Beyond the metafictional mode : directions in the modern by Robert C. Spires

By Robert C. Spires

The time period metafiction invaded the vocabulary of literary feedback round 1970, but the textual ideas occupied with turning fiction again onto itself could be traced via numerous centuries. during this theoretical/critical learn Robert C. Spires examines the character of metafiction and chronicles its evolution in Spain from the time of Cervantes to the Nineteen Seventies, while the obsession with novelistic self-commentary culminated in a big literary movement.

The serious parts of this research concentration totally on twentieth-century works. integrated are analyses of Unamuno's Niebla, Jarnés's Locura y muerte de nadie and La novia del viento, Torrente Ballester's Don Juan, Cunquiero's Un hombre que se parecía a Orestes, and 3 novels from the "self-referential" circulate of the Seventies, Juan Goytisolo's Juan sin Tierra, Luis Goytisolo's La colera de Aquiles, and Martín Gaite's El cuarto de atrás.

Seeking a far better theoretical foundation for his severe readings, Spires bargains a sharpened definition of the time period metafiction. The mode arises, he pronounces, via an intentional violation of the limits that more often than not separate the worlds of the writer, the fiction, and the reader. construction on theoretical foundations laid by means of Frye, Scholes, Genette, and others, Spires additionally proposes a literary paradigm that locations metafiction ready intermediate among fiction and literary theory.

These theoretical formulations position Spires's booklet within the vanguard of severe inspiration. even as, his full-scale analyses of Spanish metafictional works should be welcomed by way of Hispanists and different scholars of global literature.

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Extra info for Beyond the metafictional mode : directions in the modern spanish novel

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Thus Pablos is not really talking to but about his text reader; his message assumes a recipient distanced from the world of the story. In a fashion similar to what happens in the Lazarillo, vuestra merced is a part of rather than the intended recipient of the text-act message. In short, Pablos is very much in control of the narrating act as he subtly attacks his own text reader. And since no laws of fiction are actually violated, this is not a case of metafiction but of a textual strategy designed to emphasize a tragic turning point in the fictional life of the protagonist.

Then three men get on the streetcar talking about the shooting death of a hapless female victim. Rather than the countess, however, he learns that the victim was their hunting dog. Finally, he again sees the supposed majordomo, attacks him, is arrested, discovers that the man is a respected businessman, and ends the story by admitting that several months passed before he regained his sanity. "Reality" thus reconquers "fiction" and the boundaries between the narrative 30 Beyond the Metqfictional Mode levels are reaffirmed.

Yet given the discursive context in which Victor is the only apparent referent, the parenthetical clarification creates confusion rather than eliminating it. " 6 What more subtle way to signal the text-act reader's always-present absence? But of course (and again the contradiction), once his presence has been signaled he can no longer be considered absent or merely implied. In fact, just as beyond the fictive Unamuno who speaks in the post-prologue there is the persona of another Unamuno determining what the verbal construct labeled Unamuno will say, so there emerges another text-act reader beyond the one that is exposed by the 38 Beyond the Metojictional Mode parenthetical statement.

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