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Metafiction in J. M. Coetzees Four Fictional Works: Foe Slow Man Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year

Thesis
Submitted in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements
for the Degree of
Master of
Arts
in English Literature

فرمت محصول : word

جدید

14,900 تومان

توضیحات

Abstract

 

Metafiction is a new term in literary studies, coined by William H. Gass in 1970. However, its practice goes back to Cervantes’ Don Quijote (1605) and Stern’s Tristram Shandy (1760). This form of fiction, self-consciously and self-reflexively, foregrounds its artificiality and constructedness. Apart from directing literary questions, metafiction addresses diverse issues such as subjectivity, postcolonialism, feminism and historiography. The purpose of the present study is to investigate the metafictional aspects of four fictional works by J. M. Coetzee. It tries to answer how Coetzee, through the use of metafiction, deals with literary and non-literary questions in Foe, Slow Man, Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year. This analysis draws on poststructuralist mode of thinking, regarding the notions of subjectivity, the author and intertextuality.

The self-consciousness of metafiction demonstrates that the world of fiction is a textual heterocosm that is made of literary conventions and linguistic rules. In addition, its parodic nature deconstructs the historical act of presentation both in historiography and novelistic writings. It shows that both historiography and novel are discourses profoundly bounded by the ideology and subjectivity of historians and authors.

The second chapter of the thesis defines metafiction, its kinds, and strategies metafictionists employ to achieve metafictional moments. The third chapter covers studying the metafictional aspects of Foe and Slow Man and the fourth chapter analyses the metafictional moments in Elizabeth Costello and Diary of a Bad Year.

 

Key terms: metafiction, historiography metafiction, intertextuality, heteroglossia

Contents

 

Abstract

Acknowledgements

Chapter 1: Introduction....................................................................................... 1

                   1.1 General Overview...................................................................... 1

                   1.2 The Argument............................................................................ 9

                   1.3 Significance of the Problem...................................................... 11

                   1.4 Literature Review...................................................................... 12

1.5 Thesis Outline................................................................................................ 15

                   1.6 Methodology and Approach..................................................... 17

                   1.7 Delimitation............................................................................... 18

                 1.8 Definition of Key Terms............................................................ 18

Chapter 2: Metafiction: a Background and Definition....................................... 21

                   2.1 A Linguistic and Philosophical Background............................. 21

                   2.2 The Definition............................................................................ 25

                         2.2.1 Kinds of Metafiction........................................................ 31

                   2.3 Metafiction and Narration.......................................................... 33

                   2.4 Metafictional Strategies............................................................. 37

                         2.4.1 Frame and Frame-break.................................................... 37

                         2.4.2 Chinese-box Structure...................................................... 39

                        2.4.3 Intertextual Parody........................................................... 40

                   2.5 Historiographic Metafiction....................................................... 43

                   2.6 Metafiction: The Death or the Birth of the Novel Genre........... 45

Chapter 3: Metafiction and the Thematized Process.......................................... 48

                   3.1 Foe.............................................................................................. 49

                        3.1.1 Typographic Experiment................................................... 51

                         3.1.2 The Problem of Ontology.................................................. 53

                         3.1.3 Foe and a Sense of Ending............................................... 60

                         3.1.4 Historiographic Metafiction.............................................. 62

                                3.1.4.1 Foe and a Feminist Discourse............................... 64

                                 3.1.4.2 Foe and a Postcolonial Discourse.......................... 65

                         3.1.5 Foe, Readerly or Writerly................................................. 66

                   3.2 Slow Man................................................................................... 69

                         3.2.1 Frame and Frame-break..................................................... 71

                         3.2.2. Metafictional Framing Devices........................................ 75

                         3.2.3 The Chinese-box Structure................................................ 78

             3.2.4 Metafictional Subjects.................................................................. 79

Chapter 4: Metafiction as the Self-reflexive Construction................................. 85

       4.1 Elizabeth Costello.................................................................................. 86

             4.1.1 A Metafictional Lesson on Realism ............................................. 87

             4.1.2. A Lesson on Contextualization ................................................... 93

             4.1.3 A Lesson on Intertextuality ......................................................... 94

     4.2 Diary of a Bad Year ............................................................................... 99

     4.3 The Author and the Reader.................................................................... 105

Chapter 5: Conclusion ....................................................................................... 112

                   5.1 Summing Up............................................................................. 112

                   5.2 Findings .................................................................................... 118

                 5.3 Suggestions for Further Research.............................................. 121

Bibliography  

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