List of Metafiction and Texts with Metafictional Elements

A list of metafiction and works that contain metafictional elements. This list is not meant to be comprehensive, but to be a description of certain key metafictional works with links to posts on my website and external links.

Adams, Douglas. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. 1979.
Characters consult The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the playful science fiction novel of the same name. This is an example of a mise en abyme, or a book within a book. (To read more about mise en abyme, a typical metafictional convention, see my post The Mirror in the Text, Part II: Mise en Abyme.)
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Ara 13. Drawers & Booths: A Metafictional Novel. 2007.
“Beginning as a modern military civil affairs action, Drawers & Booths spirals into a metafictional journey, testing the boundaries of reader and author, narrative voice, and characterization–the wrapping for Ara 13’s satirical analysis of morality in light of evolutionary psychology” (
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The Arabian Nights. Ed. Daniel Heller-Roazen and Muhsin Mahdi. Trans. Husain Haddawy.
The Arabian Nights is a story of stories. Not only is it a rich interwoven carpet of stories within stories within stories within stories, it is also a story about the power of stories, the power of fiction to saves lives, to tame murderers and to change the world.
Read my writings about The Nights: Eros and the Arabesque: The Serial Proliferation of Life in The Arabian Nights10,001 Nights: The Frame Stories around the Frame StoryThe Power of Stories to Change the World: Another Arabian Night1001 Ways to Save Your Life.
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Ashbery, John. “Paradoxes and Oxymorons.”
Read my post about the metapoem, a peom about poetry, a poem about writing, a poem about reading, a poem about itself: A Simple Metapoem for an Oxymoron: You.
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Auster, Paul. New York Trilogy. 1986.
“Ostensibly presented as detective fiction, the stories of The New York Trilogy have been described as ‘meta-detective-fiction’, ‘anti-detective fiction’, ‘mysteries about mysteries’, a ‘strangely humorous working of the detective novel’, ‘very soft-boiled’, a ‘metamystery’ and a ‘mixture between the detective story and the nouveau roman’. . . . The New York Trilogy is a particular form of postmodern detective fiction which still uses well-known elements of the detective novel (the classical and hardboiled varieties, for example) but also creates a new form that links ‘the traditional features of the genre with the experimental, metafictional and ironic features of postmodernism'” (Wikipedia).
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Ballard, J. G. The Atrocity Exhibition. 1969.
“Ballard’s novel is known mainly for its prophecy of Ronald Reagan’s presidency, but just as prescient is its anticipation of the psychopathology of much post-conceptual art – particularly its tendency to explore social hypotheses within either a self-fictioning or ‘metafictional’ framework” (from John Ashton’s article “J.G. Ballard: Atrocity Exhibition” which appeared in Map Magazine.)
Read more about Ballard’s metafictional novel on
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Barnes, Julian. History of the World in 10 1/2 Chapters. 1990.
Intertwined stories of ships “make up Barnes’s witty and sometimes acerbic retelling of the history of the world. The stories are connected, if only tangentially, which is precisely Barnes’s point: historians may tell us that ‘there was a pattern,’ but history is ‘just voices echoing in the dark; . . . strange links, impertinent connections” (Barbara Hoffert, “Library Journal”).
(Read about Barnes’ novel and other historiographic metafiction in The End of History in Historiographic Metafiction by Alice Mandricardo. Read about the problematic distinction between history and fiction in my book Narrative Madness and the following posts: The Conventions of MetafictionRelevance of Metafiction in the Age of Information, History is an Angel Blown Backward through Time, La Mancha: The Stain of TruthIt’s All Fiction: Another Attempt to Tell the Story, and A Not-Not True Tale about a Very Short, Simple Morning.
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Barth, John. “Dunyazadiad.” Chimera. 1972.
A retelling of The Arabian Nights, the famous story of stories, from the perspective of Sheherazade’s sister Dinazade.
Read my writings about The Nights: Eros and the Arabesque: The Serial Proliferation of Life in The Arabian Nights10,001 Nights: The Frame Stories around the Frame StoryThe Power of Stories to Change the World: Another Arabian Night1001 Ways to Save Your Life.
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–. The Last Voyage of Somebody the Sailor. 1991.
Another reinvention of The Arabian Nights. “Simon Behler–or Baylor, as he refers to himself in his countless best-selling books of New Journalism–falls overboard during a cruise retracing the legendary voyages of Sindbad the Sailor and is pulled from the water by contemporaries of the real Sinbad. Trapped in the distant past but never at a loss for words, Behler–or Bey el-Loor, as he is now known–amuses his new friends with his exotic tales” (Edward B. St. John, Loyola Law Sch. Lib., Los Angeles)
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–. “Lost in the Funhouse.” Lost in the Funhouse. 1968.
We are lost in our fictions, lost in the funhouse of our own inventions. This short story is also metafictional because it addresses “the specific conventions of story, such as title, paragraphing or plots” (Webster’s Online Dictionary).
(Read more about this metafictional classic on the blog The Voice Imitator. Also the book is mentioned in my post The Danger of Meta: Pompidou and David Foster Wallace’s Octet.)
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–. “Night Sea Journey.” 
Sperm and cultural artifacts, like this piece of short fiction, pass on their information in much the same way. Let Barth inseminate you.
(Read my essay: Our Cultural and Genetic Heritage: John Barth’s “Night Sea Journey.”)

Barthelme, Donald. Sixty Stories. 1970.
Why do we go to school? Why do we learn? Why do we die? I don’t know and neither does the teacher in Barthelme’s enigmatic story “The School.” The short piece of fiction challenges the very purpose of education (and literature) which cannot hope to answer the most important questions. (Read my preface to an introduction: Meta-Introduction to Donald Barthelme and “The School.”)
Stories like . . . Barthelme’s ‘Views of My Father Weeping’ (in City Life) take the modernist conception of spatial form to logical conclusion. They offer a set of alternative stories as one story, which can be explained neither as happening simultaneously (because they can only be substitutions for each other) nor as happening in sequence (because they cannot be combined according to normal logic: they erase or cancel out each other” (Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self Conscious Fiction. Check out Larry McCaffery’s article “Donald Barthelme and the Metafictional Muse.”
Link to Amazon)

