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Historiographic Metafiction as a Link between Literature and History in Peter Ackroyd’s The House of Doctor Dee

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MÍŠA Patrik

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Fakulta / Pracoviště MU

Filozofická fakulta

Citace
Popis In A Poetics of Postmodernism, Linda Hutcheon argues that focusing on what history and literature have in common rather than on their differences, is what has been at the core of postmodern theory (p. 105). In contemporary writing, the main intersection of these two disciplines is historiographic metafiction, a term describing novels which draw on historical facts and employ historical figures, but at the same time emphasise their own fictional nature and ask the reader to acknowledge it. Although the concept has been challenged, it has become one of the major features of postmodernism in literature and gained further prominence with the renewed interest in historical writing. The presented paper builds on the concept of historiographic metafiction and discusses its implications for the reader. On the example of Peter Ackroyd’s The House of Doctor Dee, the paper shows how historiographic metafiction helps to create a unique relationship between the reader and the text—a relationship which combines literature and history in a way that enhances the reading experience through disrupting the traditional role of the reader. The paper then analyses this relationship using the terminology of reader response theory to show how the metafictional layer of the narrative expands the possibilities for interpretation.
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