Laurence Sterne and the Roots of Postmodern Metafiction

Nino Jincharadze


Postmodern novel is the latest stage of multilayer and complex process of the novel genre development. Therefore, it is subject of great interest in literary theory of new millennium to explore the characteristics and roots of postmodern attitude to the narrative.  The actuality of the research is determined by the fact that postmodern novel is reflection of modern society perception and its genuine model.  The aim of the article is to explore the roots of metafiction, that is inseparable element of postmodern novel and one of the main indicators of its development. According to the study, we have used the following methods: description and comparison. The research has shown, that the origin of metafictional narrative, in its postmodern form, emerges in Laurence Sterne’s innovative novel “The Life and Opinions of Tristram Shandy, Gentleman” more than two centuries earlier of its intense flourish in literature.   Talking directly to the reader, acknowledging the fact that story is a fiction and is read by a reader, appearance of an author as a character in the story, rejection of traditional plot, discussing methods of storytelling within the narrative process etc. that are some of the important traits of metafiction, are commonly used by Sterne in his novel, that proves him one of the founders of metafictional technique of narrative in literature.

Key words: metafiction, postmodern novel, narrative technique, reader oriented narrative, plotless

DOI: 10.7176/JLLL/55-10

Publication date: April 30th 2019

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