Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Metafiction Love it or Loathe it?

In my Critical studies class we have been examining difficult concepts such as post modernism and metafiction. Metafiction is something that I can't quite bring myself to like. It is a device used by novelists whereby the author reminds you that this is a work of fiction that you are reading and that they are the author writing. Fowles used this in The French Lieutenents Woman and similar methods are used in both film and theatre.

This is a practice that I find irritating - in fact I recently stopped reading a novel called "the Crimson Petal and the White" precisely because the author was using this method and in my opinion it was going on for too long. When I read a novel or watch a film I like to immerse myself in it. I want to enjoy it primarily for what it is - an act of escapism and enjoyment. I don't want to be reminded every few minutes that what I am watching is not real - I know that already! But for the duration of the experience I am willing to put that aside and I want to believe that it is real - at least until it is over. For me the mark of a good film or book is that I become so immersed in the story that I forget the world around me. I don't mind a bit of narration - like that of John Boy in The Waltons, as long as it doesn't detract from the story or continue throughout the whole film.

Maybe I am unusual in this, I don't know. I know that I often don't notice mistakes in films that friends of mine have pointed out and i think the reason for this is that even if the film is mediocre I still want to give myself over to beleiving in it - to feeling that while I am watching it I am part of the story.

1 comment:

Chandira said...

yes, it's overused sometimes by people trying to be smarter than thou. I hate pretentious writing. Makes life boring..
I guess it depends who does it though. It's more fun from somebody who really is smart, not just pretending. ;-)

Generally I also like to veg out and escape.