Annotated Bibliography

1. Finney, Brian. “Briony’s Stand against Oblivion: The Making of Fiction in Ian McEwan’s ‘Atonement.’” Journal of Modern Literature, vol. 27, no. 3, 2004, pp. 68–82. JSTOR, Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Finney spends a lot of time seemingly defending Ian McEwan’s writing and use of metanarrative in this article, systematically taking apart reviewers’ criticisms and explaining the genius behind his use of memory distortion. He expounds upon the idea of fiction versus reality in the case of Briony, who describes herself as writer first and girl second. She commits a horrible sin that destroys two people’s lives because she believed in her imagination so strongly, so she decides to use the same imagination to try to write her way out of it. Finney continues on to make his case that this novel was never meant to be realistic fiction, and that from the very first page, one should be able to realize the metanarrative elements.

2. Heffner, Hubert C. “Pirandello and the Nature of Man.” The Tulane Drama Review, vol. 1, no. 3, 1957, pp. 23–40. JSTOR, Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Heffner argues in this article that Pirandello uses his works and the characters within to explore the nature of man and the concept of reality as a whole. He discusses the concept of how we see ourselves versus how others see us, and what is the real version? The word personality is derived from the Greek word Persona, meaning mask, therefore, is the person we show the world just a mask or is it the real us?

3. Hesselberth, Pepita, and Laura Schuster. “Into the Mind and Out to the World: Memory Anxiety in the Mind-Game Film.” Mind the Screen: Media Concepts According to Thomas Elsaesser, edited by Jaap Kooijman et al., Amsterdam University Press, Amsterdam, 2008, pp. 96–111. JSTOR, Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Hesselberth and Schuster compare and contrast two films in this article, Memento and Code 46, as they both deal with memory manipulation, but where Code 46 deals with extrinsic forces, Memento deals with intrinsic. The most interesting concept they discuss in regards to my essay, was the relationship between memory and agency. Leonard’s ability to control his own memories gives him a sense of agency, in which he has the power in his story. He can simply delete any fact that he wants, guiding himself through a treasure hunt to help him deal with his trauma. He has far more agency than Sammy Jankis, for instance, who cannot keep himself organized and continue to live his life.

4. Lavik, Erlend. “Narrative Structure in The Sixth Sense: A New Twist in “Twist Movies”?” The Velvet Light Trap, vol. 58, 2006, p. 55-64. Project MUSEdoi:10.1353/vlt.2006.0031.

In this article, Lavik explains the narrative structure of the Sixth Sense and how it led to the success of the twist in the film, going into detail about the concurrent fabulas (or “the whole story”) that run underneath the syuzhet (or “the actual presentation of audiovisual information”). Because the syuzhet is so coherent leading up to the twist, it is difficult to accept the conflicting information that we have now received. Meanwhile, there is Cole’s story and the reveal that he can see ghosts in line with Malcolm’s story, trying to make amends and clear his conscience. The article does touch on the questions that come when the audience dwells on the scenes we don’t see in the movie, such as all the times Malcolm should have realized he was dead.

5. Marsh, Huw. “Narrative Unreliability and Metarepresentation in Ian McEwan’s Atonement; or, Why Robbie Might Be Guilty and Why Nobody Seems to Notice.” Textual Practice, vol. 32, no. 8, 2017, pp. 1325–1343., doi:10.1080/0950236X.2016.1276955.

Marsh takes the idea of the unreliable narrator to a new level in this article. He claims that since we have already realized that adult Briony has changed the narrative purposefully and accidentally, then it can be postulated that perhaps there is more to the story that we do not know. This is entirely possible as everything was called into question right from the beginning when we see the different perspectives of the water fountain scene. Marsh theorizes that Robbie could have been to blame for the rape all along as we cannot trust Briony and there is no one else to fill in the gaps.

6. PIRANDELLO, LUIGI. “PIRANDELLO CONFESSES… Why and How He Wrote ‘Six Characters in Search of an Author.’” The Virginia Quarterly Review, vol. 1, no. 1, 1925, pp. 36–52. JSTOR, Accessed 9 Dec. 2020.

Pirandello explains the reasoning behind his use of metanarrative in this article, and how he came up with the characters to begin with. In true Pirandello style, he explains that they came to him in a dream, and from there he had to write their story. For so many written works, we can only guess as to why something was written in the way that it was, so this article is truly special to be able to read the meaning in the author’s own words.

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