What are other examples in Middlessex of self-reflexitivity?

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accessteacher eNotes educator| Certified Educator

An excellent example of self-reflexivity in this novel, or one of the ways in which the narrator draws attention to the artificial or high style in which he/she writes, comes at the beginning and at various other points in the novel when Callie writes a phrase or sentence as if it were straight from one of Homer's epics only then to end it with an ironic phrase that comes as quite bathetic as it undercuts the spirit of the original. Consider the following example:

Sing now, O Muse, of the recessive mutation on my fifth chromosome! Sing how it bloomed two and a half centuries ago on the slopes of Mount Olympus, while the goats bleated and the olives dropped.

Callie then goes on to apologise to the reader for this Homeric intrusion. Such stylistic techniques are a very good example of self-reflexivity because of the way in which the style so obviously becomes a pastiche of something completely different and how it draws attention to the rich stories and mythological background which Callie's tale is based upon.

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