Quiz: A Critique of Metafiction

Which fashionable post-modern meta-fictionalist is being described in this quote [n.b. quote re-written to prevent people just looking it up on google]:

“Certain well-respected novelists do seem to have a tendency to give themselves away, which is surely annoying for those of us who are serious about fiction. Recently I was reading X, and was struck by his lack of consideration on this matter. In a parenthesis, a digression or aside, he’ll admit to the reader that he’s only ‘making believe’, that the events he’s describing have not really happened and in truth he could give the narrative any turn he liked. This kind of betrayal of what is a sacred office appears to me a terrible crime.”


17 thoughts on “Quiz: A Critique of Metafiction

  1. Ha ha. My first guess was that some Critick is mad at Nabokov for not taking his priestly office with neon-enough pomp, but I don’t remember any such “parenthesis” where Nabokov openly elbows his reader in the ribs by making this aw-shucks ‘admission’.

    Borges? Or Borges metabolized: Calvino?

  2. You’re getting closer there, MM – but a little too far back in time. What you’re looking for is an era in which no-one ever suspected that books were written by authors, nor did the authors realise that they were writing books.

  3. “Irony”? – and not ‘intriguing controversiality’? How disappointing.

    (Especially for the terminally literal.)

  4. Clearly your question has stumped everyone. You could try restating your terms. I meant to look in the local library (before the council closes it) for The Canal. Did you ever find it?

  5. By a strange quirk of fate, I bought a copy in a charity shop today. A quick flick through shows it could certainly have done with a little more proof-reading, but hey. Actually, it’s set in the part of London where I’ve worked and hung around all these years – and I’ve many times wondered along the same eponymous Canal – so I’m sure I’ll find it interesting. Review forthcoming, no doubt.

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