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But in The Sot-Weed Factor there is no such area of narrative stability. The concept of reality as a fiction has been theoretically formulated within many disciplines and from many political and philosophical positions. One of the clearest sociological expositions is in Peter L. Continual shifts in the structures of knowledge and power produce continual resyntheses of the reality model.

Contemporary reality, in particular, is continually being reappraised and resynthesized. It is no longer experienced as an ordered and fixed hierarchy, but as a web of interrelating, multiple realities. Most of the time, however, we are not conscious of these shifts. Habit, instrumented through social institutions and conventions, normally disguises movement between levels, and confers an apparent homogeneity upon social experience.

It is only when a convention is exposed as such that the lacunae between levels are also exposed. Berger and Luckmann suggest that convention and habit are necessary because human beings need to have their choices narrowed for significant action to take place. Habit ensures that patterns can be repeated in such a way that the meaning of an action is not retained at the level of consciousness.

If this were not so, the action could not be effortlessly performed. This is also, of course, the basis for realistic fiction. When the conventions regarding fictive time, for example, are undermined in Tristram Shandy, the novel never gets under way as an histoire but functions only as a self-regarding discours which never quite manages to get the story told. Habitualization provides for direction and specialization, by freeing our energies for more productive ends. Conventions can, however, become oppressive and rigidified, completely naturalized. At this point they need to be re-examined, both in life and in fiction.

Problems that interrupt this flow are seen to be translated into its terms and assimilated: Berger and Luckmann argue further, however, that language is the main instrument for maintaining this everyday reality: Thus texts which move towards a breakdown of the language system, presenting reality as a set of equally non-privileged competing discourses, can be seen as resisting assimilation into the terms of the everyday. What has to be acknowledged is that there are two poles of metafiction: The first sort employs structural undermining of convention, or parody, using a specific previous text or system for its base novelists like Fowles, Spark, Vonnegut, Lessing because language is so pre-eminently the instrument which maintains the everyday.

Berger and Luckmann do not, in fact, give enough attention to the centrality of language in constructing everyday reality. These facts of language were not perceptible so long as literature pretended to be a transparent expression of either objective calendar time or of psychological subjectivity. Metafictional texts often take as a theme the frustration caused by attempting to relate their linguistic condition to the world outside. Pricksongs and Descants, p.

Jakobson argues that the poetic function of language manifests itself by projecting the paradigmatic or metaphorical dimension of language the vertical dimension which functions through substitution on to the syntagmatic or metonymic plane the horizontal dimension which works through combination. In this passage, the speaker is wholly at the mercy of these internal operations of language, condemned to the substitution of one arbitrary phoneme for another: The novel, however, goes on to delight in demonstrating the impossibility of this presence.

Her physical grossness appears to be metaphorically and conventionally realistically related to her inner moral condition. She appears, in this sense, to be a full presence.

She is simultaneously, massively, physically present and totally, spiritually absent. Such people, like Hogg with her fanatical moral intrusiveness, thereby corrupt the inner worth of their causes. Beyond this, however, Spark also makes an ontological point concerning the status of fictional objects. Georgiana Hogg is a public figure in all senses of the word because she is contained by, and exists through, the public medium of language. Thus, having been designated a minor role in the plot, when not essential to its unfolding, she does not exist.

The moral and existential points are both made through the metafictional exposure. Characters are never presented merely as words on the page. She does not know the man but can confidently identify him: Characters are absent because they are linguistic signs, and because they are morally deficient. In The Comforters this self is a moral reformer, Mrs Hogg. Characters in fiction are, of course, literally signs on a page before they are anything else. The implications of this provide a fairly simple creative starting point for much metafictional play.

Is a character more than a word or a set of words? Johnson, for example, is clearly drawn towards a traditional liberal-humanist treatment of his characters and yet displays the conviction that they exist merely as the words he chooses to put on the page. Yet, at his death-bed scene, the necessary human awfulness of the situation forces Johnson to abandon his focus on verbal interaction and to shift to apparent interpersonal relationship.

