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.
Table of Contents
General Editor's Preface Acknowledgements Introduction Part One: Defining Metafiction 1. Metafiction 2. What is metafiction and why are they saying such awful things about it? 3. Metanarrative signs Part Two: Historiographic Metafiction 4. Historiographic metafiction 5. British historiographic metafiction 6. The question of narrative in contemporary historical theory Part Three: The writer/critic 7. The novel now 8. The literature of exhaustion 9. From Reflections on the "Name of the Rose" Part Four: Readings of Metafiction 10.The art of metafiction 11. Metafiction, the historical novel and Coover's "The Public Burning" 12. The Novel, illusion and reality: the paradox of omniscience in "The French Lieutenant's Women" 13. A novel which is a machine for generating interpretations Bibliography Index
Mark Currie is Professor of Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary University of London.