Metafiction Criticism: Overviews And General Studies - Essay

Randall Craig (essay date spring 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Craig, Randall. “Reader-Response Criticism and Literary Realism.” Essays in Literature 11, no. 1 (spring 1984): 113-26.

[In the following essay, Craig analyzes the relationship between reader-response theory and metafictional literature.]

Wolfgang Iser's study of the reader in the English novel and Robert Alter's survey of self-conscious fiction follow curiously similar paths, intersecting at Fielding, Sterne, and Thackeray, by-passing the major literary realists of the nineteenth century, and arriving safely in the compatible country of Joyce and Beckett.1 The similar itineraries suggest an affinity between the critical perspective of...

(The entire section is 6705 words.)

Stefano Tani (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Tani, Stefano. “The Metafictional Anti-Detective Novel.” In The Doomed Detective: The Contribution of the Detective Novel to Postmodern American and Italian Fiction, pp. 113-47. Carbondale, Ill.: Southern Illinois University Press, 1984.

[In the following essay, Tani provides an overview of the metafictional anti-detective novel and reviews the major works of the sub-genre.]

Metafictional anti-detective novels belong only in a general way to anti-detective fiction. In innovative anti-detective fiction the stress was on social criticism and on a solution without justice; in the deconstructive category I emphasized the nonsolution, the ambiguous perception of...

(The entire section is 13471 words.)

Patricia Waugh (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Waugh, Patricia. “What Is Metafiction and Why Are They Saying Such Awful Things about It?” In Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction, pp. 1-21. London: Methuen, 1984.

[In the following essay, Waugh defines the genre of metafiction and asserts that “this form of fiction is worth studying not only because of its contemporary emergence but also because of the insights it offers into both the representational nature of all fiction and the literary history of the novel as genre.”]


The thing is this.

That of all the...

(The entire section is 6636 words.)

Linda Hutcheon (essay date 1987)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Hutcheon, Linda. “Metafictional Implications for Novelistic Reference.” On Referring in Literature, edited by Anna Whiteside and Michael Issacharoff, pp. 1-13. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1987.

[In the following essay, Hutcheon traces the implications of metafiction on the literary genre of the novel.]

The critical acceptance, not to say canonization, of contemporary metafiction—postmodernist, neobaroque,1 or whatever it is eventually to be named—has led to a rethinking of many of the traditional assumptions about the novel as a mimetic genre. In other words, the actual forms of the fictions themselves have brought about a...

(The entire section is 6854 words.)

Geoff Moss (essay date summer 1990)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Moss, Geoff. “Metafiction and the Poetics of Children's Literature.” Children's Literature Association Quarterly 15, no. 2 (summer 1990): 50-2.

[In the following essay, Moss explores metafictional children's texts.]

My starting point is the question: “Do metafictional texts have any place in children's literature?”—This is a little like asking: “should children be exposed to post-modernism … ?” To which the answer from children's literature circles might be either, “what on earth are you talking about?” or more likely, “Not bloody likely!” However, there is a Chinese proverb which goes like this: “If you draw your sword against the...

(The entire section is 2908 words.)