The self- conscious literary irony is clearly secondary to the pathos and absurdity of the represented human situation. To be aware of the sign is thus to be aware of the absence of that to which it apparently refers and the presence only of relationships with other signs within the text. The novel becomes primarily a world of words, self-consciously a replacement for, rather than an appurtenance of, the everyday world.

Again, although this awareness of the problems of representation is far from new, it has clearly come to dominate contemporary critical theory, and increasingly fiction itself. The sign as sign is still, to a large extent, self-effacing in such fiction. Ernst Cassirer made the point that signs and symbols have to annul presence to arrive at representation. An existing object is made knowable only through a symbol — by being translated into something it is not.

The given can thus be known only through the non-given the symbol , without which we would have no access to empirical reality. As Cassirer puts it: In other words, it is because symbols are not reality and do not embody any of the actual properties of the world that they allow us to perceive this world, and ultimately to construct it for ourselves and be constructed within it. The exploration is provided with a foundation in psychological realism through the disappearance of the establishment figure of John Marcus Fielding. The missing-person motif is, of course, one of the best-established conventions of that supremely rational genre, the detective story.

Through the metafictional play with definitions of fictional character, the motif is used to suggest possibilities which totally confound rational solution. In a way not a man. A system, a view of things? Something that had written him. Fielding, she suggests, feels himself to lack identity. On condition that it stays that way.

A nervous break- down. He never allows Fielding to rewrite his own story, only to change its interpretation through his disappearance. In fact, the effect of reading the hypothetical version of this disappearance is another reminder that the character Fielding is at the disposition of the author Fowles.

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Muriel Spark's Camp Metafiction | Len Gutkin - afeditamyb.tk

Attention is thus shifted away from the solution of the mystery towards an examination of the conventions governing the presentation of enigma in fiction. The fiction of Johnson, Spark and Fowles is concerned, however, with a fairly restricted notion of absence. Although characters are paraded as fictions, often this is in order to suggest that we are all, metaphorically, fictions. This can even be reassuring: The subject of the book is its non-existence outside its own repetitions. As the characters read the book we are reading, the text continually turns its own third-person narrative into a first-person discourse.

As the novel opens, for example: And he, on the other side walking away without turning round. Tell me have you read? This coming together of speaker and text is described as if they were lovers: The irony is that the text, of course, is the speaker, and vice versa. What the various fictional examples of this chapter suggest, in fact, is the extent to which the dominant issues of contemporary critical and sociological thought are shared by writers of fiction. This reveals, as one critic has said, that: Literary self-consciousness 61 the case of being trapped inside an outworn literary tradition may be taken as a special symptom of the feeling that we are all trapped in our systems for measuring and understanding the world: Ultimately, questions about the viability of metafiction lead to questions about the viability of the novel itself and its possible future development.

Such questions can only be examined through some consideration of how literary genres develop or become exhausted. Hayden White argues that literary change of a generic nature reflects changes in the general social-linguistic codes and that these reflect changes in this historico-cultural context in which a given language game is being played. This certainly supports the view suggested here so far.

These conditions are surely provided by the contemporary attention to communication problems, to the rise of new commercial and technological languages that cannot be translated into the terms of more familiar linguistic codes. This audience, however, has its own requirements. The forms and language of what is offered to it as creative or experimental fiction should not be so unfamiliar as to be entirely beyond the given modes of communication, or such fiction will be rejected as simply not worth the reading effort.

There has to be some level of familiarity. In metafiction it is precisely the fulfilment as well as the non- fulfilment of generic expectations that provides both familiarity and the starting point for innovation. The well-worn conventions of realism or of popular fiction are used to establish a common language which is then extended by parodic undermining and often amalgamated with cultural forms from outside the mainstream literary tradition, including journalese, television influences such as soap opera, cinematic devices and the effects of such genres as space opera.

This, to some extent, accounts for the critical refusal to accept that if the novel does not meet these challenges then it will become obsolescent. Added to this, however, is an essentially negative view of the parodic basis of much contemporary writing — in particular, metafiction — whereby parody is regarded as inward- looking and decadent. In fact, parody in metafiction can equally be regarded as another lever of positive literary change, for, by undermining an earlier set of fictional conventions which have become automatized, the parodist clears a path for a new, more perceptible set.

