Dangerous Editors: Choderlos de Laclos’ “Les Liaisons dangereuses”

Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Choderlos de Laclos may not be what first comes to mind when you think of metafiction, but the the book is metafictional because it troubles the distinction between fiction and nonfiction. The book is told through a series of letters — the epistolary method — a device which gives a novel the illusion of being a collection of historical documents, as in Samuel Richardson’s Pamela (whose title page pronounces the book to be “A narrative which has its foundation in truth and nature”) and Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (“written by himself” — as with Pamela, the real author’s name is not included on the title page).

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