Metafiction and Myth in the Novels of Peter Ackroyd

Characteristically , historiographic metafictions differ from traditional historical novels in that the former do not seek historical accuracy and realistic verisimilitude but , on the contrary , challenge the separability of the two ...

Author: Susana Onega Jaén

Publisher: Camden House

ISBN: 1571130063

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 214

View: 949


Providing detailed analysis of the recurrent structural and thematic traits in Peter Ackroyd's first nine novels, this work sets out to show how they grow out of the tension created by two apparently contradictory tendencies. These are, on the one hand, the metafictional tendency to blur the boundaries between story-telling and history, to enhance the linguistic component of writing, and to underline the constructedness of the world created in a way that aligns Ackroyd with other postmodernist writers of historiographic metafiction; and on the other, the attempt to achieve mythical closure, expressed, for example, in Ackroyd's fictional treatment of London as a mystic centre of power. This mythical element evinces the influence of high modernists such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, and links Ackroyd's work to transition-to-postmodern writers such as Lawrence Durrell, Maureen Duffy, Doris Lessing and John Fowles.

Black Metafiction

Public Sphere , Todd Kontje argues that the bildungsroman is metafiction because it theorizes about itself and its status as fiction at the same time that it portrays the life of an artist ( 9-15 ) . Kontje maintains that the ...

Author: Madelyn Jablon

Publisher: University of Iowa Press

ISBN: 0877456569

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 209

View: 389


Black Metafiction examines the tradition of self-consciousness in African American literature. It points to the short-comings of theories of metafiction founded on studies of Anglo-American literature. While some literary critics situate metafiction within the domain of postmodernism, others regard it to be as old as storytelling itself. Scholars of African American literature acknowledge it to be a distinguishing feature. Critics such as Henry Louis Gates, Jr., and Houston A. Baker, Jr., perceive it as fundamental to the aesthetics of the black vernacutar. Black Metafiction analyzes and evaluates these theories, comparing work by scholars of comparative, Anglo-American, and African American literature. Jablon's study leads to her revision of established theories and provides a model for the evaluation and reformulation of other Eurocentric theories. Jablon begins with a historical overview of theories of metafiction by scholars who specialize in African American literature and Anglo-American literature. She situates metafiction within African American literary history, tracing it from slave narratives to a discussion of ten contemporary novels, including Alice Walker's The Temple of My Familiar, Leon Forrest's Divine Days, Walter Mosley's Black Betty, Charles Johnson's Middle Passage, Rita Dove's Through the Ivory Gate, Arthur Flowers' Another Good Loving Blues, Ernest Gaines' A Lesson Before Dying, Toni Morrison's Tar Baby, Octavia Butter's Parable of the Sower, and Charlotte Watson Sherman's One Dark Body. Among the topics Jablon addresses are the Kunstlerroman and the blues hero; the thematization of art; voice, metanarrative, and the oral tradition; and genres of metafiction.

Erotographic Metafiction

As in the two preceding chapters, our main objective when analyzing Papa's aesthetic strategies is to show how the sensuous textual surface of his narration is contained in a totality of vision whose metafictional moves also allow for ...

Author: Ulf Cronquist

Publisher: Almqvist & Wiksell International

ISBN: UOM:39015050157125

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 223

View: 767


A discussion of Hawkes' novels, The blood oranges, Death, sleep and the traveler, and Travesty.


metafiction from metafiction, of postmodernism from modernism, or the transmutation of literary into cultural studies, represent expanded scope for tendencies in twentieth-century thought which once seemed to point unpromisingly towards ...

Author: Mark Currie

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781317893875

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 262

View: 223


Metafiction is one of the most distinctive features of postwar fiction, appearing in the work of novelists as varied as Eco, Borges, Martin Amis and Julian Barnes. It comprises two elements: firstly cause, the increasing interpenetration of professional literary criticism and the practice of writing; and secondly effect: an emphasis on the playing with styles and forms, resulting from an enhanced self-consciousness and awareness of the elusiveness of meaning and the limitations of the realist form. Dr Currie's volume examines first the two components of metafiction, with practical illustrations from the work of such writers as Derrida and Foucault. A final section then provides the view of metafiction as seen by metafictional writers themselves.


Metafiction and the novel tradition I would argue that metafictional practice has become particularly prominent in the fiction of the last twenty years. However, to draw exclusively on contemporary fiction would be mislead ing, for, ...

Author: Patricia Waugh

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9781136493898

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 192

View: 415


First Published in 2002. Routledge is an imprint of Taylor & Francis, an informa company.

Truth and Metafiction

I want to stress again this echo of Hegel in Derrida because the contemporary misreading of Derrida (and deconstruction)—or the possibility of that misreading—speaks to a problem of emphasis, a problem that recent works of metafiction ...