The problem arises because parody is double- edged. The most positive view both of parodic devices and of the integration of popular forms within the development of a literary genre is provided by the Russian formalist theory of literary evolution. If metafiction is to be viewed optimistically from both cultural and formal perspectives, Russian formalist theories offer valuable insights.

It is useful anyway to look more closely at the specifically literary system to discover to what extent generic change may be brought about by internal pressures see Bennett Parody, as a literary strategy, deliberately sets itself up to break norms that have become conventionalized. Russian formalist theory can thus be seen to offer an optimistic view of metafictional strategies within the evolution of the novel.

And this optimism can be strengthened by considering one of the other main strands of formalist theory: At present this might include, for example, the spy thriller, the family saga, the space opera, science fiction and the historical romance. The problem at present is that there is no commonly agreed norm to provide a background. The norm has therefore to be made explicit as a literary structure — as the basis for parody — within the contemporary text, instead of remaining a set of implicit cultural and literary codes which are activated by the reader in the reading process.

In reading metafiction, then, where the literary norm s become the object of parody, the reader is educated in the relationship of historical and cultural to literary systems. Parody of an earlier literary norm or mode unavoidably lays bare the relations of that norm to its original historical context, through its defamiliarizing contextualization within a historical present whose literary and social norms have shifted.

Parody of a literary norm modifies the relation between literary convention and cultural- historical norms, causing a shift in the whole system of relations. Literary evolution 67 So, in metafiction, a convention is undermined, or laid bare, in order to show its historical provisionality: The use of parody and the assimilation of popular and non- literary languages in metafiction thus helps to break both aesthetic and extra-aesthetic norms.

Because both languages operate through very well-established conventions, however, the reader is able to proceed through the familiar to the new. The reader is freed from the anxiety of meaninglessness by the recognition that not only can literature never be free in terms of literary tradition; it also cannot be free either in its relation to the historical world or in its relation to readerly desire.

The novel, always inherently self-conscious, always inherently provisional in its process of relativizing language through continuous assimilation of discourses, has now and again to stop and examine the process, to see where it is going, to find out what it is. In contemporary metafictional writing, not only is such self-consciousness the dominant function within individual novels of the type; it is clearly emerging as the dominant characteristic of the contemporary novel as a whole. I would argue that at present the novel is coping with it as most major crisis.

The method of parody: Thomas Mann, Dr Faustus, p. The specific method of parody, the actual process involved in this substitution, has been usefully explained as: The parodist proceeds by imitating as closely as possible the formal conventions of the work being parodied in matters of style, diction, metre, rhythm, vocabulary.

The critical function of parody thus discovers which forms can express which contents, and its creative function releases them for the expression of contemporary concerns.

Synonyms and antonyms of metafictional in the English dictionary of synonyms

Parody has, of course, always performed these functions: On another level, however, it provides a more general insight into the very essence of narrative — its inescapable linearity, its necessary selectiveness as it translates the non-verbal into the verbal — and finally creates its own comedy out of its critique. However, because parody has been considered mainly as a form of criticism, it has been regarded as a sign of generic exhaustion.

This is precisely what parody does. Taking as its starting point a previous work or genre, it inserts a metaphoric version of this into the ongoing metonymic literary tradition. This dislocates both past and present texts: In fact, new developments in fiction have always tended to evolve through the parody of older or outworn conventions. As one critic has said: In this sense the novel has always been involved with parody to some degree. Throughout the novel there is a continuous displacement of normal causal narrative sequence, which explicitly illustrates the process of retardation, the withholding of the final resolution, fundamental to all narrative.

The basic strategy of the novel is retardation through incompletion. The novel begins with a description of the coitus interruptus which brings Tristram into the world. The central narrative is never finished because it is continually punctuated by descriptions of events whose relevance to the main story is apparent only to Tristram himself. Subjective time continuously assimilates external events. Historical dates have significance within patterns of personal rather than world history.

