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Lecture 6

ENGL 91C Lecture Notes - Lecture 6: Metafiction, Plot Twist

2 Pages
58 Views
Spring 2018

Department
English
Course Code
ENGL 91C
Professor
Lindsay Wilhelm
Lecture
6

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METAFICTION:
A style of prose narrative that draws attention to the fictitiousness or literariness of the work.
Disrupts the reader's willing suspension of disbelief and thus destabilizes the relationship between
reader, the work of fiction, and the real world.
While metafictional works may abide by realist conventions (and realist works may include
metafictional elements), metafiction is often an anti-realist gesture.
O'Brien's "happening truth" vs. "story truth": "a thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may
not happen and be truer than the truth".
INTERIORITY AND EXTERIORITY:
Interiority: a character's thoughts, feelings, impressions, and memories - creates an illusion of
psychological depth; conveyed by a first-person narrator or a third-person a narrator with access to the
character's headspace.
Exteriority: objective descriptions of a character's action, speech, and gestures - helps establish
interiority through implication.
CHARACTER ARC:
The physical, intellectual, and/or spiritual journey a character undergoes in the course of a narrative.
Often closely mirrors the plot arc, and sometimes replaces the plot as the primary source of dramatic
tension.
May entail the character's transformation, growth, or fall.
Themes in A Good Man is Hard to Find:
Nostalgia: wistful ideas of pastoral, agrarian south come into conflict with the historical realities of
southern racial violence and poverty.

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Description
METAFICTION: Astyle of prose narrative that draws attention to the fictitiousness or literariness of the work. Disrupts the reader's willing suspension of disbelief and thus destabilizes the relationship between reader, the work of fiction, and the real world. While metafictional works may abide by realist conventions (and realist works may include metafictional elements), metafiction is often an anti-realist gesture. O'Brien's "happening truth" vs. "story truth": "a thing may happen and be a total lie; another thing may not happen and be truer than the truth". INTERIORITYAND EXTERIORITY: Interiority: a character's thoughts, feelings, impressions, and memories - creates an illusion of psychological depth; conveyed by a first-person narrator or a third-person a narrator with access to the character's headspace. Exteriority: objective descriptions of a character's action, speech, and gestures - helps establish interiority through implication. CHARACTERARC: The physical, intellectual, and/or spiritual journey a character undergoes in the course of a narrative. Often closely mirrors the plot arc, and sometimes replaces the plot as the primary source of dramatic tension. May entail the character's transformation, growth, or fall. Themes in AGood Man is Hard to Find: Nostalgia: wistful ideas of pastoral, agrarian south come into conflict with the historical realities of southern racial violence and poverty. Family and community: the struggle to maintain genuine social connections with others, within and outside the family. Goodness: the possibilities and limitations of virtue, selflessness, and generosity, achieved through fear or grac
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