In the novel the voice that speaks the first sentence, then the second, and so onward – call it the voice of the narrator – has, to begin with, no authority at all. Authority must be earned; on the novelist author lies the onus to build up, out of nothing, such authority. No one is better at building up authority than Tolstoy. In this sense of the word, Tolstoy is the exemplary author.
-- From Diary of a Bad Year, by J.M. Coetzee –
[And I agree with the conclusion. Tolstoy. The exemplary author.]
Have a great Friday!