Narcissistic Narrative: the Narrative and its Diegetic and Linguistic Masks

Rabeb Ben Hania


This paper examines the theoretical underpinnings of narcissistic narratives or metafiction. This form of narrative foregrounds an intense awareness of the literary alteration of paradigms as well as the theoretical problematization of the narrative ontological status. This kind of texts is aware of itself as narrative or artifice, and of its functioning and its mechanisms of construction, of its past conventions and its mutation, and of the contentious processes of production and reception of fiction. The metafictional text follows critically and self-consciously the tracks of the overall history of literary composition and criticism and of its own metamorphoses from the past till the present moment taking as its main challenge and aim the exercise of self-exposition, self-criticism and self-evaluation. One of the main premises of narcissistic narrative is tracking the literary trajectory from "art conceals" to "art reveals" through mainly making recourse to parody and parodic strategies. All the previous diegetic and linguistic masks have become not only exposed and dropped down but also and more importantly questioned and criticized.


Metafiction, narcissistic narrative, linguistic identity, diegetic identity, diegetic narcissism, linguistic narcissism, parody, mise en abyme, intertextuality, self-reflexivity.

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