Writing develops as a problem of compound interest. When there is explicitly no fixed point of origin or reference, then digression becomes progression, and identity escapes. The phenomenon seems to be paralleled in the personal development of novelists themselves. Barth realizes the possible value of myth as a way out of the sterility and inauthenticity of realism: Since myths themselves are among other things poetic distillations of our ordinary psychic experience and therefore point always to daily reality, to write realistic fictions which point always to mythic archetypes is in my opinion to take the wrong end of the mythopoeic stick.

Better to address the archetypes directly. He becomes the story of himself: Parody in metafiction may operate at the level of style or of structure. He undermines their style mainly through ellipsis, which highlights features through their omission. Again this is a widely used metafictional technique: Johnson often omits such nominatives. Sometimes he replaces them with pronouns which do not appear to relate directly to the nominatives within the text: They feasted in the Norman keep. His son rebuilt the chapel. From Pass, a couple of miles to the east, half a dozen glaciers can be seen at once, and so near that their green fissures are clearly.

Light and shadow upon the cluster of peaks are magical in their changes at, or and the traveller who has looked up from the green to watch a snowstorm trailing its curtain across the crests, with, perhaps a white summit standing serene above the cloud will not readily. Wooded but infertile are the most magnificent pastures. The aim of this is to envelop the reader in an idyllic, neatly humanized world which unfurls itself in orderly fashion. Here this is laid bare as the height of generality is achieved by the complete omission of the substantial. As a result the reader appears to have total freedom to substitute individual needs and desires.

More commonly, metafiction parodies the structural conventions and motifs of the novel itself as in Tristram Shandy or of particular modes of that genre. The author steps into the text and refers to himself in a list of characters, nervously reminding the reader that he has labelled each character with a recognizable trait, so that their fortunes might more easily be followed.

This reverses the effect of heightened credibility and authority usually attributed to the convention, and expresses formally some of the doubts and concerns expressed thematically, in the text, about sexual morality and finally the Catholic Church itself. The novel uses parody both to achieve a comic effect by exposing the gap between form and content, and to reveal frustration and despair.

Grounds for divorce-Muriel Spark

Everything in the text is apparently written by the central protagonist. Anna Freeman is searching for a means of fixing and relating her several identities — as woman, writer, mother, lover, communist — and she decides to separate them out into different notebooks, each written in a different style.

The essence of neurosis is conflict. But the essence of living now, fully, not blocking off what goes on, is conflict. People stay sane by blocking off. The parody throughout The Golden Notebook expresses the division its heroine feels within herself. Her search is partly for a reconciliation of the woman Anna with the artist Anna. For her Jungian analyst, Mother Sugar, this role conflict can only be resolved through the submergence of the individual self into the collective unconscious by means of the artistic process. But Anna as woman cannot accept this sacrifice of self.

Anna comes to learn that all representation involves some parody, but she has further to learn to distinguish between the authentic parody of true art and the false representations of inauthentic art. In its parody of realism, its revelation of the extent of the inadequacy of realist writing, it also represents the ironic end of self-discovery for Doris Lessing the novelist. In the Yellow Notebook, Anna offers a more stereotypical, fictionalized version of herself Ella.

This allows her to draw on the conventions of popular romance or of the agony column to explore aspects of personality that she cannot face directly in the Blue Notebook, her diary. It offers an apparently well-made plot and well-placed climax. Characters are introduced through formal case- histories.

Even this is exposed in its inauthenticity by the novel as a whole. Experience does not describe perfect circles. If anything, The Golden Notebook is conical in shape. The notebooks begin with the historical events set in the vast South African plains of the Black Notebook and end in a small room in the present of writing about the individual self. The Black Notebook then presents the rejection of the past.

The Blue Notebook attempts to reconcile past and present Annas through a diary account which becomes implicitly parodic. Here, parody and representation are accepted as the same process. Within each notebook there is also a gradual breakdown into a more personal vein, large-scale political and social concerns coming to focus on a single individual in each case. Stylistic homogeneity replaces the previous swing from detached analysis to near-hysteria. The breakdown of Anna, of the novel form itself, is presented consciously in the terms of R.

