"What might seem less than more at first--an external perspective versus an internal view--turns out to be the necessary narrative device for creating their unique myths.
Using "Moby Dick" Schwartz illustrate's his point:
"With more conventional characters we may feel cheated when their motivations remain opaque, and their psyches, like Ahab's, ultimately unknowable. But we do not make the same demands of mythic characters, often because the prearranged audience in the story reflects our own bafflement. By their surrogate reactions and scrutiny, they preempt our silent protests. That is, we need (the POV narrator) to act as our agent of disbelief..." and, "...we may clearly see what (the mythic character) do(es), but not why, and it's the why that creates a chilling gap of suspense."
"All of which makes for a strangely normative viewpoint that in its plurality gives additional weight to its judgment of Hensch. On the other hand, this impersonal "we" relies on rumor and hearsay and is even more incapable of penetrating Hensch''s mystery than an individual observer-narrator such as Nick Carraway ... would be in gaining confidences, creating an extra layer of insulation from the subject. And Millhauser clearly wants it that way to promote the morally ambiguous atmosphere and mythic tone...
"At the conclusion of "The Knife Thrower," illustrating the elusive nature of the mythic, the collective viewpoint voices its frustration. The more we thought about it, the more uneasy we became, and in the nights that followed, when we woke from troubling dreams, we remembered the traveling knife thrower with agitation and dismay. This could well stand as a summary of all mythic characters. Fascinatingly inconclusive, they trick us into remembering them by the absence of their presence."