Criticism: Spanish Metafiction - Essay

David K. Herzberger (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Herzberger, David K. “Metafiction and the Contemporary Spanish Novel.” In Selected Proceedings 32nd Mountain Interstate Foreign Language Conference, edited by Gregorio C. Martin, pp. 145-54. Winston-Salem, N.C.: Wake Forest University, 1984.

[In the following essay, Herzberger perceives the maturation of contemporary Spanish metafiction “as a condition of intrinsic literary factors.”]

In its simplest and most common form, metafiction is fiction that reflects upon the nature of its own being: it is fiction used as an instrument of investigation into the nature of fiction. This kind of narrative generally casts aside the tenets of mimetic...

(The entire section is 3086 words.)

Robert C. Spires (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Spires, Robert C. “Violations and Pseudo-Violations: Quijote, Buscón, and ‘La novella en el tranvía’.” In Beyond the Metafictional Mode: Directions in the Modern Spanish Novel, pp. 18-31. Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, 1984.

[In the following essay, Spires examines the early precursors of Spanish metafiction: Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote, Francisco de Quevedo's Historia de la vida del Buscón, and Benito Perez Galdós's “La novela en el tranvía.”]

As I begin this examination of the precursors of the Spanish metafictional mode with works of Cervantes, Quevedo, and Galdós, I confess to a certain...

(The entire section is 6377 words.)

Robert C. Spires (essay date 1984)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Spires, Robert C. “Rebellion against Models: Don Juan and Orestes.” In Beyond the Metafictional Mode: Directions in the Modern Spanish Novel, pp. 58-71. Lexington, Ky.: The University Press of Kentucky, 1984.

[In the following essay, Spires charts the development of the Spanish metafictional novel in the 1960s.]

The so-called “art for art's sake” movement of the 1920s and 1930s came to an abrupt end with the Spanish Civil War (1936-1939). Although it would be an exaggeration to say that novelistic activity ceased completely during the war years,1 most of the works emerging from that period are significant for historical rather...

(The entire section is 6272 words.)

Manuel Durán (essay date summer 1986)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Durán, Manuel. “Fiction and Metafiction in Contemporary Spanish Letters.” World Literature Today 60, no. 3 (summer 1986): 398-402.

[In the following essay, Durán underscores the influence of Miguel de Cervantes's Don Quixote on contemporary Spanish fiction and identifies several important Spanish authors.]

Slowly but steadily the Spanish novel has been changing course during the last decade. The trend is toward a more complex, less realistic narrative, one in which the author is often obviously present, pulling the strings and organizing the scene. We may call this new Spanish novel a “self-referential novel,” as does Robert Spires,1...

(The entire section is 4252 words.)

David K. Herzberger (essay date March 1988)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Herzberger, David K. “Split Referentiality and the Making of Character in Recent Spanish Metafiction.” Modern Language Notes 103, no. 2 (March 1988): 419-35.

[In the following essay, Herzberger analyzes the characters of the Spanish metafictional novel of the 1970s and 1980s.]

Character in fiction is an invention. Even when real people from outside the text are admitted to its created world, or when known historical events are used to designate time, place, or incident, readers are aware that the characters of a novel are not beings of flesh and blood, but fictional entities made of words. In many instances, however, and particularly in the case of the...

(The entire section is 7182 words.)

Linda M. Willem (essay date March 1990)

(Twentieth-Century Literary Criticism)

SOURCE: Willem, Linda M. “Turning La incógnita into Realidad: Galdós's Metafictional Magic Trick.” Modern Language Notes 105, no. 2 (March 1990): 385-91.

[In the following essay, Willem considers the complementary relationship between Benito Perez Galdós's La incógnita and Realidad.]

La incógnita holds a unique position within Galdós's literary production: it is the only novel which deliberately is left incomplete and requires a companion text, Realidad, to bring it to resolution. As Stephen Miller has pointed out, other interrelated Galdosian texts such as Tormento and La de Bringas or Nazarín and...

(The entire section is 3160 words.)