–. Snow White. 1967.
Not only is Snow White metafictional because it totally reinvents the story of Snow White (one of the first novels to do so), but also because it includes many metafictional elements such as a quiz at the end of the first part which asks the reader in a questionnaire, “Do you like the story so far? Yes ( ) No ( ).” The story even asks the reader to participate in the production of meaning: “Has the work, for you, a metaphysical dimension? Yes ( ) No ( ) / What is it (twenty-five words or less)?” Check out my post “Do You Like the Story So Far? Metafiction in Bathelme’s Snow White.”
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Beagle, Peter S. The Last Unicorn. 1968.
“Characters who do things because those actions are what they would expect from characters in a story” (Webster Online Dictionary). Beagle “reminds us that we are each heroes of our own stories – whether we stick to the literary conventions of genre or not. The inclusion of subtle anachronisms and metafictional commentaries like these clues us to Beagle’s art – the creation of a new kind of fairy tale, one which attempts to make our own world, our own lives, sources of almost limitless wonder and joy, as well as of continuing epic challenges” (Review from by mp).
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The Bible.
God creates himself (“I am that I am”) and the universe (“Let there be light”) through words. Hebrews believed in mystical connection between letters and the world, expressed most clearly in Kabbalism. The new testament continues this metafictional connection between text and God: “In the beginning was the word and the word was with God and the word was God.”
(Discover more about the metafictional elements of the bible in my post: The Early History of Metafiction.)

Boccaccio, Giovanni. The Decameron. 1531 or 1533.
Description: A story about story-telling. In the time of the plague, a group of seven young women and three young men escape the horrors of the city by retiring to the country where they tell each other stories to help each other forget the plague, pass the time, entertain each other, and educate themselves. Boccaccio includes himself as a character — Dioneo — and also fictionalized his lover in the character of Fiammetta.
(Check out my post: The Decameron with and without a Frame.)
Online edition / Link to Amazon

Borges, Jorge Luis. “Pierre Mernard, Author of the Quixote.” 1941.
Read more about what happens when another writer rewrites Don Quixote word for word. The meaning changes entirely when the words come from a different author. (Read about it in my book Narrative Madness and in my post In the Name of the Book, In the Name of Cervantes, Amen.
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–. “The Maker.” 1960.
Including short pieces of fiction titled things like, “A Dialog about Diagog,” “The Plot, “A Parable of Cervantes and the Quixote,” and “Borges and I.”
(Read “Borges and I” in my post “Ronosaurus and I Present ‘Borges and I’” and more about that metafictional piece of fiction  in my book Narrative Madness and in my post In the Name of the Book, In the Name of Cervantes, Amen.)
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Burgess, Anthony. The End of the World News: An Entertainment. 1982.
A book about the end of history.
Read about the problematic distinction between history and fiction in the following posts: The Conventions of MetafictionRelevance of Metafiction in the Age of InformationHistory is an Angel Blown Backward through TimeLa Mancha: The Stain of TruthIt’s All Fiction: Another Attempt to Tell the Story, and A Not-Not True Tale about a Very Short, Simple Morning.
(Read about Burgess’s novel and other historiographic metafiction in The End of History in Historiographic Metafiction by Alice Mandricardo.)
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Calvino, Italo. If On a Winter’s Night a Traveller. 1979.
“The narrative is about a reader trying to read a book called If on a Winter’s Night a Traveler. Every odd-numbered chapter is in the second person, and tells the reader what he is doing in preparation for reading the next chapter. The even-numbered chapters are all single chapters from whichever book the reader is trying to read” (Wikipedia).
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Card, Orson Scott. Ender’s Shadow. 1999.
“A parallel science fiction novel by the same author as the original, demonstrating how essential point of view is to the telling of a story and its meaning” (Webster’s Online Dictionary).
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Cervantes, Miguel. Don Quixote. 1605.
A book about books and the effects they have upon our minds and lives, especially when we try to live out our fictions in the real world. Cervantes challenges the notion of history and blurs the distinction between fiction and nonfiction. The novel is told through a series of authors nestled one within the other like Chinese boxes, which draws our attention to the ways in which stories are told and how each teller alters the tale. In the second volume, Don Quixote and Sancho Panza hear of the publication of the first and even meet a reader and talk to him about their own book!
(Learn all about this great work, which began the two major genres of modern fiction, realism and metafiction, in my book Narrative Madness, check out my posts: In the Name of the Book, In the Name of Cervantes, AmenUnderstanding is Making Up Stories about ChaosMetafiction and Chaos Theory: Cory A. Reed’s “Chaotic Quixote”To Understand, We Must Produce NarrativeTrapped in Narrative LanguageWhen Don Quixote and Sancho Panza Hear of Their Book, La Mancha: The Stain of Truth, Who Wrote Don Quixote?, and How to Sound Like an Author of Great Learning and Eloquence: A Quixotic Preface.)
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Chandler, Raymond. The Long Goodbye. 1953.
In this Philip Marlowe detective story, a central character, Roger Wade, is a writer, which gives Chandler a chance to discuss writers and writing and the literary value of genre fiction. Like Chandler, Wade drinks heavily. He has had several successful novels under his belt but is finding it harder to write as he grows older. Wade writes romantic fiction, which, like Chandler’s mysteries, are undervalued by mainstream critics, but readers can see that Chandler is trying to transcend the genre to create a work of literary value (and he succeeds).
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Chaucer, Geoffrey. “The Prologue and Tale of Sir Thopas” and “The Prologue and Tale of Melibee.” Canterbury Tales. Ed. by D. Laing Purves. Project Gutenberg. 1 November 2000. Web. 6 February 2010.
Yet another story about stories. In The Canterbury Tales, a character named Geoffrey Chaucer tells the worst tales in the book: first a romance about Sir Thopas with exaggerated rhythm and sophomoric rhymes, and then, when he is interrupted by the host, begins a boring and preachy story called “The Tale of Melibee,” loaded with pretentious quotes. Why does the author of the first truly great poem in the English language portray himself so badly?
Read my post: Chaucer: A Bad Poet and a Didactic Bore.
Online edition / Link to Amazon

