Metafiction, Bookishness and Aura in Literary Fiction from the 1970s
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This thesis places the recently conceived concept of the aesthetic of bookishness in the historical perspective of the 1970s. In particular, this thesis aims to prove an interrelation of metafiction, bookishness and the aura of the work of art in literary fiction from the 1970s. Analysing three literary works of fiction – Michael Ende’s The Neverending Story (1979), Italo Calvino’s If on a Winter’s Night a Traveller (1979) and the graphic work The Cage (1975) by Martin Vaughn-James – the question is addressed in what ways the metafiction in these works establish an aesthetic of bookishness. Presenting these works as a reaction to the in the 1970s upcoming medium of television, this thesis shows how metafictional devices in literary fiction cause for the reader a constant awareness that he is handling a physical object, thereby establishing an aesthetic of bookishness. The literary book proves its value as a medium over television, in stressing its physical presence as a work of art.