Metafiction and myth in the novels of Peter Ackroyd


Metafiction and myth in the novels of Peter Ackroyd

Susana Onega

(Studies in English and American literature, linguistics, and culture)

Camden House, 1999

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Includes bibliographical references and index



Providing detailed analysis of the recurrent structural and thematic traits in Peter Ackroyd's first nine novels, this work sets out to show how they grow out of the tension created by two apparently contradictory tendencies. These are, on the one hand, the metafictional tendency to blur the boundaries between story-telling and history, to enhance the linguistic component of writing, and to underline the constructedness of the world created in a way that aligns Ackroyd with other postmodernist writers of "historiographic metafiction"; and on the other, the attempt to achieve mythical closure, expressed, for example, in Ackroyd's fictional treatment of London as a mystic centre of power. This mythical element evinces the influence of high modernists such as Ezra Pound and T.S. Eliot, and links Ackroyd's work to transition-to-postmodern writers such as Lawrence Durrell, Maureen Duffy, Doris Lessing and John Fowles.

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