Year 2018, Volume 7, Issue 2, Pages 96 - 103 2018-12-30

POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION
POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION

Sevcan Işık [1]

18 68

ABSTRACT

This paper aims to analyze Antonia Susan Byatt’s novel Possession: A Romance as an example of a postmodernist historical novel or of a historiographic metafiction. Historiographic metafiction attempts to concantrate on historical personages and past events which are not mentioned in history for political or moral reasons. Thus, the omitted events in history are brought to the forefront and plural histories are produced as alternatives to the mentioned history with the retelling of the stories of the past in historiographic metafictions, which is resulted in creating a multiplicity of histories. Possession: A Romance can be studied as a good example of historiographic metafiction as it has different voices and, thus, plural histories through questioning the line between fiction and history. It also defies the monology and problematizes the objectivity of historical representations of two Victorian poets whose histories are silenced as they are found to be incompatible with the official history for moral reasons. Therefore, in contrast to the monology, the novel creates multivocality allowing different voices to be heard through subverting the historical documents and events it refers to. Thus, historiographic metafiction becomes a liberating force as it allows other histories to be told. Lastly, the novel employs other metafictional elements such as making use of non-linear narrative and emphasizing self-reflexivity through creating an untraditional third person omniscient narrator with a parodic intention.

Keywords: Antonia Susan Byatt, Possession: A Romance, historiographic metafiction, multivocality, history and fiction.

This paper aims to analyze Antonia Susan Byatt’s novel Possession: A Romance as an example of a postmodernist historical novel or of a historiographic metafiction. Historiographic metafiction attempts to concantrate on historical personages and past events which are not mentioned in history for political or moral reasons. Thus, the omitted events in history are brought to the forefront and plural histories are produced as alternatives to the mentioned history with the retelling of the stories of the past in historiographic metafictions, which is resulted in creating a multiplicity of histories. Possession: A Romance can be studied as a good example of historiographic metafiction as it has different voices and, thus, plural histories through questioning the line between fiction and history. It also defies the monology and problematizes the objectivity of historical representations of two Victorian poets whose histories are silenced as they are found to be incompatible with the official history for moral reasons. Therefore, in contrast to the monology, the novel creates multivocality allowing different voices to be heard through subverting the historical documents and events it refers to. Thus, historiographic metafiction becomes a liberating force as it allows other histories to be told. Lastly, the novel employs other metafictional elements such as making use of non-linear narrative and emphasizing self-reflexivity through creating an untraditional third person omniscient narrator with a parodic intention.

Keywords: Antonia Susan Byatt, Possession: A Romance, historiographic metafiction, multivocality, history and fiction.

  • Cox, Jeffrey N. and Larry J. Reynolds (eds.). 1993. New Historical Literary Study. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton U P. Print.
  • Himmelfarb, Gertrude. “Postmodernist History” in Fox-Genovese, Elizabeth and Elisabeth Lasch-Quinn. 1999. 71-93. Print.
  • Hutcheon, Linda. A Poetics of Postmodernism. London: Routledge, 1988. Print.
  • ---. Historiographic Metafiction, Parody and the Intertextuality of History. http://ieas.unideb.hu/admin/file_3553.pdf.
  • Domínguez, Pilar Cuder. “Romance Forms in A. S. Byatt's Possession”, Revista Alicantina de Estudios Ingleses 8 (1995): 79-89. JSTOR. Web. 13 July 2018.
  • Lies Wesseling, ‘Postmodernism and History’, Writing History as a Prophet. http://www.dbnl.org/tekst/wess012post01_01/wess012post01_01_0001.php
  • Byatt, A. S. Possesion: A Romance. London: Vintage, 1990. Print.
  • Waugh, Patricia. Metafiction. London: Routledge, 1984. Print.
Primary Language en
Subjects Social
Journal Section Makaleler
Authors

Author: Sevcan Işık (Primary Author)
Institution: İNÖNÜ ÜNİVERSİTESİ
Country: Turkey


Bibtex @art and literature { inijoss486708, journal = {İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS)}, issn = {2147-0936}, address = {Inonu University}, year = {2018}, volume = {7}, pages = {96 - 103}, doi = {}, title = {POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION}, key = {cite}, author = {Işık, Sevcan} }
APA Işık, S . (2018). POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION. İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS), 7 (2), 96-103. Retrieved from http://dergipark.org.tr/inijoss/issue/41945/486708
MLA Işık, S . "POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION". İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS) 7 (2018): 96-103 <http://dergipark.org.tr/inijoss/issue/41945/486708>
Chicago Işık, S . "POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION". İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS) 7 (2018): 96-103
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EndNote %0 İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS) POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION %A Sevcan Işık %T POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION %D 2018 %J İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS) %P 2147-0936- %V 7 %N 2 %R %U
ISNAD Işık, Sevcan . "POSSESSION: A ROMANCE AS AN EXAMPLE OF HISTORIOGRAPHIC METAFICTION". İnönü University International Journal of Social Sciences (INIJOSS) 7 / 2 (December 2019): 96-103.