Further thoughts on the nature of metafiction

This is not a pipe - Margritte

“This is not a pipe.” by Margritte

I defined metafiction in this post over here, but I find this short list of meta-related definitions to be helpful also:

  • meta- : a prefix originating from the Greek meaning “after,” “along with,” “beyond,” “among” or “behind.”  (dictionary.com)
  • metafiction : fiction about fiction, or fiction that draws attention to the fact that it is fiction and forces the reader to abandon her suspension of disbelief. (Wikipedia)
  • metanonfiction : nonfiction that draws attention to the fact that it is nonfiction.  An example would be a memoir that tells the story of a person’s life while at the same time telling the story of writing the memoir.
  • metamusic : music about music, or music that brings the listener out of the listening experience and forces her to think about the fact that she is listening to a song, rather than continuing on in immersion.
  • metajournalism : journalism about journalism, or journalists writing about other journalists.  This type of journalism forces the reader to think about journalism rather than simply reading and absorbing a news story where the writer is absent from the text.
  • metanarrative : a story about a story.  Generally this is a narrative about an all-encompassing world view. (Wikipedia)

Metanonfiction, metamusic and metajournalism are not widely accepted literary terms, but I believe they are the best terms to discuss the concepts of these kinds of narratives that comment on themselves, and will used them as defined here.


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