Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction

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Taylor & Francis, Jan 4, 2002 - Literary Criticism - 192 pages
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Metafiction begins by surveying the state of contemporary fiction in Britain and America and explores the complex political, social and economic factors which influence critical judgment of fiction. The author shows how, as the novel has been eclipsed by the mass media, novelists have sought to retain and regain a wide readership by drawing on the themes and preoccupations of these forms. Making use of contemporary fiction by such writers as Fowles, Borges, Spark, Barthelme, Brautigan, Vonnegut and Barth, and drawing on Russian Formalist theories of literary evolution, the book argues that metafiction uses parody along with popular genres and non-literary forms as a way not only of exposing the inadequate and obsolescent conventions of the classic novel, but of stuggesting the lines along which fiction might develop in the future.

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About the author (2002)

Patricia Waugh has published extensively in the field of modern fiction and criticism. She is the author of The Harvest of the Sixties: English Literature and its Backgrounds (1995) and Revolutions of the Word: Intellectual Contexts for the Study of Modern Literature (1997). She has also edited a
number of collections and anthologies of modern literary theory and postmodernism, most recently The Arts and Sciences of Criticism (with David Fuller).

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