Experiencing Literary Self-Consciousness in the Classroom

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Gleason, Dan
meta-fiction; John Barth; classroom experience; Literature in English, North America
artifact description
This activity is a fun and even bizarre response to John Barth’s highly self-referential story “Lost in the Funhouse.” In that story, Barth comments extensively on the writing as it happens (as he makes it happen), alerting the reader to the conventions of fiction as he deploys them. The following activity brings such jarring commentary into the classroom by leading students to call out the conventions of the classroom as they happen; the activity makes students live the experience of interruptive meta-commentary and can thus lead to vibrant discussion on the commentary in the story, too.