The Postmodern Representation of Reality in Peter Ackroyd's Chatterton
This book explores the postmodernist representation of reality and argues that historiographic metafictional texts, such as Peter Ackroyd’s Chatterton (1987), are hetero-referential in their creation of a heterocosm, as opposed to representational and anti-representational views of art. It argues that postmodernist historiographic metafiction is not simply self-referential, but hetero-referential, consciously revealing the paradoxes of self-referentiality while simultaneously creating a heterocosmic world where the text is capable of referring to an external reality. The book highlights Chatterton’s narrative strategies and techniques which result in revealing the text’s meaning-granting process. The novel acknowledges the existence of reality and the text’s possibility of representation, but contends that reality is a human construct. In addition, the book demonstrates that representation is possible through fictive referents, and thus hetero-referential.
Arya Aryan is an Assistant Professor at Istanbul Aydin University, Turkey. His current research focuses on the function of the novel in the age of globalisation. He received his PhD from Durham University, UK, and carried out postdoctoral research at the University of Tübingen, Germany. He is the author of the book The Post-war Novel and the Death of the Author (2020), as well as several articles including “The Traumatised Shaman: The Woman Writer in the Age of Globalised Trauma”. His research interests are postmodernism, contemporary literature and medical humanities.
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