The reader is forced to enter the process of the construction and breakdown of this fiction. Through the stylistic dislocation, the parody of social and fictional convention, he or she experiences the enlightenment and creative release provided by all successful parody. On one level, of course, the novel is a failure.

Doris Lessing has not yet formulated a viable alternative to the traditional novel, nor a viable alternative politics to the male-defined discourses of the Communist Party.

Metafictional Aspects in Novels by Muriel Spark

It operates on textual, psychological, generic and historical levels. In Jokes and their Relation to the Unconscious he shows that the power of jokes is a consequence of their form. As in dreams, this is based on a process of condensation plus substitution. He sees the function of jokes as I have argued in the case of metafiction as an extension of the play instinct. This is then displaced through exaggeration and the substitution of a new content, so that the relationship of form to content, as in the joke, is itself laid bare.

The joke, however, elicits only an immediate release response. Metafiction elicits both this and a release within the system of literary history. Freud argues further that what is special about jokes is their procedure for safeguarding the use of methods of providing pleasure against the objections raised by criticism which would put an end to the pleasure. Parody in metafiction, despite what its critics might argue, is more than a joke.

The last two sections have attempted to suggest how such novels are, in fact, extremely responsible both in socio-cultural terms and in terms of the development of the novel itself. It is a process which, like the parodistic impulse, has been given much prominence by writers of metafiction. Furthermore, the need to come to terms with popular forms can be seen as central to the survival of the novel as a widely read form of cultural expression. This involves the idea that what one age has considered to be trivial or of purely ephemeral entertainment value, another age will see as capable of expressing more profound anxieties and concerns.

The entertainment value is still maintained, but the defamiliarization of the popular form within the new context uncovers aesthetic elements that are appropriate for expressing the serious concerns of the new age. In an age of uncertainty, however, it can be seen to contain within its conventions the potential for the expression of a deep human ontological insecurity through its central image of a man or woman threatened and on the run. The spy thriller, in particular, has been defamiliarized in this way over the last ten years.

The dynamism of the aesthetic function in Russian formalist theory must not be overlooked. As Jan Mukarovsky pointed out: The choice depends upon each set of historical and cultural circumstances. His notion of popular forms is somewhat restricted, however. Like Eliot and Leavis, he attempts to return to a pre- industrial homogeneous mythical past. In metafiction, though, writers experiment more commonly with the formulaic motifs of popular literary traditions which have often passed into cinematic forms of representation in the twentieth century: This view, however, ignores the continuous shift in historical consciousness at the level of both the everyday and the deeper social paradigm.

At present, for example, there has been a shift involving an adjustment to material developments consequent upon huge technological expansion. There has also been an ideological shift involving the perception of reality as a construct as discussed in Chapter 2. The formula works by gradually imposing itself upon consciousness until it becomes the accepted vehicle of a particular set of attitudes, while allowing for a limited amount of individual variation. Like parody, therefore, the specific individual realizations of popular literary forms carry with them a continuous implicit reference to the collective base.

Again like parody, they are in effect self-referential. They provide collective pleasure and release of tension through the comforting total affirmation of accepted stereotypes. What is interesting about their use in metafiction is that, when they are parodied, the release effect of such forms is to do with disturbance rather than affirmation. The reader is offered the temporary consolation of a release from contingency: Thus the reader may escape vicariously into the comforts of aesthetic certainty but he or she is certainly not allowed to rest complacently in this condition.

Probably the most formulaic of the popular fictional forms used in contemporary writing is the detective story. Todorov sees this as the masterpiece of popular literature because individual examples of the form most completely fit their genre Todorov , p. Pure detective fiction is extremely resistant to literary change, and therefore a very effective marker of change when used explicitly against itself. Victor Shklovsky, in particular, was attracted by its almost exactly definable disposition of structural motifs, and he saw it as an obvious basis for studying plot.

In metafiction the detective-story plot is useful for exploring readerly expectation because it provides that readerly satisfaction which attaches to the predictable. Detective fiction is a form in which tension is wholly generated by the presentation of a mystery and heightened by retardation of the correct solution. Even characters, for the most part, are merely functions of the plot. Like metafiction, it foregrounds questions of identity. The reader is kept in suspense about the identity of the criminal until the end, when the rational operations of the detective triumph completely over disorder.

