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Title: 'The tale is the map which is the territory' : from fantasy and metafiction to metafantasy and Neil Gaiman
Author: Garcia-Siino, L.
ISNI:       0000 0004 6058 6832
Awarding Body: University of Liverpool
Current Institution: University of Liverpool
Date of Award: 2016
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Critical theory concerning the genre of fantasy has been steadily growing since the 1970s, yet one area concerning the dynamics of its narrative structure and the self-revealing nature of that structure has been left largely, and surprisingly, unexplored. Analysing the critical theories about fantasy, its functions and components, reveals the inherent connections between the genre and the literary technique of metafiction, and demonstrates that fantasy is a metafictive genre of literature. This occurs because fantasy is a form predicated on the conscious act of storytelling coupled with the purposeful awareness of the impossibility of its subject matter – the Fantastic. This thesis proposes that through its dependant and sustained intertext and hypertext, the genre of fantasy is perpetually and blatantly connected to a historical taproot that informs its subject and fuels the wonder it produces in the reader. The fact that fantasy does this has allowed for a newer form, metafantasy, to emerge, that takes modern fantasy as its taproot, subverting and deconstructing it into a meta-metafictive object. By analysing this metafictive reaction to an already metafictive genre through the works of renowned new-wave fabulist Neil Gaiman, this thesis aims to account for the current genre-centric literary phenomena observed by many contemporary fantasy critics. This thesis, therefore, entails a comparative critical genre theory as well as a literary analysis of fantasy, metafiction, transtextuality, and genre evolution applied to the fantasy metatext as well as to Neil Gaiman’s oeuvre. ‘The tale is the map which is the territory’ because in fantasy, the genre is as much the object as the subject it itself seeks to deconstruct.
Supervisor: Sawyer, A. S. ; Seed, D. S. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral