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katlittrell's picture

The future of the novel: metafiction

While doing reading for another course, I came across this passage by John Gardner which seemed to sum up what Powers is doing: 

"Some writers... make a point of interrupting the fictional dream from time to time, or even denying the reader the chance to enter the fictional dream that his experience of fiction has led him to expect... such writers are not writing fiction at all, but something else, metafiction. They give the reader an experience that assumes the usual experience of fiction as its point of departure, and whatever effect their work may have depends on their conscious violation of the usual fictional effect. What interests us in their novels is that they are not novels but, instead, artistic comments on art" (John Gardner. The Art of Fiction p33). 

If Powers is the future of fiction, then it seems to me that (at least as Gardner puts it), fiction is dying out, or evolving, to become a new form of literature: metafiction.

I likewise hope that this is not the future of the novel.


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