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Lecture 6

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

2 pages65 viewsSpring 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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