Metafiction and the Postwar Novel: Foes, Ghosts, and Faces in the Water

ISBN : 9780198871408

Andrew Dean
192 Pages
156 x 234 mm
Pub date
Apr 2021
Oxford English Monographs
Send mail

Metafiction and the Postwar Novel is a full-length reassessment of one of the definitive literary forms of the postwar period, sometimes known as 'postmodern metafiction'. In the place of large-scale theorizing, this book centres on the intimacies of writing situations - metafiction as it responds to readers, literary reception, and earlier works in a career. The emergence of archival materials and posthumously published works helps to bring into view the stakes of different moments of writing. It develops new terms for discussing literary self-reflexivity, derived from a reading of Don Quixote and its reception by J.L. Borges - the 'self of writing' and the 'public author as signature'. Across three comprehensive chapters, Metafiction and Postwar Fiction shows how some of the most highly-regarded postwar writers were motivated to incorporate reflexive elements into their writing - and to what ends. The first chapter, on South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, shows with a new clarity how his fictions drew from and relativized academic literary theory and the conditions of writing in apartheid South Africa. The second chapter, on New Zealand writer Janet Frame, draws widely from her fictions, autobiographies, and posthumously published materials. It demonstrates the terms in which her writing addresses a readership seemingly convinced that her work expressed the interior experience of 'madness'. The final chapter, on American writer Philip Roth, shows how his early reception led to his later, and often explosive, reconsiderations of identity and literary value in postwar America.


1 Foes: J.M.Coetzee and His Readers
2 Faces in the Water: Dependency and Disavowal in Janet Frame
3 Ghosts: Philip Roth and Ethnic Writing

About the author: 

Andrew Dean is Lecturer in Writing and Literature at Deakin University, Australia. His work has been published in MFS: Modern Fiction Studies, Beyond the Ancient Quarrel: Literature, Philosophy, and J. M. Coetzee, and The Cambridge Companion to J. M. Coetzee. He is also the author of a book of political history, Ruth, Roger and Me: Debts and Legacies (Bridget Williams Books, 2015).

The price listed on this page is the recommended retail price for Japan. When a discount is applied, the discounted price is indicated as “Discount price”. Prices are subject to change without notice.