Fact, Fiction, Fact-in-Fiction: Gore Vidal’s Historiographic Metafictions in the Narratives of Empire
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The conceptualization of history has influenced historical novels and historiographie metafiction, which focus on history as their subject matters. Although these two literary forms seem similar, they are radically different from each other in ideology and style. The historical novel aims to create a sense of past reality through historical faithfulness. However, historiographic metafiction questions how history as past reality is constructed. Historiographic metafiction calls attention to the fact that history, like fiction, is subjected not only to the conventions of narrative and language, but also to ideological motivations. This dissertation analyzes Gore Vidal's novels Burr, 1876, Empire, and Hollywood in the Narratives of Empire series within the framework of historiographic metafiction.