Coetzee, J. M. Foe. 1986.
A retelling of a familiar story, emphasizing the importance of point of view in narrative and understanding. “Foe is written from the perspective of Susan Barton, a castaway who landed on the same island inhabited by “Cruso” and Friday as their adventures were already underway” (Wikipedia).
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Coover, Robert. “Seven Exemplary Fictions.” Pricksongs and Descants: Fictions. 1969.
“Stories like Coover’s ‘The Babysitter’ (Pricksongs and Descants) . . . take the modernist conception of spatial form to logical conclusion. They offer a set of alternative stories as one story, which can be explained neither as happening simultaneously (because they can only be substitutions for each other) nor as happening in sequence (because they cannot be combined according to normal logic: they erase or cancel out each other” (Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self Conscious Fiction.). Includes: “Dedicatorio y Prologo a don Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.”
(Mentioned in my post The Danger of Meta: Pompidou and David Foster Wallace’s Octet.)
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Coupland, Douglas. JPod. 2006.
“Douglas Coupland, as a character, is inserted into the novel when Ethan visits China to bring a heroin-addicted Steve back to Canada. This Google-version of Douglas Coupland consistently bumps into Ethan and manages to weave himself into the narrator’s life. JPod finds itself in a digital world where technology is everything and the human mind is incapable of focusing on just one task” (Wikipedia).
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Cunningham, Michael. The Hours. 1999.
A book about books, a novel about the influence of Viriginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway upon the lives of three generations of women: “The first is Woolf herself writing Mrs. Dalloway in 1923 and struggling with her own mental illness. The second is Mrs. Brown, wife of a World War II veteran, who is reading Mrs. Dalloway in 1949 as she plans her husband’s birthday party. The third is Clarissa Vaughan, a lesbian, who plans a party in 2001 to celebrate a major literary award received by her good friend and former lover, the poet Richard, who is dying of AIDS” (Wikipedia).
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Danielwsi, Mark Z. House of Leaves. 2000.
“The format and structure of the novel is unconventional, with unusual page layout and style, making it ergodic literature. It contains copious footnotes, many of which contain footnotes themselves, and some of which reference books that do not exist. Some pages contain only a few words or lines of text, arranged in strange ways to mirror the events in the story, often creating both an agoraphobic and a claustrophobic effect. The novel is also distinctive for its multiple narrators, who interact with each other throughout the story in disorienting and elaborate ways” (Wikipedia).
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de Laclos, Pierre Choderlos. Les Liaisons Dangereuses. 1782.
Told through letters, which normally makes events seem as though they really happened, except there is a preface that announces the book is a novel. The introduction by the fictional editor insists on the authenticity of the letters; his editorial presence throughout the book makes us aware that editors are in fact writers who reshape the material. All of these various editors are really just the author Laclos playing both sides of the game at once — metafiction and naturalism — challenging the distinctions between fiction and nonfiction, history and literature.
(Check out my post: Dangerous Editors: Coderlos de Laclos’ Les Liaisons Dangereuses.)
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de Unamuno, Miguel. Mist: A Tragicomic Novel. 1914.
“Augusto, heartbroken, decides to kill himself. However, because everything he does involves a lengthy thought process, he decides that he needs to consult Unamuno himself (the author of the novel), who had written an article on suicide which Augusto had read. When Augusto speaks with Unamuno, the truth is revealed that Augusto is actually a fictional character whom Unamuno has created. Augusto is not real, Unamuno explains, and for that reason cannot kill himself. Augusto asserts that he exists, even though he acknowledges internally that he doesn’t, and threatens Unamuno by telling him that he is not the ultimate author. Augusto reminds Unamuno that he might be just one of God’s dreams” (Wikipedia).
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Dick, Phillip K. Radio Free Albemuth. 1976.
“As with its successor, VALIS, this novel is autobiographical. Dick himself is a major character” (Wikipedia).
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–. VALIS. 1981.
“The main character in VALIS is Horselover Fat, an author surrogate. “Horselover” echoes the Greek etymology of the name Philip, while in German, Dick’s surname means ‘fat’. Dick, as narrator, states early in the book that the creation of the character ‘Horselover Fat’ is to allow him some ‘much needed objectivity.’ In this particular work the narrator is also a fictional character provided as a cool, pragmatic counter-point to Horselover’s slow disintegration. Even though the book is written in the first-person-autobiographical, for most of the book Dick treats himself and Fat as two separate characters; he describes conversations and arguments with Fat, and harshly if sympathetically criticizes his opinions and writings” (Wikipedia).
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Dickens, Charles. Bleak House. 1852-1853.
The world of Bleak House is dripping with ink. Dickens novel is a book about texts and the interpretation of texts.
(Read my post about the metafictional elements in the novel: Meta Bleak House.)
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Durrell, Lawrence. Alexandria Quartet. 1957, 1958, 1958, 1960.
Same story told from different perspectives, highlighting the importance of point of view to perception and meaning.
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Eco, Umberto. The Name of the Rose. 1980.
Umberto Eco, in this erudite mystery, set in an Italian monastery in 1327, compares the investigation of a murder with religious, scholarly and philosophical inquiry. The book is metafictional because it is a book about how we read and how we learn and how our institutes control knowledge and philosophy by controlling access to books. Eco poses a question: What if the serious bent we have in our colleges and literature (since we still value drama over comedy) was the result of a historical manipulation?
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Ende, Michael. The Neverending Story. 1983.
A novel about a boy reading and interacting with a novel. The act of reading becomes an act of creation, preventing the nothingness from wiping out the world.
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Gaardner, Jostein. Sophie’s World: A Novel about the History of Philosophy. 1991.
Contains a novel within a novel (a mise en abyme).
(To read more about mise en abyme, a typical metafictional convention, see my post The Mirror in the Text, Part II: Mise en Abyme.)
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Gardner, John. Grendel. 1971.
A total reinvention of Beowulf, one of English’s earliest and greatest epics. Told from the monster’s perspective, our sympathies are flipped around, showing how easily point of view can manipulate our judgment.
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Gass, William H. “In the Heart of the Heart of the Country.” In the Heart of the Heart of the Country & Other Stories. 1968.
A metafictional short story by the man who named “metafiction.”
(Mentioned in my post The Danger of Meta: Pompidou and David Foster Wallace’s Octet.)
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–. Willie Masters’ Lonesome Wife. 1968.
“A book in which the book itself seeks interaction with the reader” (Wikipedia). “An experimental novella illustrated with photographs and typographical constructs intended to help readers free themselves from the linear conventions of narrative” (Wikipedia).
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Gide, Andre. The Counterfeiters. 1925.
The Counterfeiters is not so much a novel within a novel, but a novel of the production of a novel. Gide, who invented the literary term, mise en abyme (a novel within a novel, a play inside a play, a painting in a painting) uses the device to examine writing and its relationship to reality.
(Read my posts: The Mirror in the Text, Part I: The Counterfeiters, The Mirror in the Text: Part II: Mise en Abyme, The Mirror in the Text, Part III: The Mirror in the Text.)
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Goldman, William. The Princess Bride: S. Morgenstern’s Classic Tale of True Love and High Adventure. 1973.
A novel about reading a novel — or at least the good parts. The first line reads, “This is my favorite  book in all the world, though I have never read it.”
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Gray, Alisdair. Lanark: A Life in Four Books. 1981.
“One of the most characteristically postmodern parts of the book is the Epilogue, in which Lanark meets the author in the guise of the character ‘Nastler’. He . . . anticipates criticism of the work and of the Epilogue in particular, saying ‘The critics will accuse me of self-indulgence, but I don’t care’. An Index of Plagiarisms is printed in the margins of the discussion. For instance, Gray describes much of Lanark as an extended ‘Difplag’ (diffuse plagiarism) of Charles Kingsley’s The Water Babies. However, some of the supposed plagiarisms refer to non-existent chapters of the book” (Wikipedia).
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Green, Geoffrey. Voices in a Mask. 2008.
Short stories composed around the theme of opera, in particular, Don Juan. The book encourages readers to play the appropriate operas as they read and perform the text, thereby emphasizing the importance of the reader to recreate or rewrite the text. “The first narrator provides an Overture, addressing an audience as though onstage; though the point of view changes, the stiff language and frequent use of exclamation points are signs of things to come” (Publishers Weekly).
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Grudin, Robert. Book: A Novel. 1992.
The title itself is self-referential and the book contains a mise en abyme, a book within a book. To read more about mise en abyme, a typical metafictional convention, see my post The Mirror in the Text, Part II: Mise en Abyme. “The story follows English professor Adam Snell as he realizes that someone is trying to kill both him and his book, Sovrana Sostrata, a book about truth. As a metafiction work the novel parodies literary forms—each chapter is told in a different style ranging from traditional linear drama, to newspaper reports, to a playwright’s script, to a carefully annotated scholarly work from the 19th Century—to the point where the novel’sfootnotes come alive and literally try to take over the narrative” (Wikipedia).
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Haddon, Mark. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time. 2003.
A novel about a writer writing a story: ” Throughout his adventures, Christopher records his experiences in a book: a ‘murder mystery novel’ (Wikipedia), which makes the novel within a novel a mise en abyme. 
(To read more about mise en abyme, see my post The Mirror in the Text, Part II: Mise en Abyme.)
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Homer. The Illiad .  c. 750 B.C.
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–. The Odyssey. c. 750 B.C.
These epics which form the foundation of western literature include scenes in which bards sing their works, a self-referential presentation of how the epics were themselves presented, a kind of epic inside an epic, another example of a mise en abyme.
(To read more about mise en abyme, see my post The Mirror in the Text, Part II: Mise en Abyme. Read my related post: The Early History of Metafiction.)
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Hess, Herman. Steppenwolf. 1927.
“In the extended stage setting preface, the narrator describes Haller and then laments that he got too carried away in the description, and ended up disclosing more than he wanted to the reader, thus, subtly confessing to the reader that there is a reader and there is a writer, and such is the frankness and the directness of the communication between them that the writer is not willing to go back and tear away a page which he has written contrary to his plan” (from PS: Elements of Metafiction in Steppenwolf).
Online Edition / Link to Amazon

