METANARRATIVE FUNCTION OF ENTOMOLOGY IN ANTONIA SUSAN BYATT’S MORPHO EUGENIA

Lili Marinčić, Tamara Polić

Abstract


Antonia Susan Byatt, described by the reviewers as a “postmodern Victorian” (Levenson, 1993) or a “Victorian Iris Murdoch” (Butler, 1992) has proved that her writing skill has become something irreplaceable in the postmodern literary world. Her Possession has accomplished something that Hutcheon (1988: 20) in her A Poetics of Postmodernism called “the actual reception of postmodernism”, not sociologically limited to mostly academic readers. While in the Possession Byatt makes parodies of scholars giving a fair amount of critique of poststructuralist and postmodern attitudes through different narrative perspectives; paradox, ambiguity and self-reflexibility (Hansson, 1999), in Angels and Insects she makes a parody of the Victorians or through them, of our own time, fusing conventional and postmodern narrative strategies. Conventional, because she basically tells a story about Victorian naturalists and their fashionable activities at the time. All the rest is postmodernism; the metanarrative usage of entomology, the intertextuality which expands narrative possibilities, the self-reflexibility. The questions this paper deals with are several. Why are the intertexts of entomology metanarratives in the novella Morpho Eugenia so profuse to the point of interference? Is it because the insect allegory is an allegory in itself or simply the allegory is so rightfully used that it can go on and on? And finally, is the reader here a literary gourmet or a student listening to the lecture considering that the novella is a mixture of exquisite Victorian setting narratives and metanarrative entomology discourses?

 

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Keywords


postmodernism, metanarrative discourses, entomology, allegory, analogy, reader

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References


Butler, M. (1992). The moth and the medium. Rev. of Angels and Insects by A. S. Byatt. Times Literary Supplement (16 Oct. 1992), 22.

Byatt, A. S. (1995). Angels and Insects. London: Vintage.

Hansson, H. (1999). The double voice of metaphor: AS Byatt's" Morpho Eugenia". Twentieth Century Literature, 45 (4), 452-466.

Hutcheon, L. (1988). A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction. New York and London: Routledge.

Levenson, M. (1993). The religion of fiction. New Republic, 209 (5), 41-44.

Vanderbeke, D. (2003). Analogies and Insights in “Morpho Eugenia”: A Response to June Sturrock. Connotations, 13 (3), 289-300.




DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.46827/ejls.v3i2.323

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