Author: Josh Toth

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing USA

ISBN: 9781501351747

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 264

View: 923


Metafiction has long been associated with the heyday of literary postmodernism-with a certain sense of irresponsibility, political apathy, or outright nihilism. Yet, if (as is now widely assumed) postmodernism has finally run its course, how might we account for the proliferation of metafictional devices in contemporary narrative media? Does this persistence undermine the claim that postmodernism has passed, or has the function of metafiction somehow changed? To answer these questions, Josh Toth considers a broad range of recent metafictional texts-bywriters such as George Saunders and Jennifer Egan and directors such as Sofia Coppola and Quentin Tarantino. At the same time, he traverses a diffuse theoretical landscape: from the rise of various new materialisms (in philosophy) and the turn to affect (in literary criticism) to the seemingly endless efforts to name postmodernism's ostensible successor. Ultimately, Toth argues that much contemporary metafiction moves beyond postmodern skepticism to reassert the possibility of making true claims about real things. Capable of combating a “post-truth” crisis, such forms assert or assume a kind of Hegelian plasticity; they actively and persistently confront the trauma of what is infinitely mutable, or perpetually other. What is outside or before a given representation is confirmed and endured as that which exceeds the instance of its capture. The truth is thereby renewed; neither denied nor simply assumed, it is approached as ethically as possible. Its plasticity is grasped because the grasp, the form of its narrative apprehension, lets slip.

Metafiction and the Postwar Novel

Rather , those critical of postmodern metafiction are turning away from a generalized conception of a literary and ... When we look more closely at the most sustained postwar metafictional writing , what we find is a startling range of ...

Author: Andrew Dean

Publisher: Oxford University Press

ISBN: 9780192644824

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 240

View: 411


Metafiction and the Postwar Novel is a full-length reassessment of one of the definitive literary forms of the postwar period, sometimes known as 'postmodern metafiction'. In the place of large-scale theorizing, this book centres on the intimacies of writing situations - metafiction as it responds to readers, literary reception, and earlier works in a career. The emergence of archival materials and posthumously published works helps to bring into view the stakes of different moments of writing. It develops new terms for discussing literary self-reflexivity, derived from a reading of Don Quixote and its reception by J.L. Borges - the 'self of writing' and the 'public author as signature'. Across three comprehensive chapters, Metafiction and Postwar Fiction shows how some of the most highly-regarded postwar writers were motivated to incorporate reflexive elements into their writing - and to what ends. The first chapter, on South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, shows with a new clarity how his fictions drew from and relativized academic literary theory and the conditions of writing in apartheid South Africa. The second chapter, on New Zealand writer Janet Frame, draws widely from her fictions, autobiographies, and posthumously published materials. It demonstrates the terms in which her writing addresses a readership seemingly convinced that her work expressed the interior experience of 'madness'. The final chapter, on American writer Philip Roth, shows how his early reception led to his later, and often explosive, reconsiderations of identity and literary value in postwar America.

Discourse Deixis in Metafiction

The mid twentieth century proliferation of Western metafiction provoked several extended critical studies. These works make great strides in unravelling the complex themes of metafiction, often through useful and varied taxonomies of ...

Author: Andrea Macrae

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 9780429638480

Category: Language Arts & Disciplines

Page: 228

View: 867


This volume advances scholarly understanding of the ways in which discourse deixis underpins the workings of metafictional novels. Building on existing scholarship in the field, the book begins by mapping out key themes and techniques in metafiction and puts forward a focused and theoretically coherent account of discourse deixis—language which points to a section or aspect of the discourse context in which that language is used—in written literary discourse, highlighting its inherent significance in metafiction specifically. Macrae takes readers through an exploration of discourse deixis as used within the techniques of metanarration, metalepsis, and disnarration, drawing on a mix of both well-established and lesser-known metafictional novels from the late 1960s and early 1970s by such authors as John Barth, Brigid Brophy, Robert Coover, John Fowles, Steve Katz, and B.S. Johnson. This comprehensive account integrates and develops a new approach to understanding discourse deixis and innovative insights into metafictionality more broadly and will be of particular interest to scholars in literary studies, postmodern literature, narratology, and stylistics.

World War II in Andre Makine s Historiographic Metafiction

The afore-summarised passage is one of the many instances of the metafictional self-awareness of Makine's novels, which thus align themselves with postmodern literature, chiefly characterised by, in Hutcheon's terms, historicity and ...

Author: Helena Duffy

Publisher: BRILL

ISBN: 9789004362406

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 340

View: 627


In World War II in Andreï Makine’s Historiographic Metafiction Helena Duffy probes the tension between the Franco-Russian novelist’s commitment to postmodern aesthetics and philosophy of history, and his narrative of Soviet involvement in the struggle against Hitler.

Metaphysics to Metafictions

932 Formulated even more succinctly , David Lodge simply states that " Metafiction is fiction about fiction : novels and stories that call attention to their fictional status and their own compositional procedures .

Author: Paul S. Miklowitz

Publisher: SUNY Press

ISBN: 0791438775

Category: Philosophy

Page: 221

View: 289


Examines the key role played by Nietzsche in the undoing of the Hegelian system of totality.