An overview of major themes I found while studying metafiction for the Metaclass, a self-study course for a masters of literature at San Francisco State University. This summary will also serve as a guide to the posts I have written over the last four months (with notes about a few others I intend to write). It is not meant to be a comprehensive list of meta conventions, but an addition to the the list found under Meta-Meta and Metafiction. (Nor is this intended to be a summary of themes I developed about writing and teaching, the metaclass aspect. Those themes may be found in Putting It All Together: Collaborative and Integrated Reading and Writing.)
Is this a realistic narrative? A little girl with dimples and pink ribbons gets the puppy she wanted for her birthday, even though her mother has said they couldn’t afford it. The girl wraps her pudgy arms around her mom’s neck and whispers, “Thanks, Mommy-cakes. I love you so much.”
Not very realistic? Why not? Such things don’t happen? Or does the tale sound like the type of story that makes people smile and feel good. It may be “heart-warming,” but it isn’t what we call “realistic.”
Take a moment and imagine a more “realistic” version of this story. Feel free to change it in any way you like, as long as it retains the little girl with dimples, her mom, and the puppy.
I am not writing this. This blog is writing me.
I did not want — nor was I able — to write this myself. I will create a persona as I go along, let’s call him Ronosaurus, that will do the work for me, someone simpler, who does not get pimples nor have a crick in his neck (such things will not be mentioned). Not only will I simplify, I will fictionalize myself and make myself seem smarter, more well-read, wittier, and, while I am at it, better looking. But this is not a story about me, it is a story about stories. To tell it, I must invent a speaker, which I will call, for convenience, myself. The needs of the blog will determine the voice I use. If you know it is a lie and I know it is a lie, then I will be telling the truth.