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Faculty Publication: Visiting Assistant Professor Jacob Romanow

January 5, 2023

Metafiction as Reality Effect: Trollope's Quixotism and Novel Theory

Author: Jacob Romanow

Source: ELH, Vol. 89, No. 4, Winter 2022, Johns Hopkins University Press

Type of Publication: Article in a Periodical

Abstract: Critics agree that Don Quixote helped originate realism, but its influence on nineteenth-century novels has been widely misunderstood. Realist Quixotism, usually assumed to oppose book and world, in fact models a dynamic imbrication of fictionality and reality. Thus, it helps bridge the normative and utopian functions of literary realism. This concept of realism is both exemplified and theorized by Anthony Trollope's novels, which insist on the mutual construction of literary and social convention. Their metaleptic narration, Victorian marriage plots, and use of the everyday illustrate how metafictionality, counterintuitively, can help construct a sense of the realistic.

Jacob Romanow is a visiting assistant professor in the Literatures in English department. 

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