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self-reflexive

Subject: Literature

A term applied to literary works that openly reflect upon their own processes of artful composition. Such self‐referentiality is frequently found in modern works of fiction that repeatedly ...

self-reflexive

self-reflexive   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...-reflexive A term applied to literary works that openly reflect upon their own processes of artful composition. Such self-referentiality is frequently found in modern works of fiction that repeatedly refer to their own fictional status ( see metafiction ). The narrator in such works, and in their earlier equivalents such as Sterne ’s Tristram Shandy ( 1759–67 ), is sometimes called a ‘self-conscious narrator’. Self-reflexivity may also be found often in poetry. See also mise-en-abyme , romantic irony...

metadrama

metadrama   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...in plays about plays, such as Luigi Pirandello ’s Sei personaggi in cerca d’autore ( Six Characters in Search of an Author , 1921 ). See also foregrounding , self-reflexive...

metafiction

metafiction   Quick reference

The Oxford Dictionary of Literary Terms (4 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2015

...is Italo Calvino ’s Se una notte d’inverno un viaggatore ( If on a winter’s night a traveler , 1979 ), which begins ‘You are about to begin reading Italo Calvino ’s new novel, If on a winter’s night a traveler .’ See also mise-en-abyme , postmodernism , self-reflexive . Further reading: Patricia Waugh , Metafiction ...

unreliable narrator

unreliable narrator   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Critical Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...narrator American literary theorist Wayne Booth's term for a narrator who cannot be relied on either to tell the truth or in the case of self-reflexive narrators to know the truth. For example Humbert Humbert , the narrator of Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita ( 1955 ), is obviously extremely biased in his view of things, constantly shifting blame for his actions onto the teenaged Lolita; but, he also seems to deceive himself as to the true nature of what he is doing. A major part of the dramatic interest of the novel stems from the need to try to sort...

unreliable narrator

unreliable narrator   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Critical Theory (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...narrator American literary theorist Wayne Booth ’s term for a narrator who cannot be relied on either to tell the truth or in the case of self-reflexive narrators to know the truth. For example Humbert Humbert , the narrator of Vladimir Nabokov ’s Lolita ( 1955 ), is obviously extremely biased in his view of things, constantly shifting blame for his actions onto the teenaged Lolita; but, he also seems to deceive himself as to the true nature of what he is doing. A major part of the dramatic interest of the novel stems from the need to try to...

negative dialectics

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A Dictionary of Critical Theory

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Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...as Negative Dialectics ( 1973 ), which many regard as his magnum opus. Written with the explicit aim of radicalizing western philosophy as a whole by generating a mode of what he termed non-identity thinking, Negative Dialectics offers a bold programme for an immanent and self-reflexive critique of philosophy rather than a specific concept. This programme can be understood as the attempt to resolve, though not once and for all, two different problems: first, if concepts are not identical with their objects then in a certain sense they are inadequate to the...

negative dialectics

negative dialectics   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Critical Theory (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...as Negative Dialectics ( 1973 ), which many regard as his magnum opus. Written with the explicit aim of radicalizing western philosophy as a whole by generating a mode of what he termed non-identity thinking, Negative Dialectics offers a bold programme for an immanent and self-reflexive critique of philosophy rather than a specific concept. This programme can be understood as the attempt to resolve, though not once and for all, two different problems: first, if concepts are not identical with their objects then in a certain sense they are inadequate to the...

critical theory

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A Dictionary of Critical Theory

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2010

...empirically, critical theory holds the opposite view, namely that theory is historical, subjective, and a part of society. Critical theory is in this regard a highly reflexive enterprise—it is never satisfied with asking what something means or how it works, it also has to ask what is at stake in asking such questions in the first place. Indeed, critical theory takes self-reflexivity a step further and asks whether or not its objects of research are not artefacts of the theory. Recent work by critical theorists like Donna Harraway , who writes about the...

critical theory

critical theory   Quick reference

A Dictionary of Critical Theory (2 ed.)

Reference type:
Subject Reference
Current Version:
2018

...empirically, critical theory holds the opposite view, namely that theory is historical, subjective, and a part of society. Critical theory is in this regard a highly reflexive enterprise—it is never satisfied with asking what something means or how it works, it also has to ask what is at stake in asking such questions in the first place. Indeed, critical theory takes self-reflexivity a step further and asks whether or not its objects of research are not artefacts of the theory. Recent work by critical theorists like Donna Harraway , who writes about the...

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