Children's Literature in Education

, Volume 41, Issue 1, pp 12–27 | Cite as

Mutinous Fiction: Narrative and Illustrative Metalepsis in Three Postmodern Picturebooks

Original Paper


Narrative embedding is a common narrative structural device. Genette (1980, 1988) distinguished among various diegetic levels to explain the discrete narrative levels in embedded narratives and he defined metalepsis as the deliberate disturbing or breaking of narrative boundaries. Metalepsis, described by Malina (2002) as a mutinous narrative device, increases narrative complexity by obscuring or collapsing the boundaries between reality and fiction. She also stated that, “artistic exploitation of metalepsis has run rampant in the postmodern era” (p. 1). This essay focuses on three postmodern picturebooks and discusses how the various metaleptic transgressions in these selections create multifaceted and mutinous texts.


Metalepsis Narrative Postmodern picturebooks Metafiction 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Education, Department of Curriculum and InstructionUniversity of VictoriaVictoriaCanada

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