What is fiction and why does it matter? Metafiction addresses these questions. Metafiction is fiction about fiction, or fiction that is somehow self-reflective. This is a list of the most important metafictional texts and works that contain metafictional elements, including some metapoems and metaplays, with explanations of what makes them metafiction. For those who want to read more about certain selections, I have included links to relevant posts on my blog and outside sources. This list is not meant to be comprehensive but to give readers an idea of the range and richness of metafiction. Delicious! Enjoy! For a more selective list, see my post Top Twenty One Metafictional Works: The Story That Swallows Its Tale.
Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons is a metacomic, a comic about comics, in several ways. First of all, the book challenges our understanding of comics because it includes sections of straight text between every colorful chapter: excerpts from an autobiography, a police file, an article from an Ornithological journal, an editorial from a right-wing magazine, pages from a scrapbook, business correspondence, and so on. Watchmen is, in fact, a postmodern compendium of texts, yet it is still principally a comic (or a graphic novel if you prefer).