week, month after month, work after work not just to find out what happened next but also to participate in the "confidential talk between writer and reader" (P xv). But this powerful intimate connection opens the "I" to the dangers of authorial egoism: the temptation to dominate the discourse or to exploit the "I" for effect.