Self-reflexive fiction : the red notebook in Paul Auster´s the New York trilogy
Siri, María Verónica
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Postmodernism represents a fertile terrain for metafiction, which embodies the act of writing about writing and in which the boundary between fiction and reality is so narrow and elusive that it occasionally disconcerts the reader. There are two major assumptions underlying this work: first, that postmodernism challenges the status of reality and fiction by postulating their blurring boundaries; and second, the belief that texts produce meaning and, thus, the novel conveys an explanation of the world and the way we understand it. Within that frame, we work on the hypothesis that the red notebook in Paul Auster‟s The New York Trilogy (1987) is not just an ordinary object in the plotline; it represents literature and the act of writing, at the same time that it constitutes a meaningful space that gathers reader and writer and which serves them to interpret the world. In order to demonstrate these ideas, first, we demarcate the theoretical framework around the concepts postmodernism, metafiction, self-reflexivity, mimesis and the status of fiction and reality. Then, we make a critical analysis of the red notebook in Auster‟s The New York Trilogy and we also examine his own The Red Notebook (1995) in order to find connections between both texts to the light of the theoretical concepts. On a broader frame, we take into consideration Auster‟s literary and critical position within American postmodern literature and American literary tradition.
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