The detective story celebrates human reason: Literary evolution 83 Pointing out that the high point of the pure form was reached during the high period of modernism usually placed between and , Michael Holquist has suggested that the detective story developed out of a need to escape the obsession with the irrational and the unconscious Holquist However, in the post-modern period, the detective plot is being used to express not order but the irrationality of both the surface of the world and of its deep structures.

This is immediately apparent in the French New Novel. They are clues, however, to a mystery which remains mysterious. No amount of obsessive and exasperated revisiting can discover their significance. They exist to reveal to the reader how enigma is generated in narrative. This, perhaps, is all their significance. In La Jalousie, though, the reader is not offered a resolution of the enigmatic dispositions of the text, and his or her attention begins to focus on how the code is constructed, how mystery is produced.

For writers like Borges, Nabokov and Spark, the hermeneutic code is ultimately a metaphysical one. Such writers use this supremely rational form of the novel in the service of the supremely super-rational Borges, Spark , the irrational Nabokov, Angela Carter or the anti-rational Fowles, Barthelme.

Such details normally only become significant in the light of knowledge of the ending, during a second reading. As a good detective, he has total belief in the logical powers of the mind. Every detail becomes a sign to be interpreted. Finally, in a state of semiotic intoxication, he is led to the point where Scharlach fires the bullet. He discovers, too late of course, that he is the next victim. The thriller is another form that provides a basis for such metafictional writing.

Over recent years the spy thriller has undoubtedly become extremely popular. The thriller is based not upon the same faith in human reason as the detective story but much more upon the fear of anomie, of disorder, of the insecurity of human life. It is much closer to what appears to be the experience of living in the contemporary world. The spy, unlike the detective, but like contemporary men and women, does not know who he or she is looking for.

The spy moves in a Kafkaesque world whose laws remain unknown. The existential boundary situations that recur frequently in the thriller are experienced vicariously by the reader, who is thus allowed to play through the uncertainties of his or her own existence. Harper suggests further of the thriller that its quality of delight is a mixed one: It is a comic exploration in many ways, because conveyed through the idiosyncratically expressed solipsism of the mad Kinbote or is it Botkin?

The poem appears to be a biography of Kinbote himself, who is really Charles the Beloved, the King of Zembla. Or is the poem about him at all? Or is everything an invention not only of Nabokov himself but of an hallucinated psychotic? Yet the irrationality of madness, of the uncertain world of the thriller, is contained within the supremely rational framework of the pedantic critical apparatus, the outer frame of the narrative. Again, the limitation of reason is exposed.

An Historical Romance A Gothic Western The language of realism is generally metonymic: The meaning of an utterance in an everyday context is shaped by this context: The context of an utterance, then, is best thought of not simply as its gross external or physical setting, but rather as the total set of conditions that has in fact determined its occurrence and form. It depends upon the operation of the conventions of what J.

This will include a variety of factors present in the immediate context: All written language, however, has to be organized in such a way as to recreate a context or to construct a new context verbally. Descriptions of objects in fiction are simultaneously creations of that object. Descriptions of objects in the context of the material world are determined by the existence of the object outside the description. Thus the ontological status of fictional objects is determined by the fact that they exist by virtue of, whilst also forming, the fictional context which is finally the words on the page.

Such language has to be highly conventional in order to perform simultaneously the function of creating a context and that of creating a text. Metafictional writers differ among themselves, however, over the precise relation of the verbal world of fiction to the everyday world. Writers such as E. Writers like Gilbert Sorrentino and Donald Barthelme, however, suggest that the only difference beween literary fiction and reality is that the former is constructed entirely with language and this allows certain freedoms.

They should, rather, walk into the page, and break up, disappear. The moment I inject discourse from my universe of discourse into your universe of discourse, the yourness of yours is diluted. The more I inject it, the more you dilute. To the extent that this is a concern of all metafiction, its practitioners are Platonists. In attempting to define this ontological status of literary fiction, philosophers have traditionally fallen into two categories. To take the first problem: If against all odds this comes to pass, may you to whom, through whom I speak, do what I cannot: Wikipedia, Books, LLC, Steve's extra little metafictional nudge achieves none of this.

