Lili Marinčić, Tamara Polić


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?


Article visualizations:

Hit counter


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

Full Text:



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.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

The research works published in this journal are free to be accessed. They can be shared (copied and redistributed in any medium or format) and\or adapted (remixed, transformed, and built upon the material for any purpose, commercially and\or not commercially) under the following terms: attribution (appropriate credit must be given indicating original authors, research work name and publication name mentioning if changes were made) and without adding additional restrictions (without restricting others from doing anything the actual license permits). Authors retain the full copyright of their published research works and cannot revoke these freedoms as long as the license terms are followed.

Copyright © 2018. European Journal of Literary Studies (ISSN 2601-971X / ISSN-L 2601-971X). All rights reserved.

This journal is a serial publication uniquely identified by an International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) serial number certificate issued by Romanian National Library. All the research works are uniquely identified by a CrossRef DOI digital object identifier supplied by indexing and repository platforms. All the research works published on this journal are meeting the Open Access Publishing requirements and standards formulated by Budapest Open Access Initiative (2002), the Bethesda Statement on Open Access Publishing (2003) and Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities (2003) and can be freely accessed, shared, modified, distributed and used in educational, commercial and non-commercial purposes under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Copyrights of the published research works are retained by authors.