Hofstadter, Douglas. Godel, Escher and Bach: An Eternal Golden Braid. 1979.
Includes a “dialogue between two characters who interact within the dialogue with the author himself, who enters the dialogue he is writing as a character created by him” (Webster Online Dictionary).
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Irving, John. The World According to Garp. 1978.
Fiction with several pieces of fiction inside itself, examples of mise en abyme. “The novel contains several framed narratives: Garp’s first novella, The Pension Grillparzer; a short story; and a portion of one of his novels, The World According to Bensenhaver” (Wikipedia).
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Joyce, James. Finnegan’s Wake. 1939.
One of the most metafictional work of all time: a story about a story that is repeated endlessly: the rise and fall of humanity.  Joyce essentially invented his own mishmash of languages, making the book notoriously difficult to read, but if you drink several glasses of whiskey, smoke a few bowls, occasionally refer to a guide, and think of the novel as a great collection of puns, the book becomes more readable, even funny. In the middle of the book, we get a chapter with margin notes and footnotes, a common convention in metafiction, but these notes do little to help us understand. One says, “Menly about peebles.” Another note is a bar of music with rising and falling notes.
(Read my post: Hisstory Repleats Herself: James Joyce’s Finnegan’s Wake.)
Link to Amazon: The Novel / Link to Amazon: A Reader’s Guide

–. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man. 1916.
This semi-autobiographical novel is a reflection on the formation of an artist and the relationship between artist, art and life.
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–. Ulysses. 1918-1920.
A book of books. First of all, the book parallels Homer’s Odyssey, pulling this foundational text of western literature into the world of Dublin in the early twentieth century. Secondly, the book strives to be a book of all books, a compendium of nearly every imaginable type of text, including: fiction, poetry, song, theatrical script (including stage directions), romance magazine and novelette, newspaper article, advertisement, correspondence, legal document, encyclopedia, mythology, biblical text, catechism, pun, parody, monologue and free indirect discourse. Chapter 14 “seems to recapitulate the entire history of the English language. After a short incantation, the episode starts with latinate prose, Anglo-Saxon alliteration, and moves on through parodies of, among others, Malory, the King James Bible, Bunyan, Defoe, Sterne, Walpole, Gibbon, Dickens, and Carlyle, before concluding in a haze of nearly incomprehensible slang. (Wikipedia).
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King, Steven. The Dark Half. 1989.
“Stephen King wrote several books under a pseudonym, Richard Bachman, during the seventies and eighties. Most of the Bachman novels were darker and more cynical in nature, featuring a far more visceral sense of horror than the psychological, gothic style common to many of King’s most famous works. When King was discovered to be Bachman, he wrote The Dark Half in response to his outing. Thad Beaumont is an author and recovering alcoholic who lives in the town of Ludlow, Maine. Thad’s own books – cerebral literary fiction – are not very successful. However, under the pen name “George Stark”, he writes highly successful crime novels about a violent killer named Alexis Machine. When Thad’s authorship of Stark’s novels becomes public knowledge, Thad and his wife, Elizabeth, decide to stage a mock funeral for his alter ego during a People magazine photo shoot. His epitaph at the local cemetery says it all: ‘Not A Very Nice Guy. Stark, however, emerges as a physical entity and goes on a killing spree, gruesomely murdering everyone he perceives responsible for his ‘death'” (Wikipedia).
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–. Song of Susannah. 2004.
The author appears a character! “As a postscriptum, the reader becomes familiar with the diary of Stephen King the character which encompasses the period from 1977 to 1999. The diary details King’s writing of the first five books of the Dark Tower story. It is said that the character, Stephen King, dies on June 19, 1999″ (Wikipedia).
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–. Misery.
A novel about a writer writing a novel under duress. This book (and the excellent movie with Kathy Bates) has made everyone cringe when they hear the line, “I am your number one fan.”
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–. “Secret Window, Secret Garden.” Four Past Midnight. 1990.
A novella about a novelist writing a novel. Mort Rainey is a thinly veiled stand-in for the author himself.
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Kostova, Elizabeth. The Historian. 2005.
The Historian “blends the history and folklore of Vlad Ţepeş and his fictional equivalent Count Dracula. . . . Although based in part on Bram Stoker’s DraculaThe Historian is not a horror novel, but rather an eerie tale. It is concerned with history’s role in society and representation in books, as well as the nature of good and evil” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Kung, Dinah Lee. A Visit from Voltaire. 2004.
“The author/narrator spends the entire book comparing life notes with an author-ghost from another era” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Lempert, David. Reflections in a Prism.
“A novel in which the book itself seeks interaction with the reader and asks the reader to stroke the pages of the book to see the book itself as a ‘living entity'” (Webster Online Dictionary).

Lewis, C. S. Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold. 1956.
A “retelling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche, which had haunted Lewis all his life, and which is itself based on a chapter of The Golden Ass of Apuleius” (
Online edition / Link to Amazon

Maguire, Gregory. Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. 1995.
The familiar story of the wizard of oz turned inside out as it is told from the green witch’s perspective. Maybe she wasn’t so bad after all. Maybe the false wizard was worse than the real witch.
Link to Amazon

McEwan, Ian. Atonement: A Novel. 2001.
A novel about a writer writing a novel. “This is an example of modern metafiction: the book you are reading and physically holding in your hands, the one written by the author named on the cover, turns out at the end to have been ‘written’ by one of the characters named in the novel. Why should anyone do this? . . . It seems to me that the point of a novel within a novel, or a narrative within a narrative, is that the story becomes framed by the reader’s expectations. By putting what appears to be the ‘hot’ narrative of a real novel inside the ‘cooler’ context of a frame, making it into a told story or a found account, the author (i.e. the real one, named on the cover) is distancing the reader from the subject matter, an invitation to think while reading” (Review of Atonement by Christopher Priest).
Link to Amazon

Moer, Walter. The City of Dreaming Books. 2004.
The narrator and author gives the reader a warning about going too far into the story without being strong of heart or spirit, and most of the tale takes place in a city focused around the glorification of books and writers. (Blurb written by Joyce Jacobo)
Link to Amazon

Moore, Alan and Dave Gibbons. Watchmen. 1986-1987.
A comic about comics; this meta-comic gives a brief history of superhero comics, then proceeds to deconstruct the genre as it examines the real-world, complex psychology of people who would dress up in tights and fight crime. In the comic, we can read another comic over the shoulder of a character; this is an example of a mise en abyme, a work within a work, and it helps us to understand the complex morality of the larger tale.
See my post: Watchmen: A Comic.
Link to Amazon

Moore, Alan and Kevin O’Neill. The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. 1999.
This comic is metafictional because it merges “characters or elements from diverse works of fiction into a new fictional scenario” (Webster Online Dictionary).
Link to Amazon

Mulligan, Spike. Puckoon. 1963.
Characters realize they are in a work of fiction. “The protagonist of the novel is the feckless Dan Milligan, a man so lazy that the author is obliged to take direct action to prevent him spending the entire novel lounging about at home; thus alerted to his status as a fictional character, Dan frequently breaks the fourth wall, speaking directly to the writer about the trouble he has been made to endure” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Nabokov, Vladimir. Pale Fire. 1962.
Includes the typical metafictional (and postmodern) convention of “Narrative footnotes, which continue the story while commenting on it” (Webster Online Dictionary).
(Read my post: “Zemblan Pizza Resembles Nabokov.”)
Link to Amazon

O’Brien, Tim. “The Things They Carried.” The Things They Carried. 1990.
“The Things They Carried” is a short work of fiction. The Things They Carried is also the name of what could be called a short-story collection or perhaps a meta-fictional novel, a pastiche of fiction, nonfiction, fantasy, memoir, author’s notations, and literary commentary. Although the opening story stands alone as a work of fiction, it also functions as an introduction to the larger book. It establishes the major characters that recur throughout the “novel” and introduces many of the topics the book explores, themes as concrete as the Vietnam War and as abstract as how someone tells the truth about a historical event. O’Brien felt that straight facts could not convey an experience as ambiguous and disturbing as the Vietnam war. Yet O’Brien does not wholly rely on fiction either. He interweaves fact and fiction in the story (and throughout the book) to give the reader a more comprehensive sense of what it was really like to fight in Vietnam, to live in the face of death, and to carry on a purposeless existence.
(Read my essay: The Burden of Life: Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.“)
Link to Amazon

O’Nolan, Brian. At Swim-Two-Birds. 1939.
“The story is about an author that writes a story about an author whose characters rise up out of the fictional novelist’s story to rebel against the plot” (from “Metafiction” at
Link to Amazon

Ovid. Metamorphoses. 8.
This collection of tales of various types of mythological metamorphoses spends a great deal of time on the transformative power of myth and story-telling.
Link to Amazon

Pirandello, Luigi. Six Characters in Search of an Author: A Comedy in the Making. 1921
A puzzling and entertaining classic of meta-theater: “An acting company prepares to rehearse a play, The Rules of the Game by Luigi Pirandello. As the rehearsal is about to begin the play is unexpectedly interrupted by the arrival of six strange people. The Director of the play, furious at the interruption, demands an explanation. The Father explains that they are unfinished characters in search of an author to finish their story. The Director initially believes them to be mad, but as they begin to argue amongst themselves and reveal details of their story he begins to listen. While he isn’t an author, the Director agrees to stage their story despite the disbelief amongst the jeering actors” (Wikipedia).
Online version / Link to Amazon

