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Metafiction begins by surveying the state of contemporary fiction in Britain and America and explores the complex political, social and economic factors which influence critical judgment of fiction. The author shows how, as the novel has been eclipsed by the mass media, novelists have sought to retain and regain a wide readership by drawing on the themes and preoccupations Metafiction begins by surveying the state of contemporary fiction in Britain and America and explores the complex political, social and economic factors which influence critical judgment of fiction. The author shows how, as the novel has been eclipsed by the mass media, novelists have sought to retain and regain a wide readership by drawing on the themes and preoccupations of these forms. Making use of contemporary fiction by such writers as Fowles, Borges, Spark, Barthelme, Brautigan, Vonnegut and Barth, and drawing on Russian Formalist theories of literary evolution, the book argues that metafiction uses parody along with popular genres and non-literary forms as a way not only of exposing the inadequate and obsolescent conventions of the classic novel, but of stuggesting the lines along which fiction might develop in the future.


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Metafiction begins by surveying the state of contemporary fiction in Britain and America and explores the complex political, social and economic factors which influence critical judgment of fiction. The author shows how, as the novel has been eclipsed by the mass media, novelists have sought to retain and regain a wide readership by drawing on the themes and preoccupations Metafiction begins by surveying the state of contemporary fiction in Britain and America and explores the complex political, social and economic factors which influence critical judgment of fiction. The author shows how, as the novel has been eclipsed by the mass media, novelists have sought to retain and regain a wide readership by drawing on the themes and preoccupations of these forms. Making use of contemporary fiction by such writers as Fowles, Borges, Spark, Barthelme, Brautigan, Vonnegut and Barth, and drawing on Russian Formalist theories of literary evolution, the book argues that metafiction uses parody along with popular genres and non-literary forms as a way not only of exposing the inadequate and obsolescent conventions of the classic novel, but of stuggesting the lines along which fiction might develop in the future.

30 review for Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction

  1. 4 out of 5

    باقر هاشمی

    حالا که نمی‌توانیم به داستان همانند تاریخ بنگریم، آیا می‌توانیم به داستان همانند واقعیت نگاه کنیم؟ آیا شخصیت هایی که در داستان‌ها خلق می شوند، ورای شخصیت نویسندگان‌شان می‌باشند؟ آیا داستان‌ها از زندگی واقعی نویسندگان‌شان برگرفته شده‌اند یا صرفاً اموری خیالی و فرضی هستند؟ به طور کلی در کتاب فراداستان راجع به سه مقوله‌ی تاریخ(به مثابه ی داستانِ واقعی)، واقعیت(به مثابه‌ی ادراکات شخصی) و فراداستان(به مثابه‌ی واقعیتِ داستانی) توضیح‌داده می شود. تمام رمان های فراداستانی با پرسش جایگاه ضرورت و «حقیقت» د حالا که نمی‌توانیم به داستان همانند تاریخ بنگریم، آیا می‌توانیم به داستان همانند واقعیت نگاه کنیم؟ آیا شخصیت هایی که در داستان‌ها خلق می شوند، ورای شخصیت نویسندگان‌شان می‌باشند؟ آیا داستان‌ها از زندگی واقعی نویسندگان‌شان برگرفته شده‌اند یا صرفاً اموری خیالی و فرضی هستند؟ به طور کلی در کتاب فراداستان راجع به سه مقوله‌ی تاریخ(به مثابه ی داستانِ واقعی)، واقعیت(به مثابه‌ی ادراکات شخصی) و فراداستان(به مثابه‌ی واقعیتِ داستانی) توضیح‌داده می شود. تمام رمان های فراداستانی با پرسش جایگاه ضرورت و «حقیقت» داستان های ادبی سروکار دارند، و از همین رو، با پرسش جایگاه «حقیقت» آنچه «واقعیت» انگاشته می شود، درگیرند. فراداستان از طریق مسئله‌دار کردنِ مفهوم «واقعیت»، و نه ویران کردن آن، عمل می کند. فراداستان مبتنی بر ساختن و واژگون‌کردنِ منظمِ قراردادها و نظام‌ها است. چنین رمان‌هایی اغلب جهانی «بازی‌گونه» را ترتیب می‌دهند که از نظر درونی منسجم است، جهانی که متضمن غرق‌شدن خواننده در متن است؛ سپس قراردادها این جهان را افشا می سازند تا رابطه‌ی میان «داستان» و «واقعیت» و مفهوم «تظاهر» را مورد کنکاش قرار دهند. رمانِ فرا داستان، داستانی واقعی نیست بلکه واقعیتی داستانی است. بدین معنی که ادراک مؤلف و مخاطب در مرز مشترک واقعیت و داستان سیر می‌کند. رمانِ فراداستان چارچوب دارد، اما این «چوب‌ها» نه منحصراً متعلق به داستان‌اند و نه منحصراً متعلق به واقعیت‌اند. کتابِ فراداستان برای آشنایی با مفهوم «فراداستان» است اما نمی‌تواند سکوی پرتابی برای «نو نویسی» باشد. پس از به پایان رساندن کتاب با این سوال روبرو شدم و اینچنین به سوالم پاسخ دادم: خودم: آیا «داستان»ها واقعیت دارند؟ من: بله؛ به همان اندازه که زندگی واقعیت دارد.

