Meta-fiction -- "an umbrella term for works that are self-conscious and self-curious, and includes non-linear exercises in structural experimentation" -- is showing at a movie theater near you, says Duane Dudek. Charlie Kauffman's scripts, Michael Gondry's movies, and now Babel and Stranger than Fiction.

Mr. Dudek quickly admits that "meta-fiction is probably as old as self-awareness." Indeed, despite the conventional wisdom that the novel was born as a realistic, 18th century product of the rising middle class, a case can be made that its first great work was that classic meta-masterpiece, Don Quixote.

And as for films, there's always Buster Keaton in the wonderful Sherlock, Jr (1924) -- in which as a movie projectionist, he dreams himself into the film onscreen.

November 13, 2006 8:25 AM |



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