Fiction and Metafiction in Don Quixote

Fiction and Metafiction in Borge’s Ficciones and Cervantes’ Don Quixote dela Mancha Unbelievable and incredible may maybe best describe the literature that the world has as of the moment. It is unbelievable due to the fact that who would have believed that the large spectrum of literary works would be so excellent in number? At the very same time, it is fantastic as the progress and history which literature has actually gone through are truly magnificent.

The literary works which are within humanity’s reach are unparalleled to what individuals back then had.

The literary works of the minute which are within mankind’s reach is a compilation of history, art, language, the sciences, and politics of every generation, culture, and nation. Truly, literature has such a significant scope within its pages that often, an individual might be lost with numerous things literature needs to offer. Literature is both reality and fiction and is influenced both by history and innovative imagination.

The aspects within literature are all reflections of the truths of society, however these things can still be thought about as fictional– after all, fact is fact and pure reality– absolutely nothing more. But what if something imaginary seems so genuine that it seems to be factual and real? What if an individual or a character which is simply pictured appears to be a real person of this world? What if the line in between reality and envisioned is complicated and appears to be separated by absolutely nothing at all?

2 authors by the name of Jorge Luis Borges and Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra are the responses to such questions. Saavedra who composed (or “supposedly re-wrote) the popular adventure of Don Quixote dela Mancha and Jorge Luis Borges who wrote the seventeen literary pieces consisted of within Ficciones are fictional writers. When a person discuss fiction, it generally pertains to one thing– created by the creativity. Thus, it suggests that any work of fiction is simply created by anybody and that any fictional work is not real, is incorrect, and can never ever be a fact.

Yet, Saavedra and Borges have created literary works which are fictional however they appear so genuine and real that a person is delegated think that they are certainly the truth– metafiction. Metafiction, according to Patricia Waugh, is “a term given to imaginary writing which self-consciously and methodically draws attention to its status as an artifact in order to posture questions about the relationship in between fiction and truth” (qtd. in Liu). Thus, metafiction is certainly fictional and from the creativity, and it aims to confuse readers about what is real and what is simply created by a person.

How does a person accomplish this? Again, according to Patricia Waugh, “such writings not only analyze the essential structures of narrative fiction, they likewise explore the possible fictionality of the world outside the literary fictional text” (qtd. in Liu). Hence, an author produces an imaginary world and develops another imaginary world within the already imagined world– creating a metafictional world. In Borges’ Ficciones and Saavedra’s Don Quixote dela Mancha– this metafictional world is truly what they have created.

Ficciones is a book which contains seventeen imaginary literary pieces that appear to be real. Each piece has its own world, own elements of characters, settings, and even eventually, its own mind and language. There are pieces such as the Library of Babel that seems real and real that a reader likewise wishes to think that such location is true. In that particular piece (from Part One of the book), Borges explains a library in length and in wonder.

The entire thing seems to be an introduction to a book of some sort, and yet at the same time, it also appears to come from a real book loaded with factual evidences that such a library exists. In the following excerpt, Borges explains the library and the people who are fascinated with it: “When it was declared that the Library comprised all books, the first impression was one of elegant happiness. All guys felt themselves of a secret, undamaged treasure. Deep space was justified, the universe all of a sudden expanded to the unlimited measurements of hope” (83 ).

Nevertheless, even more in the Library of Babel, Borges even talks of mystical books such as the Vindications which are “books of apology and prophesy which vindicated for perpetuity the actions of every male worldwide and developed a store of prodigious arcana for the future” (83 ). What Borges has produced is an imaginary world, but a reader may discover that world to be so palpable and authentic that it appears to be difficult that it is simply pictured. The exact same conclusion can be offered to Saavedra and his deal with Don Quixote dela Mancha.

In Saavedra’s work, the book is divided into two parts– one is the tale or experience itself of Don Quixote and the 2nd part is the metafictional work where the author talks straight to the readers and even to the characters that they all seem to be real people when plainly, they are all imagined. The ludicrous adventure of Don Quixote and his “squire” Sancho Panza is so unbelievable (just like the example of the enchanted peasant girl or the basin developed into a knight’s helmet), improbable, and funny that a person will not for a 2nd think that the whole tale holds true.

However, when Saavedra writes the second part of the book, doubts and doubts change the earlier convictions. For instance, in the very first part, Saavedra discusses a Dulcinea who was believed by Don Quixote to be a princess in camouflage of a peasant lady when in truth, she really is a peasant lady. In the future however, Saavedra explains this turn of events in Don Quixote’s life: “I have factor to think that Sancho’s artifice to deceive his mater, and make him believe the peasant girl to be Dulcinea enchanted, was in reality, all a contrivance of some one of the magicians who persecute Don Quixote …

” (369 ). Therefore, Saavedra has developed 2 worlds– one that is entirely fictional wherein the character of Don Quixote lives, and the other is metaficitonal where the character of Don Quixote does reside still but which it is explained why he has such ludicrous ideas of chivalry and enchantments. In conclusion, though metafiction might seem to be such a complex and fascinating thing, it can not exist without a person understanding first what is imaginary. Metafiction exists on the planet of fiction– an individual can not write or produce a metafictional world without entering into a fictional one.

That resembles an individual wishing to break the guidelines without knowing what were the rules in the top place. Literature is genuinely complicated however at the same time amazing and fantastic– Saavedra and Borges can attest to that. Works Cited Borges, Jorge Luis. Ficciones. New York: Grove Press, 1962. Saavedra, Miguel de Cervantes. Don Quixote dela Mancha. New York: Penguin Group Incorporated, 1957. Lui, Kate. “Theories of Metafiction.” Postmodern Theories and Texts. 1998. Department of English Language and Literature, Fu Jen University. 4 Aug. 2009.

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