Historiographic Metafiction in The Wars
The writing of history has consistently been under heavy scrutiny, however it is justifiable. When someone reads a book of history they are never getting the honest-to-god truth. This is because along with the writing of history comes bias. Historiographic literature is a style of writing that is found in The Wars, it is a style the critiques or gives somewhat of a commentary on the writing of history. However the historiographic nature of this book is only half of the major concept. This book, The Wars, is also an example of metafiction. Metafiction is a type of writing where the book itself addresses the devices of fiction. A book can be classified as such if it satisfies one of the common characteristics of metafictional works. Whether it is a work of fiction within a fiction, a non-linear novel, or a novel about the writing of another novel. The Wars is a novel that that tells a single story from the viewpoint of many and from this along with its use of narrative style and frame work as well as the integration of fiction and actual historical events and figures it is a book that not only illustrates the attributes of historiographic metafiction but defines it.
There are several characteristics that can make a book metafictional and in The Wars two examples in particular are very evident. Firstly it is a book that addresses the fact that it is about the writing of another book when it tells the reader "You begin to arrange your research in bundles letters photos telegrams" (Findley 198). This is one of the most common forms of metafictional work. This allows for there to be several different narrative types and also for the narrator to give commentary along with the telling of the story. In this book it is able to mask the sexual identity of Robert as there is little in depth analysis on people's behaviors and feelings. The second element of metafiction that is seen in The Wars is a non-linear timeline. The...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document