Metafiction and subjectivity in American Pastoral by Philip Roth


  • Yasmín López Alzate Universidad Eafit


metafiction, subjectivity, diegesis, metadiegesis, narrative levels


American Pastoral is proposed in this article as consisting of two narrative levels in which the life of the main character is deployed, that is a diegetic level and metadiegetic level. Then, various metafictional resources are analysed, particularly a reorganization of narrative levels. On the basis of the proposed division, the article explores American Pastoral as a novel which, through the use of metafiction, reconstructs and challenges the subjectivity of the main character set out in the diegesis. Based on the metafictional turning point, a parallel is then established between the main character's identity both in the diegesis and in the metadiegesis. To conclude, several implications of such metafictional reframing of subjectivity in American Pastoral are proposed: as a marker of the text construed character, as a major narrative strategy and as an element underlying literature as a form of intersubjective knowledge.

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Author Biography

Yasmín López Alzate, Universidad Eafit

holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Universidad de Antioquia as well as a specialization degree in Translation of Literary and Humanity Sciences from Universidad de Antioquia and a specialization degree in Literary Hermeneutics from Universidad Eafit. She currently is pursuing a master degree at this latter university in Humanistic Studies.


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How to Cite

López Alzate, Y. (2012). Metafiction and subjectivity in American Pastoral by Philip Roth. Íkala, Revista De Lenguaje Y Cultura, 17(3), 273–284. Retrieved from



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