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October 1982
312 pages  

6 x 9
9780822984894
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The Metafictional Muse
The Works of Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, and William H. Cass
McCaffery, Larry
McCaffery interprets the works of three major writers of radically experimental fiction: Robert Coover; Donald Barthelme; and Willam H. Gass.

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Larry McCaffery is emeritus professor of English and comparative literature at San Diego State University.
“McCaffery is a liberal critic who appreciates the risks taken by experimental writers, sympathizes with their neglect by the general reader, and is patient with their failures. . . . Above all, he pays attention to the arguments and aesthetic positions taken by these experimental writers in a sufficiently detailed manner to provide the reader with some basis for judging and evaluating these views. . . . A well-balanced and thorough treatment of three exemplary figures.”—Contemporary Literature

“What saves a book on contemporary self-reflexive fiction from becoming a mirror of the mirror is its ability to maintain a perspective from outside of the work, despite the novel’s claims for infinite, entropic regression. The Metafictional Muse certainly fulfills this requirement. The bulk of this book consists of lengthy readings of three American novelists, Robert Coover, Donald Barthelme, and William Gass—readings that are among the best on these authors yet produced.”—American Literature

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McCaffery interprets the works of three major writers of radically experimental fiction: Robert Coover; Donald Barthelme; and Willam H. Gass. The term “metafiction” here refers to a strain in American writing where the self-concious approach to the art of fiction-making is a commentary on the nature of meaning itself.
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