meta·​fic·​tion | \ ˌme-tə-ˈfik-shən How to pronounce metafiction (audio) \

Definition of metafiction

: fiction which refers to or takes as its subject fictional writing and its conventions

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Other Words from metafiction

metafictional \ ˌme-​tə-​ˈfik-​shnəl How to pronounce metafiction (audio) , -​shə-​nᵊl \ adjective
metafictionist \ ˌme-​tə-​ˈfik-​sh(ə-​)nist How to pronounce metafiction (audio) \ noun

Examples of metafiction in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web William Greaves’s multilayered metafiction—based on a scripted scene of a couple in crisis—is a documentary about the very nature of fictional films, and the authority of a director trying to make them. Richard Brody, The New Yorker, "Sixty-two Films That Shaped the Art of Documentary Filmmaking," 14 Oct. 2020 That warehouse, incidentally, eventually contains its own warehouse, which contains its own warehouse, and so on and so forth: a metaphor within a metaphor, wrapped inside a towering work of metafiction. Tyler Aquilina,, "A meta-ranking of Charlie Kaufman's filmography," 4 Sep. 2020 One critic even sees it as a subtle metafiction about the relationship between actual people and the people in books. Michael Dirda, Washington Post, "Who is ‘The Clockwork Man’? He may be literature’s first cyborg.," 25 Sep. 2019 Patricia Highsmith’s identity thief in The Talented Mr. Ripley is perhaps the icon of the grifter genre; the Philip Roth impersonator in Roth’s novel Operation Shylock merged scam fiction and metafiction to fascinating effect. Lily Meyer, The Atlantic, "An 18th-Century Birthing Scam," 27 Nov. 2019 In the 1960s and 1970s, he was associated with a group of postmodern writers — Thomas Pynchon, William Gass, John Barth, Donald Barthelme — who questioned the limitations of realism and explored metafiction and self-reflexivity. Yu-yun Hsieh, New York Times, "Familiar Tales Remixed, at the Hands of a Postmodern Master," 27 Apr. 2018 Like so many of Stoppard’s works in which historical figures come up against the playwright’s irrepressible love of ideas, Hnath’s script is a kind of metafiction. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "Lucas Hnath’s Leap of Faith Into “A Doll’s House”," 8 May 2017 YA author Lucy Keating delivers a light and fluffy fiction with citrusy twist of metafiction. Katie Ward Beim-esche, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Literally' is a bouncy summer read built on a sleight-of-hand trick," 5 May 2017 But The Muppets’ earnest metafiction goes deep like Inception. Scott Thill, WIRED, "Answer The Muppets’ Existential Query, ‘Man or Muppet?’," 10 Dec. 2011

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'metafiction.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of metafiction

1960, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of metafiction was in 1960

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Cite this Entry

“Metafiction.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 May. 2021.

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