  2. 5 out of 5

    MJ Nicholls

    This is almost three decades old, but still crackles with energy and page-turning excellence. (And it's an academic text!) A brief and thorough rip through metafiction and its practitioners, with emphasis on Muriel Spark, John Fowles and B.S. Johnson. This is all the reading one need ever do on that curious and anarchic blip in the continuum of literature, that still continues to baffle readers and critics to this day. Long live authorial intrusion and self-consciousness! This is almost three decades old, but still crackles with energy and page-turning excellence. (And it's an academic text!) A brief and thorough rip through metafiction and its practitioners, with emphasis on Muriel Spark, John Fowles and B.S. Johnson. This is all the reading one need ever do on that curious and anarchic blip in the continuum of literature, that still continues to baffle readers and critics to this day. Long live authorial intrusion and self-consciousness!

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amin Abootalebi Yazdi

    هیچی نمی‌فهمیدم. ترجمه رسا نبود. و متن هم به هیچ عنوان جنبه مقدماتی نداشت و درآمدی بر فراداستان به حساب نمی‌آید. و این نکته هم که بسیار بسیار ارجاعات مختلف به رمان‌های متعدد در متن موجود است، و این که طبیعتاً کمتر کسی پیدا می‌شود که همهٔ آن‌ها را خوانده باشد، باعث می‌شود منظور نویسنده سخت‌تر به خواننده منتقل شود.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Semiophrenic

    Despite not having read any literary works quoted or cited in this book I enjoyed it thoroughly. Succinctly: metafiction "explore[s] a theory of fiction through the practice of writing fiction" (p. 2); it constructs "a fictional illusion (as in traditional realism) and the laying bare of that illusion" (p. 6); and it "operates by exploring fictional rules to discover the role of fictions in life" (p. 35). The book is dedicated to various metafictional strategies and an impressive list of literar Despite not having read any literary works quoted or cited in this book I enjoyed it thoroughly. Succinctly: metafiction "explore[s] a theory of fiction through the practice of writing fiction" (p. 2); it constructs "a fictional illusion (as in traditional realism) and the laying bare of that illusion" (p. 6); and it "operates by exploring fictional rules to discover the role of fictions in life" (p. 35). The book is dedicated to various metafictional strategies and an impressive list of literary works are brought to bare examples. The author made some small blunders (such as setting out to discuss the mid-twentieth-century novels but referring to Tristram Shandy and James Joyce; and to my knowledge there are no such things as "paralinguistic gestures") but overall it's a good book.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Levi

    I would like to give this book 3.5/5 stars, but Goodreads does not allow for half star ratings. This was a very insightful and thorough book! It was a little too abstract for my liking, and so some of it went over my head, but it's more or less essential reading if you want to know more about metafiction. There are endless examples here of texts that utilise metafictional elements and so it is extremely useful for finding examples as well as understanding more about its functions and applications I would like to give this book 3.5/5 stars, but Goodreads does not allow for half star ratings. This was a very insightful and thorough book! It was a little too abstract for my liking, and so some of it went over my head, but it's more or less essential reading if you want to know more about metafiction. There are endless examples here of texts that utilise metafictional elements and so it is extremely useful for finding examples as well as understanding more about its functions and applications. Of course no piece of writing is perfect, and there are parts of this that could be sharpened up, but ultimately I found this very useful and a very worthwhile read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Маx Nestelieiev

    essential book on metafiction. easy to read, pleasant to know. many good and productive thoughts.

  7. 4 out of 5

    M

    Very readable, very comprehensive - also very cautious and unfortunately unwilling to go deeper into complex issues of linguistics and literature. At least a tentative discussion of 'author', 'narrator', 'representation', 'fiction' and particularly of materiality/textuality would have been extremely welcome, but also very impractical I imagine. Still, a useful and enjoyable read. Very readable, very comprehensive - also very cautious and unfortunately unwilling to go deeper into complex issues of linguistics and literature. At least a tentative discussion of 'author', 'narrator', 'representation', 'fiction' and particularly of materiality/textuality would have been extremely welcome, but also very impractical I imagine. Still, a useful and enjoyable read.

  8. 4 out of 5

    محمد عبادة

    One of the most illuminating books that I have ever read. Patricia Waugh explores everything related to the conventions of the metafictional novel, with a rich and intricate network of excerpts and readings from a vast array of contemporary and past writers. Every page was worth its time indeed!

  9. 4 out of 5

    Lee

    A competent -- if not particularly revolutionary/surprising -- introduction to some key issues commonly associated with metafiction of the 60s and 70s.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Esmé Boom

    An excellent read, enjoyable and thorough.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Simone

    Read this for my Metafiction class (except chapter 3). A fine account of metafiction, but a bit too abstract for my liking.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Frank Hinton

    The importance of metafiction in artistic expression...well written and sourced.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Oliver Pearson

  14. 5 out of 5

    clumped

  15. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Pryde-Jarman

  16. 5 out of 5

    Amie Doughty

  17. 4 out of 5

    L.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Patrick Turner

  19. 5 out of 5

    Paula

  20. 4 out of 5

    Bauchui

  21. 5 out of 5

    Ivana Babić

  22. 4 out of 5

    C. Laamps

  23. 4 out of 5

    Yaprak

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lakulin

  25. 5 out of 5

    Larina

  26. 5 out of 5

    Rachelle

  27. 5 out of 5

    severyn

  28. 4 out of 5

    Michael Sussman

  29. 4 out of 5

    Shuuya

  30. 5 out of 5

    Arash kavyani

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