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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.

Subjects: Literature

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