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Title: Italo Calvino’s if on a winter’s night a traveller and Flann O’Brien’s the third policeman as vital models of the empirical world
Authors: Yong, Glennice Jing-Yi
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Language::English
Issue Date: 2015
Abstract: Contending with realist fiction’s claims to verisimilitude, this essay posits that postmodern metafictions such as Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller (Iwn) and Flann O’Brien’s The Third Policeman render a connection between life and art that goes beyond mere surface similarity. While realist fictions offer a perfect condensed representation – offering the artistic illusion that life is represented as it is – postmodern fictions avoid any such attempts. Instead, through foregrounding the processes of creating fiction, they demonstrate themselves as vital “models” (John Barth) of the empirical world – that which is concerned with experience rather than pure logic. Through foregrounding their linguistic machinery, postmodern fictions render the activity of reading an intimate experience wherein readers glean of the frustrating process a writer/narrator undergoes in his ordering of fictional worlds. This way, the reader receives more than just a version of the world through the writer’s/narrator’s eyes, but also a glimpse into another’s experience of ordering the world. Consequently, postmodern fiction offers readers a more intimate understanding of human experience (life).
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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