Metafiction in Maus and The Familiar

Both Maus and The Familiar are examples of metafiction. However, the way in which these books use metafiction is entirely different. Maus, as an auto-biographical, or at least semi-autobiographical, graphic novel allows for Spiegelman to edit his prose through the eyes of a self-conscious narrator. The narcons, in The Familiar, could also be seen as editors using their own knowledge in order to edit the story, but not in the same way as Spiegelman. Spiegelman’s metafiction, on both the textual and visual level of narrative, shows how an author can become part of his/her own story.

Spiegelman, as both author and character, is capable of shifting from narrating the story to lamenting on the difficulty of actually producing the story itself. Spiegelman’s style of metafiction shows how an author can become a part of the story itself, whereas Danielewski uses characters within the story, but outside of the specific narrative, to influence the entire work.

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