Plascencia, Salvador. The People of Paper. 2006.
The title itself is metafictional, reminding the reader that characters are people of paper, although we are easily fooled. The author himself appears as a character, but this fictional presentation of self is still a paper person. “The book is notable for its unique layout, featuring columns of text running in different directions across the page, blacked out sections, and a name that has literally been cut out of the novel. The central events depicted in the novel are variously described as a war against Saturn (representing the author), against sadness, and against omniscient narration” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Plato. Phaedrus. circa 370 B.C.E.
Plato criticizes writing, but he does it through writing. He also bans poets from his utopian Republic although his own writing is quite poetic. We cannot simply say that Plato dismisses writing altogether when he spends so much effort producing some of the most beautiful philosophical prose in world history. We have to take this self-reflexivity as paradoxical and ironic.
Link to Amazon

Pynchon, Thomas. The Crying of Lot 49. 1966.
Does the world make sense or are we crazy to think so? Is there a message in the noise and confusion of life, or are we just paranoid to think so? Does this novel mean anything or am I just as insane as the main character Oedipa Mas?
(Read my post Message or Madness?: Thomas Pynchon’s Crying of Lot 49. Nobody speaks in their own voice. When we open our mouths choruses of  voices echo through our own voice. Explore the heteroglossia of the novel in my post A Walking Assembly of Man: Many Voices Crying Lot 49.)
Link to Amazon

-. Gravity’s Rainbow.
“Throughout Gravity’s Rainbow, Pynchon questions how history gets created, why it is created, who creates it, and its role in constructing both individual and communal identities.  Many of the characters express views about history, and almost all of the characters speculate fearfully about a loss of the past, or the end of history” (from “Gravity’s Rainbow as Historiographic Metafiction” on the blog Engl 693).
Link to Amazon

–. Mason & Dixon. 1997.
Mason & Dixon “centers on the collaboration of the historical Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon.” The novel intermingles “Mason and Dixon’s biographies, history, fantasy, legend, speculation, and outright fabrication” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

–. V. 1963.
The novel explores “the processes of the human mind and of literature as effective interpretive methods. It assumes that both can establish valid links between life and the subject and, what is relevant here, that literature is a reliable tool for the analysis of reality. . . . V. provides an original view of social commitment in literature, and how this view is based on a different notion of literature as method of analysis which the novel introduces. In order to do this, I will study V. as a parody of reflexive literature and its mechanisms. V. therefore transcends reflexivity, proposing a return to social commitment and a rejection of reflexivity’s self-indulgence” (from Metafiction and Social Commitment in Pynchon’s V. by Luis Miguel Garcia Mainar).
Link to Amazon

Randall, Alice. The Wind Done Gone. 2001.
Gone with the Wind is turned upside down as it is told from the perspective of Cynara, a mulatt0 slave who is the daughter of Mammy and Scarlet O’Hara’s father.
Link to Amazon

Reed, Ismael. Mumbo Jumbo. 1972. 218 pgs.
Reed’s novel blurs lines between history and fiction. “Mumbo Jumbo is Ishmael Reed’s brilliantly satiric deconstruction of Western civilization . . . In it, Reed . . . mixes portraits of historical figures and fictional characters” (from the back of the book).
(Read about the problematic distinction between history and fiction in  in my book Narrative Madness and the following posts on my blog: The Conventions of MetafictionRelevance of Metafiction in the Age of InformationHistory is an Angel Blown Backward through TimeLa Mancha: The Stain of TruthIt’s All Fiction: Another Attempt to Tell the Story, and A Not-Not True Tale about a Very Short, Simple Morning.)
Link to Amazon

Rhys, Jean. The Wide Sargasso Sea: A Novel. 1966.
This prequel to Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre reinvents the story.
Link to Amazon

Robbins, Tom. Even Cowgirls Get the Blues. 1976.
The author appears as a character in his own book.
Link to Amazon

Salinger, J. D. “The Laughing Man.” Nine Stories. 1953. 18 pgs.
A story about story-telling. “The Chief,” the leader of a group of boys, called the Comanche Club, tells ongoing serial adventure stories about the laughing man. The story affects the real lives of the boys, inspiring them to be bold and adventurous; however, real life also affects the story and when the Chief has troubles with his girlfriend (maybe he gets her pregnant?), he kills off the hero, to the dismay and disappointment of the boys. The story troubles our artificial separation of fiction from real life.
(Read more about the interconnectedness of fiction and reality  in my book Narrative Madness and my blog posts Purpose: To Rehabilitate Reality through Metafiction and Understanding is Making Up Stories about Chaos.)
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Shakespeare, William. Plays in Shakespeare that present a play within a play: Hamlet (Mousetrap), Midsummer Night’s Dream (Pyramus), Love’s Labour’s Lost (Nine Worthies), The Tempest (Pageant & possibly whole play), The Taming of the Shrew (Christopher Sly), The Merry Wives of Windsor (Pageant in forest), Troilus & Cressida (Ulysses describes others doing impersonations of generals), Henry IV, Pt. 1 (Tavern scene), Henry VIII (Mask vision), King Lear (Mock trial), Macbeth (Show of 8 kings), Cymbeline (Jupiter & ghosts), Pericles (Dumb shows). List from
(Read about this technique in my post: The Mirror in the Text, Part III: The Mirror in the Text.)
Online editionLink to Amazon

Shea, Robert and Robert Anton Wilson. Illuminatus Trilogy. 1975.
“The major protagonists, now gathered together onboard the submarine, are menaced by the Leviathan, a giant, pyramid-shaped single-cell sea monster that has been growing in size for hundreds of millions of years. The over-the-top nature of this encounter leads some of the characters to question whether they are merely characters in a book. This metafictional note is swiftly rejected (or ignored) as they turn their attention to the monster again” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Snickett, Lemony. A Series of Unfortunate Events. 1999-2006.
“The entire series is actively narrated by Snicket, who makes numerous references to his mysterious, deceased love interest, Beatrice. Both Snicket and Beatrice play roles in the story along with Snicket’s family members, all of whom are part of an overarching conspiracy known to the children only as ‘V.F.D.'” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Sorrentino, Gilberto. Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things. 1971.
Link to Amazon

