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Fiction that deals, often playfully and self-referentially, with the writing of fiction or its conventions.

met′a·fic′tion·al adj.
met′a·fic′tion·ist n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(Literary & Literary Critical Terms) fiction that acknowledges that it is fictional or artificial
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈmɛt əˌfɪk ʃən)
fiction that discusses, describes, or analyzes a work of fiction or the conventions of fiction.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Mariano Martin Rodriguez's "The Literary Spoof Paper" is less obviously about metafictions but it does explore a form of intertextuality.
This first English translation of Tatsuaki Ishiguro's metafictions comprises four stories about the last specimens of exceedingly rare, geographically isolated species facing extinction: tiny winged mice that glow and shed tears; a white-haired, amnesiac young woman, her body temperature far below the human norm; a lovely, white, transparent weed, its glow radioactive; a tasty sea squirt, its ugly cancerous tumors both symbiotic and healing.
Insistence thus makes two interconnected claims: first, we should not be seduced by the immateriality of a capitalism gone virtual but must instead appreciate how contemporary commodity culture relies on the biopolitical management of material bodies, the offshoring of material production, and the real-life immiseration of marginalized populations across the global north and south; second, we should not reduce later twentieth-century literature to postmodern metafictions linguistic turn and must instead appreciate the counter-tradition of authors who foreground the materiality of contemporary existence.
Fictions and Metafictions of Evil: Essays in Literary Criticism, Comparative Literature and Interdisciplinary Studies
Indeed, many of the so-called antinovels are really metafictions. (24-25)
To those accustomed to reading Clarence Major's wonderfully self-reflexive metafictions such as Reflex and Bone Structure and Emergency Exit, his new novel One Flesh will come as quite a surprise since it is, formally at least, a conventional "realistic" novel complete with linear plot, a fully reified setting, plausible characters, and a stable third person point of view.
From such a perspective, which is enhanced by an apposite application of deconstruction and other post-structuralist theory, all fictions are to be regarded as metafictions. Armine Mortimer none the less opts to concentrate specifically on acts of writing 'within the story' and demonstrates convincingly that self-reflexivity does not, as is so often supposed, necessarily destroy the mimetic illusion, even when the impression is of unreality (an insight that leads to her suggestive concept of the 'magic of realism').
Fame and reputation function as commodities, and characters in contemporary Austen metafictions subject themselves, others, and Austen to assessment within a cultural market.
Metaphysics to Metafictions: Hegel, Nietzsche, and the End of Philosophy.
Stephen Prickett's ~Fictions and Metafictions: Phantastes, Wilhelm Meister and the idea of the Bildungsroman' considers the influence of German romanticism on MacDonald himself, and Gillian Avery's essay ~George MacDonald and the Victorian Fairy Tale', in a deft synopsis of complex literary history, relates this influence to the context of Victorian fantasy as a whole.
Like other metafictions, The Empire City uses narrative self-questioning as a way of pressuring the project of self-assured representation in which the relationship of the signifier and the signified is conceived to be one of equation.