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The meaning of metafiction : a critical study of selected novels by Sterne, Nabokov, Barth, and Beckett

Author: Inger Christensen
Publisher: Bergen : Universitetsforlaget ; Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y. : Distribution, Columbia University Press, ©1981.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Fiction : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
In 20th century literature, a kind of fiction has come much to the fore where the narrator discusses his own craft and frequently addresses the reader. However, Laurence Sterneʼs Tristram Shandy may serve as a striking example of the fact that metafiction is no modern phenomenon. Metafiction has been criticized for solipsism and regarded as a final proof of ʼthe novel no longer novelʼ. Discussing works of three  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
Additional Physical Format: Online version:
Christensen, Inger.
Meaning of metafiction.
Bergen : Universitetsforlaget ; Irvington-on-Hudson, N.Y. : Distribution, Columbia University Press, ©1981
(OCoLC)559531019
Named Person: Samuel Beckett; John Barth; Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; Laurence Sterne; John Barth; Samuel Beckett; Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov; Laurence Sterne
Material Type: Fiction
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Inger Christensen
ISBN: 8200056929 9788200056928
OCLC Number: 8079347
Description: 174 pages ; 22 cm
Contents: I. Laurence Sterneʼs Tristram Shandy: a plea for communication --
Narrator as entertainer --
Fiction as artifact --
Reader as narratee --
II. Nabaokovʼs Ada: metafiction as aesthetic bliss --
Narrators as lovers --
Narrative as revealed deception --
Narratee as intimate intruder --
III. John Barthʼs metafictional redemption --
The Sot-Weed Factor --
The poet as saviour --
Reconciliation through narrative --
The capricious reader --
Giles Goat-Boat --
The heroic narrator --
Auto-narrative --
Single minded reader --
IV. Samuel Beckettʼs Trilogy: circling disintegration --
Molloy, part I --
Puppet on a string: the uncommunicative, suffering narrator --
Narrative journey through mental landscapes --
Narratee: narrator talking to himself --
Molloy, part II --
The undecipherable narrator --
Narrative as self-investigation --
The neglected narrate --
Malone dies --
The Obtuse narrator --
Narrative in grey --
The superfluous narrate --
The unnamable --
Narrator without identity --
Narrative at a deadlock --
The loss of narrate --
The meaning of metafiction-conclusion.
Responsibility: Inger Christensen.

Abstract:

In 20th century literature, a kind of fiction has come much to the fore where the narrator discusses his own craft and frequently addresses the reader. However, Laurence Sterneʼs Tristram Shandy may serve as a striking example of the fact that metafiction is no modern phenomenon. Metafiction has been criticized for solipsism and regarded as a final proof of ʼthe novel no longer novelʼ. Discussing works of three contemporary novelists, Nobokov, Barth and Beckett, and Sterneʼs eighteenth century novel, the author argues that with their tricks, parodies and humour (humor) the metafictionists are concerned with a central human problem: communication. Should literature entertain, come up with ideas about the meaning of existence or give the reader a purely aesthetic experience? The four novelists examined in this study give different and rather exciting answers to these questions and to the problem of bringing their intentions across to the reader. Book cover.

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