Metafiction – Sutherland again

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“Metafiction is narrative that knowingly surrenders, and rejoices in, its consciousness of being derivative. As its corpus grows, literature becomes ever more aware of itself. Originality is aimed at – but proves increasingly elusive. There is no wrecking ball in literature, no demolition. The stuff accretes, inexorably, and at an ever faster rate. In Dickens’ day, there were under 1,000 new fiction titles produced every year. In the twenty-first century, it’s a poor year that doesn’t generate 10,000, and 10,000 new echoes in the literary echo chamber.” (p.112)

“Metafiction is acutely aware of other fiction but also, characteristically, elaborately self-aware as well. It typically indulges in a ‘narcissism’ – a ‘look what I am doing’ signal to the reader.” (p.113)

Ref: John Sutherland (2010) 50 Literature ideas you really need to know. Bloomsbury: London

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