Metafictional Amendments: Telepathic Metalepses in Stranger than Fiction

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Author: Lindsay Holmgren

Publication: Narrative, Vol. 26, No. 1, 2018

Abstract: 

This article begins with an analysis of Marc Forster's Stranger than Fiction that emphasizes the film's telepathic nuances, illustrating literary telepathy's role in the metaleptic events that the ostensibly "innocent" protagonist experiences. Elaborating on existing work in literary telepathy, the article then brings Seo-Young Chu's SF model of mimesis into dialogue with that of unnatural narratology in order to illustrate how telepathic metalepses bear on our understanding of mimesis more broadly. With this understanding of mimesis, the article demonstrates how metalepsis upends the dominant structures of knowledge dissemination and reception, bringing the so-called innocent—and the "subnarratable" features of his life—to the fore. Returning, finally, to a critical discussion of Stranger than Fiction, the article demonstrates how telepathic metalepses foster the protagonist's authorial role in his own narrative, thereby challenging a number of conventions, chief among them the category of innocence and the generic conventions it supports.

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