Masters of Metafiction

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Metafiction is a term given to 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. In providing a critique of their own methods of construction, such writings not only examine the fundamental structures of narrative fiction, they also explore the possible fictionality of the world outside the literary fictional text.” – Patricia Waugh

“Metafiction… is when a novel imitates a novel rather than the real world”. -John Barth

Metafictional Masterpieces

John Barth

Giles Goat-Boy

In this outrageously farcical adventure, hero George Giles sets out to conquer the terrible Wescac computer system that threatens to destroy his community in this brilliant “fantasy of theology, sociology, and sex.” (Time)

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Thomas Pynchon

Gravity’s Rainbow

Gravity's Rainbow

Winner of the 1973 National Book Award, Gravity’s Rainbow is a postmodern epic, a work as exhaustively significant to the second half of the twentieth century as Joyce’s Ulysses was to the first. Its sprawling, encyclopedic narrative and penetrating analysis of the impact of technology on society make it an intellectual tour de force.” – The Publisher

A Gravity’s Rainbow Companion:
Sources and Contexts for Pynchon’s Novel

Steven Weisenburger takes the reader page by page, often line by line, through the welter of historical references, scientific data, cultural fragments, anthropological research, jokes, and puns around which Pynchon wove his story. Weisenburger fully annotates Pynchon’s use of languages ranging from Russian and Hebrew to such subdialects of English as 1940s street talk, drug lingo, and military slang as well as the more obscure terminology of black magic, Rosicrucianism, and Pavlovian psychology. The Companion also reveals the underlying organization of Gravity’s Rainbow-how the book’s myriad references form patterns of meaning and structure that have eluded both admirers and critics of the novel.

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Philip K. Dick



VALIS takes place in our world and may even be semi-autobiographical. It is a fool’s search for God, who turns out to be a virus, a joke, and a mental hologram transmitted from an orbiting satellite.
VALIS was one of Dick’s last novels.

Four Novels of the 1960s : The Man in the High Castle / The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch / Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep

Posing the questions “What is human?” and “What is real?” in a multitude of fascinating ways, Dick produced works-fantastic and weird yet developed with precise logic, marked by wild humor and soaring flights of religious speculation-that are startlingly prescient imaginative responses to 21st-century quandaries.

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Meta – Reference

Metafiction by Patricia Waugh

Metafication by Patricia Waugh focuses on the state of contemporary fiction in Britain and America and explores the political, social and economic factors which have an effet on the critical judgement of fiction.

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