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Parents: literature - meta - fiction

Related: experimental fiction - fabulation - fourth wall - metafilm - postmodern literature - self-consciousness - self-referentiality

Key example: Six Characters in Search of an Author (1921)

Theorists: Robert Scholes


Metafiction is a kind of fiction that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction. It can be compared to presentational theatre in a sense--presentational theatre does not let the audience forget they are viewing a play, and metafiction does not let the readers forget they are reading a work of fiction. Metafiction is primarily associated with postmodern literature.

Some common metafictive devices:

Some examples of metafiction:

--http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meta-fiction [Jun 2004]

Don Quixote (1605) - Cervantes

Metafiction is primarily associated with postmodern literature but can be found at least as far back as Cervantes' Don Quixote. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metafiction [Apr 2005]

A critique of their own methods of construction

Metafiction is a term given to fictional writing which self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality. In providing a critique of their own methods of construction, such writings not only examine the fundamental structures of narrative fiction, they also explore the possible fictionality of the world outside the literary fictional text. --Patricia Waugh, Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction (1984) - Patricia Waugh [Amazon.com] [FR] [DE] [UK] via http://www.eng.fju.edu.tw/Literary_Criticism/postmodernism/metafiction.htm [Nov 2004]

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