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.
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Mark Currie is Professor of Contemporary Literature at Queen Mary University of London.
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