The terrible montage had already yelled the emotional state of play into the The framing device itself turns out to be more than the metafictional infrastructure. It enables Holmes to make amends. In the ultimate case, Its clever metafictional conceit expresses the flash-fiction form perfectly, but it also adds an extra twist at the end that will have the reader As we have the metafictional trickery, from him and a thousand others.

There is a nobility in declining to move away from an inspiring milieu, Marvel's little blockbuster takes concept to a brilliant new …. The scene is quick, but just one of many metafictional digs director Peyton Reed takes at the Marvel machine. As the latest instalment in the Dan Simmons's latest novel, The Fifth Heart, further turns the metafictional screw by uniting the detective with the real figure of Henry James. All three of them include in their respective plot both a detective and a love story. Not only is, in addition, the end given away often early in the novel; Spark also otherwise invests little to get her readers intrigued in her plots.

For her speech, her humour and wit, and most of her characters are very fascinating — admittedly sometimes it is only the way characters are described that is interesting The narrative focus is generally on the young female heroine, even though in contrast to the later two novels there is no I-narrator in Comforters , but an omniscient one. All three heroines are equipped with a large amount of intelligence, insight, wit and self-assurance, with the amount being increasing from one novel to the next [6].

Simultaneously, the attention paid to metafiction decreases and the characters become more naturalistic. What is important with respect to metafiction is that analogies to events that took place outside a written story make the story appear more real. The mentioning of the following parallels shall thus be sufficient to demonstrate how Spark creates such a authentic background: Nancy in Far Cry , likewise at home in Kensington, is fond of the owner of her rooming-house and goes on a trip to Paris with her.

Dabei wird die] Gefahr der Vermischung mit der eigenen Person auf ironische Art und Weise angesprochen. After this examination of the role of the author as such, 2. Which does not mean that Spark forgoes the possibility to insert into the plot ideas that may well be suitable for transference. We will see that Spark provokes some doubt in her readers that includes the message: Don't take yourself too seriously. Writing is making up. It naturally includes creating on the basis some kind of inspiration. Since the outcome will always be an interpretation and possibly an intentional manipulation of the input, writing also includes lying.

As the three novels Comforters , Loitering , and Far Cry suggest, it is sort of lying, though, that is not to be criticised — provided it is done the right way. Spark uses self-references, flat characters, intertextuality and other devices to convey the metafictional message that her novels are artefacts of hers. However, often Spark manages to evoke impressions of reality, which are then again juxtaposed to overt makers of fictitiousness. It is a metafictional game she plays with her readers, trapping them into the belief the story could function in our world and then suggesting the opposite.

Her later novels contain fewer signs of artificiality. In the following some of these traps will be pointed out as well as some of the markers of fictitiousness, arguing that this fairly overt fictitiousness justifies artistic lying — which stops being lying then. Maybe humans are more likely to believe rational brain research, that claims to have found an organic proof of an experiencing of god and of other spiritual experiences Schnabel — after not being so sure about similar suggestions wrapped in poetic words.

Hynes , Whittaker 9. English - History of Literature, Eras. English - Literature, Works. Literature - Comparative Literature. American Studies - Literature. Engineering - Automotive Engineering. Politics - International Politics - Topic: Public International Law and Human Rights. GRIN Publishing, located in Munich, Germany, has specialized since its foundation in in the publication of academic ebooks and books.

The publishing website GRIN. Free Publication of your term paper, essay, interpretation, bachelor's thesis, master's thesis, dissertation or textbook - upload now! Register or log in. Our newsletter keeps you up to date with all new papers in your subjects. Request a new password via email. According to Waugh, the following themes are among the most significantly metafictional: Waugh writes, Descriptions of objects [including persons] in fiction are simultaneously creations of that object.

Peter Ackroyd and Metafiction. Dominance and submission as a central theme in Muriel Spark's s Muriel Spark's Jean Brodie. Defoe's Narrative Technique in Robinson Crusoe.

Meaning of "metafictional" in the English dictionary

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