, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 53–62

The (meta)narrative paratext: coda as a cunning fictional device


DOI: 10.1007/s11059-010-0051-z

Cite this article as:
Spiridon, M. Neohelicon (2010) 37: 53. doi:10.1007/s11059-010-0051-z


Our study draws on the array of functions assigned to the textual Coda in Ian McEwan’s novel Atonement, also turned into a successful movie. It follows two diverging narrative discourses—the Text and its Paratext—that overtly compete over the understanding of the story and over its reading transaction. In McEwan’s novel, the closing Paratext provides genre patterns and alternative reading strategies to the Text. Turning back upon the story itself and upon its process of writing, its understanding and its genre expectations in a particular cultural context, Coda is being assigned by the British novelist an overt meta-narrative task.


TranstextualityCoda (visual verbal meta-narrative) paratextGenre patternsReading expectationsVerisimilitudeStory and discourseNarrative theory

Copyright information

© Akadémiai Kiadó, Budapest, Hungary 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of BucharestBucharestRomania