on FICTION and METAFICTION
is the art of feigning, or simply put, it's imaging or inventing
a thing or an event postulated for the purpose of entertainment
whether it be science fiction, romance, western, or from the
dark side. Regardless of its genre or time period a novel
needs to be presented from a "point of view".
By time period, I mean, "antique, retro or postmodern".
of view" or POV - literally contemplates
from whose point of view the story is being written. There
are several: First Person, Second Person and Third Person
Adjective point of view. Let's us analyze each of them.
Person: This is where the reader follows the main character
whose relating the story. Example: "Weight
of Silence" by Heather Gudenkraut (2009).
This griping tale of two little girls disappearing is a fast
moving emotional drama with an unusual climax.
POV is used primarily for autobiographical writing. The singular
pronouns used are: I, me, my and mine. The plural pronouns
used are: we, us and our.
Person: This is a rarely used POV because it is presented
in 'you' writing about yourself in different situations. It
can be a very difficult task to pull off between the reader
and you. The reader could take an offensive position to your
situation. Example: "Bright
Lights, Big City" by Jay McInerney
(1984). It's a tragicomedy of a young man in NYC struggling
with the reality of his mother's death, alienation and seductive
pull of drugs.
'You' is use in the Second Person POV to address the reader.
The singular pronouns used are: you and yours. The plural
pronouns used are also: you and yours.
Person: This is created by using characters being referred
to as he, she or they. Usually, the reader never gets to identify
the story's narrator. Writing in this POV has the use of people's
names or a third person pronoun. Example: "Catch
22" by Joseph Heller (1946). The novel
is about a man and an oath who is considered insane because
he follows his oath to the core and at the same time he is
perfectly sane by using his judgment in performing the very
act that he is accused of being insane in doing.
The Third Person is the most common POV used in fiction writing.
The singular pronouns used are: he, him, his, hers and its.
The Plural pronouns used are: they, them, their and theirs.
way to remember these POV's is: "I" comes first,
"You" comes second and everybody else comes third.
FICTION caress METAFICTION?
best we attempt to define METAFICTION. First, it
can't be classified as a genre nor as the definitive mode
of postmodern fiction.
meta means beyond or transcending; thus, the term
METAFICTION literally means "beyond fiction".
is fiction, which refers to or takes as its subject fictional
writings and its conventions, or more simply put, fiction
about fiction with a dose of reality. In some cases it
can spiral ones imagination out of control. Stephen King just
might be a good example of this.
paradoxical blending of fiction and reality can be read in
works by several authors: Patricia Waugh in her 1984 book
Theory and Practice of Self-Conscience Fiction"
describes METAFICTION as "fictional
writing which self-consciously and systematically draws attention
to its status as an artifact in order to pose questions about
the relationship between fiction and reality".
Hutcheon's 1980 novel "Narcissistic
Narrative, The Metafictional Paradox"
tries to separate historiographic metafiction from what she
calls modernist radical metafiction or is sometimes referred
to as American Surfiction (a phase coined in 1973 by Raymond
Federman). She claims that early accounts of historical facts
are tainted with author's subjective interpretations.
Barth's (a metafictive writer) 1968 collection of
short stories in "Lost
in the Funhouse" present a good read
in a postmodernist work. He defines METAFICTION as "a
novel that imitates a novel rather than the real world".
the possibilities of self-reflexivity, one comes across the
term "postmodern" to describe it. Since both terms
"metafiction and postmodern" are quite commonly
used today it's best we describe the term "postmodern".
It literally means "after the modern".
in theory, is the departure from works of literature, which
was probably introduced in the 1990's or the year 2000, and
presents the fact that any works in literature from the 1950's
is antique, and anything from the 1960' s-70's-80's is retro.
go softly into the night. mgf
Behind the Fiction