Diffracting (meta)‘fictions’: performativity, neocybernetics, diffraction, and the living practice/s of story through select metafictional novels

Roberts, John Wolfgang (2020). Diffracting (meta)‘fictions’: performativity, neocybernetics, diffraction, and the living practice/s of story through select metafictional novels. University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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This thesis aims to re-energize metafiction studies through the frameworks of performativity, neocybernetics, and diffraction. My contention is that the human experience can be viewed as a metafictioning manifold, i.e., an active self-perpetuating entanglement and emergence of narrativizing structures. Metafictions, then, are living artifacts that model the metafictional processes of our constructed realities, while also actively re-organizing our experiences, and acting as heuristics for engaging with the world in metafictional ways. Renewed attention should be given to metafictionality, and in particular to metafictional artifacts, so as to better engage with our material reality as co-participant storytellers alongside the objects and systems around us. The introductory chapter sets the critical and methodological stage. Chapter One uses David Markson’s This is not a Novel (2001) to demonstrate the performativity of metafictions and objects. Chapter Two discusses The Third Policeman (1967) by Flann O’Brien and identifies metafictions as living systems. Chapter Three looks at Jerzy Kosinski’s Being There (1970) in order to theorize the agential natures of such object-systems. Finally, Chapter Four investigates the heuristic ethos of a metafictioning manifold through Mark Z. Danielewski’s The Familiar (2015).

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: School of English, Drama and Creative Studies, Department of English Language and Linguistics
Funders: None/not applicable
Other Funders: SELF
Subjects: P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN0080 Criticism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature
P Language and Literature > PS American literature
URI: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/id/eprint/11026


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