–. Mulligan Stew. 1978.
“Perhaps the most provocative example of the uninhibited comedy of metafiction is to be found in the fiction of Gilbert Sorrentino . . . Sorrentino is probably the most programmatically selfreflexive of contemporary American writers, as each of his novels . . . from Imaginative Qualities of Actual Things (1971) to Mulligan Stew (1978) and beyond manifests an insistent, clearly intentional effort to ‘bare the device.’ Although Imaginative Qualities, a novel in which the ‘author’ lets his readers in on the creation of his characters and their stories, remains a prototypical metafiction of the same period as Barth’s ‘Lost in the Funhouse’ and Coover’s ‘Universal Baseball Association,” Mulligan Stew takes the self-reflexive technique to its most outrageous extreme” (“‘Terribly Bookish': Mulligan Stew and the Comedy of Self-Reflexivity” by Daniel Green).
Link to Amazon

Spenser, Edmund. The Faerie Queene. 1590, 1596.
Full of references to writing, ink, poetry, and “glass,” meaning mostly the mirror that art holds up to nature. Very much a poem about poetry.
(Read my meta-allegory about the allegorical work: Why Read Spenser When Allegory Invites Despayr?)
Link to Amazon

Sterne, Laurence. The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman. 1759-1769.
Description: A postmodern book long before postmodernism. Tristram Shandy begins to tell the story of his life, but needs to digress to set up the scene of his conception, but needs another digression to set that scene up and so on. The story is told backwards and yet still manages to move forward, makes us aware of the conventions of storytelling. Very inventive typography draws our attention to the materiality of the book: end pages, binding, ink and paper.
(Read my posts: Tristram Shandy ****s Up the PageProgressive Digressions in Tristram ShandyThe Stuff That Dreams are Made of: Paper, Ink, Letter and WordThis is not the name of another post about Tristram ShandyHistory is an Angel Blown Backward Through Time,)
Link to Amazon

Stone, John. The Monster at the End of This Book Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover. Illus. Mike Smollin. 1971.
This is a book about reading, in which the main character (Grover) asks you, the reader, to stop reading, because each page you turn brings him closer to the monster at the end of the book. He tries to tie the pages shut and builds a brick wall, but you, a powerful reader, can easily turn past these paper images.
(Read my post that takes a surprising twist on the surprise ending: Grover and the Monster at the End of the Book (with a Surprise Ending).)
Link to Amazon

Stoppard, Tom. Rosencrantz and Guilderstern are Dead. 1966.
This postmodern play retells the story of Hamlet from the point of view of two very minor, inconsequential characters.  “The action of Stoppard’s play takes place mainly “in the wings” of Shakespeare’s, with brief appearances of major characters from Hamlet who enact fragments of the original’s scenes. Between these episodes the two protagonists voice their confusion at the progress of events of which—occurring onstage without them in Hamlet—they have no direct knowledge” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

Suess, Dr. On Beyond Zebra. 1955.
Description: The letters we use limit the things we can talk about, so Dr. Seuss gleefully continues the alphabet, introducing many wonderful Seussian creatures.
(Read my post: The Limits of Language: Seuss Beyond Zebra.)
Link to Amazon

Vonnegut, Kurt. Breakfast of Champions, or Goodbye Blue Monday. 1973.
“Kilgore Trout is a widely published, but otherwise unsung and virtually invisible writer who, by a fluke, is invited to deliver a keynote address at a local arts festival in distant Midland City. Dwayne Hoover is a wealthy businessman who owns much of Midland City, but is mentally unstable and is undergoing a gradual mental collapse. Kilgore arrives in Midland City and, by happenstance, piques the interest of Dwayne. A confused Dwayne demands a message from Kilgore, who hands over a copy of his novel. Dwayne reads the novel, which purports to be a message from the Creator of the Universe explaining that the reader – in this case Dwayne – is the only individual in the universe with free will. Everyone else is a robot. Dwayne believes the novel to be factual and immediately goes on a violent rampage, severely beating his son, his lover, and nine other people before being taken into custody. While Kilgore is walking the streets of Midland after Dwayne’s rampage the narrator of the book approaches Kilgore. The narrator tells Kilgore of his existence, the narrator lets Kilgore be free and to be under his own will” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

–. Slaughterhouse-Five, or The Children’s Crusade: A Duty-Dance with Death. 1969.
‘That was I,’ says the narrator of Slaughterhouse-Five. ‘That was me. That was the author of this book’ (Vonnegut 160). Careful and specific, these words leave little doubt that the narrator of Slaughterhouse-Five is indeed its author. Kurt Vonnegut as writer and narrator intrudes on his own work, makes himself a character in his own fictional world” (“Metafiction in Slaughterhouse-Five” by Bradley Warshauer).
Link to Amazon

Wallace, David Foster. Infinite Jest. 1996.
Includes the typical metafictional (and postmodern) convention of  narrative footnotes: “The novel includes 388 numbered endnotes (some of which have footnotes of their own) that explain or expound on points in the story. In an interview with Charlie Rose, Wallace characterized their use as a method of disrupting the linearity of the text while maintaining some sense of narrative cohesion” (Wikipedia).
Link to Amazon

–. “Octet.” Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. 1999.
Link to Amazon
Read my controversial post about this short work of fiction: The Danger of Meta: Pompidou and David Foster Wallace’s ‘Octet.’

Woolf, Virginia. Mrs. Dalloway. 1925.
“Literary allusions in Mrs. Dalloway abound in bookish relationships that encompass much more than a reading list for World Lit 101. The significances within this mosaic, moreover, demonstrate a quasi-Darwinian phenomenon, that books descend from books (Woolf, “The Leaning Tower). Obscurities here concern plots, myths, language living and dead to such a large degree that they exert a metaliterary influence” (Viriginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway: Invisibile Presences by Molly Hoff).
Link to Amazon

Writing about Metafiction

Alter, Robert. Partial Magic: The Novel as a Self-Conscious Genre. 1979.
Read my book Narrative Madness and my post The Danger of Meta: Pompidou and David Foster Wallace’s Octet, which draw on the work of Alter.
Link to Amazon

Dallenbach, Lucian. The Mirror in the Text. 1989.
Read my posts: The Mirror in the Text, Part I: The Counterfeiters, The Mirror in the Text, Part II: Mise en Abyme, The Mirror, Part III: The Mirror in the Text, and Registering the Registering of the Fact of Registering: Jean Paul’s Definitions of Philosophy.
Link to Amazon

Fielder, Leslie. What was Literature?: Class Culture and Mass Society. 1982.

Gass, William H. “Philosophy and the Form of Fiction.” Fiction and the Figures of Life.
Description: Essay in which Gass names “metafiction.” (Gass was also a writer of metafiction and one of his stories is on the summer extension.)
(Mentioned in my post: Purpose: To Rehabilitate Reality through Metafcition.)
Link to Amazon.

Heisermann, Arthur. Novel Before the Novel: Essays and Discussion. 1977.

Richardson, Ronald B. Narrative Madness. 2013.
This wise and witty scholar (actually, it’s me Ronosaurus Rex!) shows in this metatext, which studies itself, that everyone is as crazy as Don Quixote. We are lost in clouds of story, never experiencing the unfiltered world. But narrative doesn’t separate us from reality. It plugs us in. Narrative is the primary way we understand and reshape ourselves, our community and our world.
Get your copy for any price at narrrativemadness.comLink to Amazon.

Scholes, Robert. Fabulation & Metafiction. 1979.
Link to Amazon

Tanner, Tony. City of Words: American Fiction 1950 – 1970. 1976.
City of Words: American Fiction, 1950-70

Thiher, Allen. Words in Reflection: Modern Language Theory and Postmodern Fiction 1987.
Link to Amazon

Varsava, Jerry A. Contingent Meanings: Postmodern Fiction, Mimesis, and the Reader 1990.
Link to Amazon

Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction. 1984.

(Several books and concepts were borrowed from Webster’s Online Dictionary’s extended definition for Metafiction and various articles from Wikipedia, especially Metafiction. For a longer list of metafiction (but without the descriptions of what makes the works metafictional), you can also explore


  1. Emily Merriman
    Posted February 13, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    What a great reading list. I like meta, though I love metta more. I’d be delighted to talk with you about your work any time. Let’s plan to discuss Nabokov’s Pale Fire at the very least.

  2. Posted February 13, 2010 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

    That would be great. I should drop by your office one of these days!

  3. Posted March 8, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Permalink

    More meta-films:

    * The Purple Rose of Cairo
    (, in which a movie character walks off the screen and into the real world.

    Also some films created under the Dogma could be considered meta, even if only because of their conscious effort in reporting how the films were created. If there is one film that certainly falls under this category that would be:

    * Dogville: ( where Lars von Trier decides not to use any kind of decoration and uses instead words printed in the ground to represent objects such as ‘house’, ‘wall’, ‘bridge’,…

    Also I don’t want to forget a horror classic:

    * The Ring ( that talks about how a movie tape carries a curse, a movie tape just like the one containing the film

    I’m not sure if the next one still falls under this category, but it is very similar to the one above:

    * Videodrome (

    And finally, in a similar spin to Videodrome, the movie (or better said the tv feature film) that inspired the recent Cube series:

    * The Cube ( here’s an extract from the synopsis:

    The teleplay starred Richard Schaal as a man trapped in a cubical white room that anyone else could enter and leave, but which he himself apparently could not leave. At one point Henson comments on his own teleplay through a Professor who wanders in from [..] another door.
    PROFESSOR: Well, as I interpret what you’re doing here, this is all a very complex discussion of Reality versus Illusion. The perfect subject for the television medium!
    MAN: What do you mean, television?
    PROFESSOR: Well, this is a television play.
    MAN: What?
    PROFESSOR: Oh, you don’t believe that?
    MAN: Of course not!
    PROFESSOR: I should have thought you’d want to. After all, there’s only one other possible explanation.
    MAN: Which is?
    PROFESSOR: Hallucination. That you are altogether insane.

  4. ronosaurus
    Posted March 8, 2010 at 10:03 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the additions, Omar. Let’s add Pleasantville too.

  5. Posted January 29, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

    Hi. Great list. Have you read Annie Dillard’s “Living by Fiction”? A perfect fit for your list on Writing about Metafiction.

    Some other great metafiction works include anything by Melville, Twain, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Willa Cather, Gertrude Stein, Djuna Barnes, Hawthorne… and the master of all (in my mind), Henry David Thoreau.

  6. Emma
    Posted February 21, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    For your list of studies on metafiction: Metafiction in New Zealand from the 1960s to the Present Day by Matthew Harris

  7. Tresvivace
    Posted July 31, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    I love your blog and have been reading several links for the past few hours. I would like to recommend that you add David Mitchell’s Cloud Atlas to this list. The book is definitely metafictional as the six parts are nested with each new section commenting on the previous and then the order reverses in the last half.

  8. Posted November 2, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

    My husband and i felt quite peaceful that Edward could finish off his investigation while using the precious recommendations he got out of the weblog. It is now and again perplexing to just always be freely giving information and facts which usually many people might have been selling. We already know we’ve got the blog owner to be grateful to for this. The entire explanations you made, the simple web site menu, the relationships your site give support to instill – it’s mostly great, and it’s making our son in addition to the family reckon that the subject is fun, which is really important. Thanks for the whole thing!

  9. Posted December 22, 2014 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    Oh, to be on such a list! Hashtag, The Automation.

    Good work!

  10. Posted February 13, 2015 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Have you ever read Walter Moer’s The City of Dreaming Books ? It feels like that might fit well on this list. The narrator and author gives the reader a warning about going too far into the story without being strong of heart or spirit, and most of the tale takes place in a city focused around the glorification of books and writers.

  11. Posted February 15, 2015 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for the recommendation, Joyce. I have added it to the list with the description here that you have written. I will put it on my reading list.

  12. Teri
    Posted May 7, 2015 at 11:54 pm | Permalink

    Author Edmund Crispin (aka Bruce Armstrong), in his Gervase Fen series uses it a lot via footnotes.

    So has Michael Carson in Extreme C-Sections, a sci-fi comedy.

    Plus, Stephen Faulds in Sinkronicity, some of the lead characters are actually characters who have escaped from an unfinished novel (I guess this would be what you referred to as mise en a(something, such a long scroll to the top and back down again sorry!)

    The first two mentions also break the fourth wall, which is a particularly humorous habit of author Robert Rankin as well.

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